Gov. Newsom outlines priorities in first California budget
Added 01-10-19 09:22:01pm EST - “California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released his first budget proposal, outlining $144 billion in general fund spending and $65 billion more from bonds and special funds.” - Washingtontimes.com
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released his first budget proposal, outlining $144 billion in general fund spending and $65 billion more from bonds and special funds.
The budget assumes that California will have to pay nearly $1 billion for last year’s wildfires that devastated the Sierra Nevada foothills town of Paradise, among other communities. The $923 million is 25 percent of the overall projected cost, with the federal government covering the rest.
It includes $31 million to make up for wildfire-related property tax losses in Butte, Lake, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Shasta and Siskiyou counties. Another $19 million aids schools that lost revenue because of wildfires. Newsom also proposes to waive the local share of debris removal costs, saving counties $155 million on what is projected to be a $2.5 billion cleanup.
He’s proposing $60 million this year and next to improve emergency communications, and seeking a new fee on consumers to generate $170 million annually. Another $16 million would finish the California Earthquake Early Warning System.
His budget includes more than $400 million to reduce fire-prone fuels and improve the state’s firefighting ability. About half the money goes to forest management efforts, which have frequently been criticized by President Donald Trump. Nearly $8 million would go to create five California Conservation Corps firefighting crews and four Forestry Corps crews.
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