California Republicans want investigation into Newsom’s ties to Panera franchisee, new fast food law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Republican California lawmakers on Thursday called for an investigation into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ties to a billionaire Panera franchisee and the restaurant’s exemption from a new state law that will require major fast-food chains to pay their workers $20 an hour.

“He owes everybody an explanation,” Republican State Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones said.

Some Republican lawmakers said they had little faith in the ability of California’s Democratic Supermajority Legislature or other top Democrats in state government to investigate the issue. Assemblyman Joe Patterson, R-Rocklin, went as far as to say the FBI should get involved.

“Frankly, I don’t think the California Attorney General is capable of doing that,” Patterson said. “I think it has to be an outside agency that investigates this.”

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Multiple sources who spoke on condition of anonymity have confirmed to KCRA that billionaire franchisee and Newsom donor Greg Flynn influenced Newsom’s push to carve out chains that sell and make bread on-site from the new law in the final weeks of the legislative session in 2022.

Newsom’s office has said that it was the result of two years’ worth of negotiations between him and the Legislature. The law goes into effect in April.

“The Governor never met with Flynn about this bill & this story is absurd. Our legal team has reviewed and it appears Panera is not exempt,” Newsom’s spokesman Alex Stack said on Thursday. Newsom’s office said the exemption applies to those who produce bread on-site, and said some bakeries, including Panera, mix dough off-site at a centralized location before sending it to their restaurants for baking and sale. Experts note that appearance is up for interpretation, and stakeholders for years have understood it as an exemption. The legislation also does not define the word “produce.”

KCRA 3 asked Newsom why the exemption was in there when he signed the law in September of 2023. He said it was “part of the sausage making … part of the negotiations.”

Greg Flynn sent KCRA 3 a lengthy statement on Thursday night:

“It is true that I opposed AB1228, as did thousands of other California restaurant owners. If the intent of the bill was to address alleged labor code violations in fast food restaurants, then the scope of the law should be limited to true fast food restaurants and not include fast casual restaurants like bakeries, bagel shops, delis, etc. I suggested the bill’s language defining “fast food restaurant” should be amended to exclude fast casual restaurants,” Flynn said.

“To be clear, at no time did I ask for an exemption or special considerations. In fact, the idea never even occurred to me and I was surprised when the exemption appeared in the final legislation. Such a narrow exemption has very little practical value. As it applies to all of our peer restaurants in the fast casual segment, we will almost certainly have to offer market value wages in order to attract and retain employees,” Flynn said.

“I also never met with Governor Newsom about this bill, though I did meet with his staff in a group meeting with other restaurant owners. And finally, although we attended the same high school, I never met him there and in fact didn’t meet him until decades later,” he said.

Flynn has not said if he agrees with Newsom’s new interpretation of the law, that it may not exempt Panera.

Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden, who wrote the law, said he did not know why the exemption was put into the bill. He told reporters on Thursday that despite being the author of the law, he was not part of the negotiation to include the carve-out for bakeries.

“It’s my bill, but in terms of the negotiations, it was bringing together the business community and franchisees and franchisors and through the governor’s leadership, it came together and what came out of that came the amendments of the bill,” Holden said.

Holden said he was not aware of the relationship between Flynn and Newsom.

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Corruption at the Capitol? Gov. Newsom Exempts Billionaire Buddy from Fast Food $20 Minimum Wage Law

Give a donation, Get an exemption: This is what corruption in plain sight looks like

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

California Governor Gavin Newsom exempted a billionaire buddy from California’s new $20 minimum wage law. Billionaire Greg Flynn owns more than two dozen Panera Bread locations in California, as well as Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s.

