Budget whiplash: California faces $25 billion deficit

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A lot could change between now and May, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom will release a revised budget proposal following negotiations with lawmakers. They must reach a spending deal by June 15.

Although the outlook is sobering — not since the Great Recession have California’s revenue estimates been so weak,California “is in its best-ever position to manage a downturn, by having built strong reserves and focusing on one-time commitments” rather than ongoing spending in the last two budgets, H.D. Palmer, spokesperson for the California Department of Finance, said in a statement. Indeed, Newsom has for months been, vetoing bills that he said would have cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

A lot could change between now and January — when Newsom will unveil his budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning in July — and between now and May, when Newsom will release a revised proposal following negotiations with lawmakers. They must reach a spending deal by June 15. But what is clear is that the budget will pose political challenges for Newsom — who has not yet had to govern during a budget deficit — and for California’s newly elected lawmakers, who are set to be sworn into office on Dec. 5.. And for another, Newsom and lawmakers could be forced to slash, delay or downsize programs they’ve touted as signature achievements.


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