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California Is Step Closer To New Budget

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Sacramento, CA — Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly have agreed on the details of a proposed $300-billion new state operating budget.

However, Governor Gavin Newsom, who has the veto pen, has yet to endorse it. It calls for returning $10-billion to taxpayers in the former of grants, rebates and tax credits.

One area where Newsom and other party leaders disagree is the response to rising gas prices. Newsom is proposing giving checks of $400 per vehicle, with a max of two vehicles. The legislative plan is to give $200 checks to taxpayers and their dependents. For example, a family of five could receive $1,000. Incomes would have to be less than $125,000 for a single person and $250,000 for couples.  Republicans, meanwhile, are calling for a temporary suspension of the excise gas tax.

The Associated Press reports that for business owners, lawmakers want to spend $870 million to offset their increasing unemployment insurance taxes. They also want to give small-business owners and nonprofit organizations $250 million in grants to cover the costs of a new law requiring employers to give workers up to two weeks of paid sick leave.

The agreement comes as lawmakers face a mid-June deadline to pass a spending plan or risk not getting paid.