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How did the billionaire boys club governor do this? He had it written right into AB 1228 by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Los Angeles):

Fast food restaurant” shall not include an establishment that on September 15, 2023, operates a bakery that produces for sale on the establishment’s premises bread, as defined under Part 136 of Subchapter B of Chapter I of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, so long as it continues to operate such a bakery. This exemption applies only where the establishment produces for sale bread as a stand-alone menu item, and does not apply if the bread is available for sale solely as part of another menu item. (emphasis the Globe)

Here is the actual section AB 1228:

Bloomberg Law reported Wednesday:

Billionaire Greg Flynn, who made his fortune running one of the world’s largest restaurant franchise operations, is getting a new boost from sourdough loaves and brioche buns.

That’s because a California law that’s about to raise the state minimum wage at fast-food spots to $20 an hour from $16 offers an unusual exemption for chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item.

Governor Gavin Newsom pushed for that break, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the main beneficiaries is Flynn, a longtime Newsom donor whose California holdings include two dozen Panera Bread locations.

Give a donation, get an exemption? This is what corruption in plain sight looks like.

Bloomberg News reported that Flynn attended the same high school as Newsom, and has been involved in various business dealings with Gov. Newsom.

Flynn has also contributed at least $164,800 to Newsom’s political campaigns, the New York Post reported.

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Walters: California spends billions on homelessness yet the crisis keeps getting worse

California not only has the nation’s largest number of homeless people, but one of its highest rates of homelessness vis-à-vis its overall population.

The last official count found more than 181,000 Californians without homes, nearly a third of the nation’s homeless population. When new data are released later this year, the number will probably approach 200,000.

The numbers have continued to grow despite many billions of dollars in federal, state and local funds having been spent – $20 or so billion by the state alone over the last five years. As the problem worsens, it consistently ranks as one of Californians’ most pressing public policy issues, polling has found.

How is it, one might ask, that so much money could be spent with so little, if any, progress?

One factor, certainly, is that the underlying causes of homelessness, such as sky-high housing costs, family breakups, mental illness and drug addiction have not abated.

Another, probably, is that here is no consensus on what programs would be most successful and officialdom has taken a scattergun approach, providing money to a bewildering array of often overlapping programs and services in hopes of finding approaches that work.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who pledged 20 years ago to end homelessness in San Francisco when serving as the city’s mayor, is touting a measure on the March 5 ballot that would authorize bonds to build facilities for treating the mentally ill and redirect some funds from a two-decade-old special mental health tax into new programs. He’s also won legislative approval of “CARE courts” that could compel some mentally ill Californians into receiving treatment.

The multiplicity of programs to deal with homelessness cries out for some kind of independent appraisal of what’s been spent and how effective the spending has been.

We may get such an overview soon because the Legislature has approved a request from Republicans for the state auditor to delve into what’s been spent.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

DeMaio likes to attract attention. He has plenty of it from opponents. – Michael Smolens

Police and firefighter unions, Republican elected officials and others wage independent campaigns against radio talk-show host DeMaio in Assembly race

Carl DeMaio has crossed a lot of people in his various political endeavors. He’s being reminded of that daily in his campaign for the state Assembly.

The radio talk-show host is being opposed by a rare coalition that spans the political spectrum: labor unions, police and firefighter associations, Democrats, Republican elected officials, the state and local Republican parties, and even some real estate interests.

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The top financial supporters listed on one mailer attacking DeMaio include the California Professional Firefighters, California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the California Apartment Association.

At least five independent campaign efforts are aligned against him. DeMaio, a prolific fundraiser, has a substantial campaign war chest and is also benefiting from his statewide organization, Reform California.

DeMaio is running in the 75th Assembly District, a sprawling East County conservative district that almost certainly will elect a Republican, likely either DeMaio or Andrew Hayes, an aide to state Sen. Brian Jones, D-Santee, who has been endorsed by the Republican Party.

Incumbent Republican Marie Waldron is termed out this year.

A contested primary in a solid Republican district might not typically attract labor involvement but DeMaio changes that equation. Also contributing to the anti-DeMaio cause is the California Labor Federation, which is led by Lorena Gonzalez, who as a San Diego labor leader has clashed with DeMaio for years.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California is also spending money to defeat DeMaio. PORAC is headed up by Brian Marvel, the former president of the San Diego Police Officers Association who also has clashed with DeMaio.

