If California doesn’t get more federal aid, billions of dollars will be cut from K-12 schools and community colleges, the University of California and Cal State University systems will face 10% cuts, and some Medi-Cal and welfare benefits will be rolled back, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday when he sent a revised budget proposal to the Legislature.
Newsom: “We’re looking at a multi-year strategy to work through this budget deficit. … No matter what we do this year, it won’t be enough to address the shortfall this year.”
Even programs Newsom seemed most committed to weren’t immune from cuts. He proposed increasing the budget for the state’s Health and Human Services Agency by about $7 billion, but some optional Medi-Cal benefits that were just reinstated after the Great Recession, like full dental care, were back on the chopping block.
The governor said he wouldn’t roll back tax credits for working families or recently expanded grants for CalWORKS, the state’s welfare-to-work program. But some of the employment and child care services will be cut, even as more people participate.
Newsom emphasized that though his proposal calls for the state to fill 26% of the budget hole with program cuts, they are “cuts with a caveat.”
Newsom: “The president of the United States, with the stroke of a pen, could provide support for Speaker Pelosi’s new HEROES Act, and these cuts would be eliminated.”
The $3 trillion HEROES Act would provide nearly $1 trillion in direct funding to state and local governments, but has faced pushback from the Republican-controlled Senate.
Legislators will now debate Newsom’s budget proposal, with a June 15 deadline to adopt a plan.
1.CA school districts to decide reopening date for themselves
California’s school districts will decide for themselves when to reopen for the fall semester, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Wednesday. His comments came a few weeks after Newsom indicated schools might open as early as July, taking many local superintendents by surprise. But the state won’t leave districts entirely on their own. Thurmond said the education department is working on reopening guidance based on task force recommendations.
Thurmond: “We are not anticipating a common opening across school districts, or a mandate for when districts open. … Opening will happen in a way where we place safety first. We won’t ask any school to open their campus to students if we cannot point to data, and consultation from our health partners and workplace-safety experts.”
2.Cal State increased mandatory student fees without justification, state auditor finds
The student fees are an important battleground during COVID-19: Campuses need to make up for lost revenue from state government — Newsom proposed a 10% cut to the CSU system Thursday — but fees are a hurdle for students struggling with unemployment and other financial pressures. CSU also announced Tuesday it plans to conduct most of its fall 2020 semester online, leading some students to argue they shouldn’t have to pay fees at all.
Julia Favilla, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student: “If I’m not getting to use [the facilities] and I’m having to pay for it out of my savings, which are dwindling because it’s hard to find a job right now, all of those things stack up, and yeah, it does definitely take a financial toll.”
3.Not sure what an outdoor museum is? Look no further
From one reader: It’s “one of the best outdoor museums in the world … dozens of acres filled with dozens of restored aircraft make for a wonderful experience if you have any interest in the history of aviation.”
From another: “It’s a really nice place with an excellent collection of artifacts. You don’t have to be a military buff or an airplane fan to enjoy it.”
I’ll have to check it out! If you have any other outdoor museum recommendations, send them my way.
CalMatters virtual events
Tuesday at 1 p.m.:How Nursing Homes Need to Change. CalMatters discusses how nursing homes are handling the coronavirus outbreak with Craig Cornett, CEO of the California Association of Health Facilities, Michael Dark, staff attorney at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, and Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine. Register here and submit your questions here.