08/04/2021

About that giant, surplus-plus budget surplus

What would you do with a $21.4 billion windfall?

That’s essentially the question California is confronting amid record surplus projections in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first year in office.

On one hand, the former San Francisco mayor showcased his progressive agenda by setting ambitious goals for universal preschool, expanding health coverage for undocumented immigrants, and proposing the nation’s most generous paid family leave program.

On the other, Newsom made the case that he’s still being fiscally conservative by using a modest growth rate of 3.2 percent, socking billions more into the state’s rainy day fund, and paying down debt and public employee retirement liabilities.

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