DeMaio has been virulently anti-union and as a member of the San Diego City Council spearheaded a voter-approved ballot measure that did away with pensions for most municipal workers, except police officers, hired after July 20, 2012. The measure was overturned in court about a decade later and the city is now working to restore pensions to affected workers.

DeMaio envisioned that public employee pension bans would take hold across the state, but that never happened.

He also backed a related five-year pay freeze for city employees and restrictions on other benefits for employees, including police officers, that were not affected by the court rulings.

DeMaio maintained pensions were too generous and were bleeding money from government budgets.

He’s familiar with opposition from labor and said that doesn’t faze him. “I wear that with a badge of honor,” he said in an interview.

As for Hayes, DeMaio said, “This guy is backed by corrupt forces in Sacramento” — both Republican and Democrat.

Jones, who is the Senate Republican leader, is backing independent efforts for Hayes and against DeMaio. So are Waldron, county Supervisor Joel Anderson and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Bonsall. Issa defeated DeMaio in a contentious 2020 race for an East County-centric congressional district.

DeMaio also lost races for mayor in 2012 and for Congress to Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, in 2014 after serving one term on the City Council.

Clearly, DeMaio’s opponents don’t want him in the Legislature or, it seems, any other elected office. But their first order of business appears to be getting the lesser-known Hayes through the primary on March 5.

There are no guarantees in politics, but DeMaio seems poised to advance to November. He is being hit with negative mailers, contending he’s a “Never Trumper” and that he supported “defunding our first responders.”

In turn, DeMaio says he backs former President Donald Trump, and maintains Hayes is being propped up by Democrats and labor unions. Both have claimed they are the strongest on border enforcement and are the more conservative candidate. At times, they’ve mimicked Trump’s penchant for giving opponents derogatory names.

“‘Amnesty Andrew’ Hayes can’t be trusted on illegal immigration,” says one mailer backing DeMaio.

In a campaign release, Hayes accused “Crooked Carl DeMaio” of using donations to his Reform California committee for the Assembly race.

Beyond the attack pieces to dissuade Republican voters from supporting Hayes, DeMaio is making an appeal to Democratic voters, sort of. DeMaio’s campaign has been promoting the Democratic Party-endorsed candidate, Kevin Juza.

It’s an increasingly common campaign tactic to boost a perceived weaker opponent in hopes they will outdistance a stronger one in the primary.

The anti-DeMaio forces have responded in kind, though so far not in a big way. They made a small ad buy on Facebook to promote Democrat Christie Dougherty in an apparent effort to dilute the DeMaio-juiced Juza vote — which, in theory, could help Hayes.

This is becoming quite a tangled web.

Also running are Democrat Joy Frew and Republican Jack Fernandes.

Click here to read the full article in the SD Union Tribune

Gov. Gavin Newsom launches ads to fight abortion travel bans

The multistate campaign will launch Monday with a TV commercial about a measure under consideration in Tennessee.

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday announced an advertising campaign to combat proposals in several Republican-controlled states to prohibit out-of-state travel for abortions and other reproductive care.

The multistate ad campaign and an online petition effort will launch Monday, beginning with a TV commercial about a measure under consideration in Tennessee. The so-called “abortion trafficking” bill sponsored by GOP state legislators would make it a felony offense for an adult to recruit, harbor or transport a minor to get an abortion without parental consent.

Newsom told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that similar restrictions modeled on a law that has already passed in Idaho are also being proposed in Oklahoma and Mississippi.

“The conditions are much more pernicious than they even appear,” Newsom said. “These guys are not just restricting the rights, self-determination to bear a child for a young woman. But they’re also determining their fate as it relates to their future in life by saying they can’t even travel.”

