In a budget proposal announced on Monday, Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom outlined some of his goals and strategies for the future.
In a presentation on the new measures, Newsom called several issues “California’s existential threats.” These included “fighting COVID with science,” “Combating the climate crisis,” “confronting homelessness,” “tackling the cost of living,” and “keeping our streets safe.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported, “The governor said his budget will also include about $300 million to combat organized retail theft, increasingly brazen smash-and-grab crimes that have drawn national attention.”
The plan also has $255 million for a grant program to provide police with more resources to arrest and investigate burglars.
The governor is also attempting to control the wildfires in the state.
The Chronicle also reported that Newsom wants to put an additional $1.2 billion towards wildfire prevention programs, like actions to move brush out of overgrown forests. “This comes on top of $1.5 billion California set aside for forest management in the current budget,” the outlet noted.
One of the most controversial aspects of the proposal includes his expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health care service for low-income individuals.
On Monday, Newsom said, “California is poised to be, if this proposal is supported, the first state in the country to achieve universal access to health coverage. So what does that mean. It means full scope Medi-Cal including long term care, IHSS, to all low-income Californians regardless of immigration status, regardless of their age, regardless of their immigration status.”
California started including immigrants who are 26 years of age and under in its Medicaid program a few years ago. Last year, it expanded the service to people who are 50 years old and up. Newsom is now calling on state legislators to broaden that to even more people. This wouldn’t take place before January 1st, 2024. The expansion is will cost around $2.2 billion each year.
Another contentious point of the proposal is the fact that Medi-Cal covers abortions, meaning this move would fund abortions for citizens and noncitizens, all at the expense of the taxpayer.
Assembly members in California are also proposing a state constitutional amendment that could potentially double California’s already high taxes.
The amendment would increase multiple taxes to finance universal single-payer health care coverage, as well as a health care cost control system. According to the Tax Foundation, the average household’s taxes would go up by $12,250. The median household income in California is approximately $80,000.
This all comes at a time when many people are leaving California because of the steep cost of living, which includes the high taxes.
The Daily Wire reported on Newsom’s proposal, noting that it “is one of many inside Newsom’s proposed 2022-23 state budget he released on Monday, according to Fox News. The California Blueprint plan, totaling $213 billion, also includes proposals to fund a state gun buy-back program and invest ‘billions’ in climate change plans.”
“Governor Newsom’s Blueprint will make California the first state in the nation to offer universal access to healthcare coverage for all state residents, regardless of immigration status,” a summary of the plan says.
Many residents have recently moved out of California due to the high cost of living, among other issues.