(CALMATTERS) – $267.8 billion — that’s the whopping size of the budget proposal Gov. Gavin Newsom formally unveiled on Friday after a week of ambitious announcements that caused some to liken him to a political Santa Claus. Here’s a look at some of the big or otherwise noteworthy proposals announced for the first time on Friday:
- $11 billion for transportation, including $4.2 billion for the state’s beleaguered bullet train and $1 billion for transit projects for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
- $7 billion to expand broadband access, though the proposal does little to address affordability barriers, CalMatters’ Jackie Botts reports.
- $1 billion in ongoing funding to expand Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for the poor, to undocumented seniors 60 and older.
- $300 million to forgive traffic tickets for low-income Californians.
- $35 million for universal basic income pilot programs.
But, as CalMatters’ Laurel Rosenhall reports, the budget is far from being set in stone. Lawmakers will spend the next month negotiating details with Newsom while various interest groups lobby for their share of the bounty. Among them: advocates for undocumented residents, who want the state to establish a dedicated relief fund and expand health care coverage to all undocumented Californians; business groups, who want the state to pay down a larger portion of its immense unemployment insurance fund debt; and public health officials, who questioned why Newsom didn’t propose more funding for their agencies.
A closer look at lobbying efforts this year: The California Teachers Association spent $2.85 million lobbying Sacramento during the first quarter of 2021, more than twice as much as the Big Oil groups that ranked as the second and third biggest spenders, a Mercury News analysis shows.