People who support the Tennessee measure say it could criminalize not only driving a minor to get an abortion, but also providing information about nearby abortion services or passing along which states have looser abortion laws.

Republican state Rep. Jason Zachary, who is co-sponsoring the proposal, has called it “simply a parental rights bill.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, anti-abortion advocates have pushed states to ban abortion and find ways to block pregnant women and girls from crossing state lines to obtain the procedure.

Click here to read the full article in ABC7

Coupal: A bold idea for California: Instead of passing so many new laws, how about some oversight over existing ones?

The reaction from politicians to California’s budget deficit – now estimated by the Legislative Analyst to be around $73 billion – breaks down into two camps: the state must either reduce spending or find more revenue. (Euphemism for raising taxes.)

In reality, even the most progressive legislators realize that their dream of unending growth in government is crashing headlong into reality. Days ago, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas acknowledged that the ultimate goal of single-payer health care won’t be on the table anytime soon.

Of course, any reduction in spending will be accompanied by the obligatory gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. It is easier to extract a sirloin steak from the jaws of a Doberman than to get politicians and government bureaucrats to reduce their record levels of spending. To the tax spenders, all government spending is “essential,” notwithstanding the fact that state spending has doubled in six years.

Ordinary Californians reject the premise that all state spending is “essential” and, in fact, think much of it is superfluous and wasteful. A Public Policy Institute of California survey earlier this month asked, “Do you think . . . state government[s] waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” Overall, 45% of Californians perceived that “a lot” of their money was being wasted and 46% believed “some” of their money was wasted.

Specific examples abound. If the High-Speed Rail project were put before the voters after its 14-year history of broken promises, polling reveals it would be derailed. And volumes could be written about the $30 billion in EDD fraud.

An excellent exposé in CalMatters by Sameea Kamal and Jeremia Kimelman reveals the massive non-compliance with legislative mandates regarding the preparation of reports that are supposed to track the effectiveness of government programs. The title of the article is “Legislators wanted 1,100 reports on how California’s laws are working. Most haven’t arrived.”

When it creates a new program, the Legislature frequently requires the affected state or local agencies to prepare a report back to the Legislature about the performance of the new program. The purpose, according to the Legislature itself, is to “provide crucial oversight to ensure effective implementation of programs.”

But according to CalMatters, “more than 70% of the 1,118 reports due in the past year were not submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel, the public repository for the reports . . . And about half of those that were filed were late. (About 230 were reports required from multiple agencies.)”

The absence of reports on the efficacy of past legislation makes future legislation like a journey into the unknown. CalMatters correctly contends that the “reports could be used to avoid introducing duplicative or unnecessary bills.” But a more fundamental purpose would be to determine which laws or programs should simply be repealed or abandoned entirely.

Compounding the problem of missing reports is that there is little data about which reports are simply late and that there is little notice when they are completed. The lack of a coherent process for tracking legislatively mandated reports is why, according to CalMatters, “some lawmakers and consultants . . . don’t often use the [Legislative Counsel] website,” relying instead on alternative sources of information.

In theory, California has multiple avenues for conducting oversight. The California State Auditor produces a number of useful reports, including a periodic report on “statewide issues and state agencies that represent a high risk to the State or its residents.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

California says gas prices could spike 50 cents a gallon next year thanks to this climate program

A nearly two decades-old program to slash climate-warming emissions from transportation could cause California gasoline prices to spike as much as 50 cents a gallon in the next two years.

That’s according to staff of the state’s leading air quality regulator, who provided the estimate ahead of that agency’s decision to strengthen the program created to discourage gasoline and diesel production in favor of cleaner alternatives.

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Their drastic projection comes amid growing concerns about fuel and energy costs related to California efforts to phase out fossil fuels. Already burdened drivers can expect to see gas prices hit $5 a gallon this spring, and electricity bills also are expected to rise.

“I was shocked to see it,” said Danny Cullenward, a climate economist and advisor to the state. “A 50-cent increase in the price of fuel is not a small thing.”

