Gov. Gavin Newsom’s penchant for braggadocio was in full flower eight months ago when he declared that California had a $97.5 billion budget surplus and boasted that “no other state in American history has ever experienced a surplus as large as this.”
He and the Legislature then wrote a 2022-23 budget with major increases in education, medical care and social services, plus a multi-billion-dollar cash rebate to taxpayers and other one-time expenditures.
On Tuesday, a more subdued Newsom acknowledged that the projected surplus had morphed into a $22.5 billion shortfall. He proposed a $297 billion 2023-24 budget that throttles back some of the additional spending and indirectly borrows billions of dollars to close the gap.