California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday that the Golden State’s budget deficit was $10 billion higher than he predicted earlier this year.
Newsom told a press conference that California’s budget deficit had reached nearly $32 billion, about $10 billion more than he had forecast in January when he presented his first budget proposal.
“We have a $31.5 billion challenge, which is well within the range of expectations and well within our ability to meet,” Newsom said.
California, which has the largest budget in the country at $306 billion, is one of the few states to have a deficit this year. Some say this is partly due to a progressive tax code that relies on wealthy taxpayers whose incomes are closely tied to stock market performance.
GAVIN NEWSOM’S OFFICE DOES NOT PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S BAN ON FLORIDA COLLEGE BOOKS
In January, Newsom offered a number of ideas to cover the deficit, including about $9.6 billion in spending cuts that hit some of the state’s ambitious climate programs and other policy areas. His latest proposal includes about an additional $1 billion in spending cuts.
GAVIN NEWSOM ROASTED FOR NON-RESPONSE ON FENTANYL OUTBREAK: ‘WHAT SHOULD I DO?’
Part of that comes from recovering unspent money on various programs, including those designed to provide tax refunds and help people pay their utility bills.
It makes up the rest of the deficit by shifting spending, taking money from the state safety net reserve, and borrowing.
“It was not an easy budget, but I hope you see that we will do our best to hold the line and take care of the most vulnerable and needy, while remaining cautious,” Newsom said.
In a press release, Newsom’s office said it was prepared for the revenue shortfall “with the Governor and Legislature paying down the state’s past debts, building up unprecedented reserves and prioritizing one-time investments.” .
CALIFORNIA IS RUN BY POLITICIANS WHO ARE ‘100% PRO-CRIMINAL’, SAYS 30-YEAR-OLD LAW ENFORCEMENT VETERAN
Republican legislative leaders blasted Newsom’s proposal as another marker of irresponsible spending by Democrats who control Sacramento.
“His cuts to drought programs are dangerous, his ‘tax tricks’ are short-sighted, and his talk of good government and efficiency is yet another empty promise. Californians deserve better,” said the Republican Assembly Leader James Gallagher in a statement.
Newsom’s press conference comes about a year after he touted a $97 billion budget surplus and said it was “simply unprecedented.”
The budget deficit announcement comes almost exactly a week after a committee set up by Newsom cash repair payments recommended black residents to make amends for slavery that could cost the state billions if approved by the legislature.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Shortly after the committee approved the plan, Newsom distanced himself from the idea of cash payments to Californians in response to slavery, which was never legal in the state.
Associated Press contributed to this report