California Air Resources Board staff projected the price jump in a key report last fall, saying proposed reforms to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) would raise costs for the gasoline and diesel production companies that could get passed on to drivers.

In what they called an upper bound estimate, air board staff estimated that gasoline prices may jump by an average of $0.47 next year and $0.52 by 2026. They said diesel prices could increase by $0.59 this year and $0.66 in two years.

Over the long term, they found that gasoline prices could increase by $1.15 per gallon and diesel by $1.50 per gallon from 2031 to 2046. They also projected a $1.21 jump in jet fuel prices.

Air board staff have since downplayed their gas price hike projections, calling them “narrow and incomplete” in a December report. Instead, the agency has focused on cost savings to drivers across the economy as more people make the switch to EVs.

“CARB staff estimates the amount of money Californians spend on transportation costs across all vehicle classes could be up to 42% lower in 2045,” air board staff said this week in FAQs about the standard’s impact on fuel costs.

The LCFS was created in 2007 by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels and encourage low-carbon alternatives. The first program of its kind, it has since been adopted by other governments, including the European Union.

It operates a system of monetary rewards and fees called “credits” and “deficits.” Producers of less carbon intensive fuel — such as biofuel, ethanol and biomethane — sell those credits to gasoline and diesel producers who rack up deficits.

Click here to read the full article in Sacramento Bee via Yahoo News

California voters will decide on Newsom’s mental health overhaul. How did we get here?

Fallout from our state’s long history of breaking promises to people with serious mental illness is everywhere.

It can be found under our overpasses and in our tent encampments, but also inside our jails and prisons, our emergency rooms, our schools, our homes.

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It flashes across our public opinion polls, which repeatedly list mental health as a top concern.

Increasingly, it makes its way into our political discourse. Referencing “our broken system,” Gov. Gavin Newsom in recent years has rolled out mental health policies with dizzying speed.

Now he’s promoting Proposition 1, a two-pronged March ballot measure that would fund a $6.4 billion bond for treatment beds and permanent supportive housing, while also requiring counties to spend more of their existing mental health funds on people who are chronically homeless. 

The measure makes promises of its own. 

“These reforms, and this new investment in behavioral health housing, will help California make good on promises made decades ago,” Newsom has said.

What are the promises that California has made to people with mental illness over the years? And why are so many people still suffering?

Here’s a brief timeline of mental health policies in our state—of promises made and promises broken—during the past 75 years.

1950s & 1960s: An era of institutionalization

In the 1950s, it is relatively easy to force people into state mental hospitals, many of which have horrific conditions. The number of patients peaks in the late-1950s, at approximately 37,000. During that time, the state starts shifting control over mental health services to counties, embarking on the process of deinstitutionalization. This process accelerates in the late 1960s with the passage of the landmark Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, a law designed to protect the civil rights of people with mental illnesses.

1954: The federal Food & Drug Administration approves Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), the first antipsychotic drug, to treat people with serious mental illnesses.

1957: The California Legislature increases funding for community mental health under the Short-Doyle Act, aiming to treat more people in their communities instead of in state hospitals.

1963: President John Fitzgerald Kennedy signs the Community Mental Health Act, promising federal leadership to build and staff a network of community mental health centers. Less than a month later, he is assassinated. Many of the clinics are never built.

1965: Congress creates Medicare and Medicaid, allowing people with mental illnesses to receive treatment in their communities.

1967: Then-Gov. Ronald Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short law limiting involuntary detention of all but the most gravely disabled people with mental illness and providing them with legal protections.

1970s & 1980s: California tax revolt leads to austerity

As state mental hospitals close in the 1970s, many people with serious mental illnesses are moved into for-profit nursing homes and board and care homes. Their numbers on the streets and inside jails and prisons begin to rise. The 1980s sees significant funding cuts for mental health services at both the state and federal levels.

