California reaches agreement on state budget for 2023-24
Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced on Monday that they had reached an agreement on the 2023-24 state budget. The budget includes numerous investments in public education, health care, climate, and public safety, while growing budget reserves to a record $38 billion.
The budget also includes new accountability measures for transit and homelessness investments, as well as policies that accelerate the state’s global leadership on climate by fast-tracking clean energy projects.
“As we build the California of the future, we’re expanding our economy and embracing businesses that pave the way with new tax credits for businesses that manufacture computer chips, clean energy facilities, and more – projects that disproportionately benefit disadvantaged communities and create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Newsom said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Atkins seemed to address infrastructure proposals that had caused tensions during negotiations, including the proposed Delta Conveyance Project which would move water from the Central Valley to Southern California. “I’m also heartened that we were able to reach agreement on the infrastructure package, and in particular that we were able to do so in a way that focuses on equity by laying the groundwork to ensure that our most vulnerable communities will be hired first on impactful state infrastructure projects.”
The newly agreed budget boasts includes a cost-of-living adjustment for public schools but also cuts to the Arts, Music, Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant and the Learning Recovery Block Grant, according to CalMatters. The budget disperse $1 billion into the state’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention program, as it has been doing for three years.
To address the state’s transit fiscal cliff, the budget will allocate $5.1 billion over four years. The funds are “flexed” which, according to Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Phil Ting, means transit agencies “can use it for operations or capital. They must also improve safety & cleanliness.”
Some of the most significant measures included in the budget deal with Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. To boost the program, the budget includes “a trailer bill reauthorizing a tax on managed care organization providers — companies that work with the state to deliver Medicaid benefits,” according to reporting from The Hill. “On the other hand, the package would increase reimbursement rates for Medi-Cal primary care, obstetric and behavioral health providers, while offering one-time assistance for rural hospitals that need to comply with the state’s seismic regulations.”
“We’re expanding our economy and embracing businesses that pave the way,” Newsom continued in his statement.
Lawmakers are expected to approve the revised budget over the course of the week. Newsom must sign a budget into law by July 1, the commencement of California’s fiscal year.