1978: The Community Residential Treatment Systems Act seeks to create unlocked, noninstitutional alternatives for people with mental illness throughout California.

The same year, voters pass Proposition 13, capping property taxes and reducing the amount of money available to counties for a variety of services, including mental health.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

California lawmakers seek to short-circuit new income-based utility charges

GOP and Dems eye plans to overturn hastily approved billing scheme

OAKLAND — Multiple efforts are underway on both sides of California’s political divide to short-circuit a 2022 law that would impose new income-based fixed fees on customers of PG&E and other utility leviathans.

Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature have crafted separate measures designed to quash a plan to implement the fee that lawmakers hastily approved in an 11-hour proceeding.

PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric would be able to impose the new charge on their customers if the state Public Utilities Commission gives the plan a final OK — potentially by this spring or summer. Newsom, who signed the bill, appointed all five current members of the powerful commission.

RELATED: PG&E profits hop higher as revenue from electricity and gas surges

The legislative efforts seek to either overturn or drastically alter the 2022 law, AB 205, a wide-ranging energy bill including a one-sentence provision that directed the utility commission to study income-based fixed charges and then decide on their implementation by no later than June 30 of this year.

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The provision in the legislation was intended to help encourage a transition to greater electrification and energy conservation in California as part of a shift away from reliance on fossil fuels, along with making utility bills more affordable for low-income customers. Critics, though, warn the bill might actually produce higher monthly bills.

The state lawmakers involved in the various efforts to overturn the income-based utility charge plan include Assembly Democrats Marc Berman of Menlo Park and Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks, and Senate Republican Brian Dahle, Shannon Grove, Janet Nguyen, Roger Niello, Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, Kelly Seyarto, and Scott Wilk.

What’s more, 22 state lawmakers wrote to the utility commission’s president in October warning that the powerful California regulatory agency might be racing too quickly — and with no public input — to decide on the income-based fees.

“At a minimum, more time will be needed to consider such a significant and far-reaching change in policy that will significantly impact ratepayers with only a theoretical benefit,” the lawmakers wrote.

Several experts led by Ahmad Faruqui, an economist who has consulted with all three of the utility behemoths, have provided an array of reasons that regulators should reject the current proposal, including the fact that PG&E bills are already rising far faster than the Bay Area inflation rate.

“The proposed fixed charges are way too high compared to the national landscape,” Faruqui and the group of economists wrote. “The fixed charges will be burdensome for many, infeasible to administer, are likely to be challenged in court and are likely to unleash adverse unintended consequences, such as penalizing customers who use energy efficiently and frugally.”

Advocates for Income-based fees, including The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and the National Resources Defense Council, say that higher-income customers will tend to pay more, while lower-income customers will pay less. Proponents also claim that PG&E and the other utilities intend to lower the kilowatt-hour rates they charge customers as a way to offset the fees.

Even so, TURN and the environmental group concede that fixed fees are far from a complete solution. Despite their support, the groups wrote in a filing with the state that they recognize “the development of a progressive fixed charge does not represent a silver bullet and will not, on its own, make customer bills affordable.”

State lawmakers are increasingly alarmed about the income-based fee proposal.

“Too many Californians struggle to afford their electricity bills at a time when energy is already unreliable, and yet the legislature thought it was a good idea to rip people off more,” Wilk, a Santa Clarita Republican, said in a prepared release this week.

The fixed-income proposal has surfaced at a time when PG&E bills, along with the bills charged by the other two utility titans, have skyrocketed.

Click here to read the full article in the Mercury News

California lawmakers face a ballooning budget deficit

The biggest challenge facing lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom is the state budget deficit — and it just got bigger.

Today, the Legislative Analyst’s Office projected the shortfall as $15 billion higher, or $73 billion.

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The analyst’s office had pegged the 2024-25 deficit at $58 billion in January, using Newsom’s revenue estimates when he presented his initial budget proposal of $292 billion. 

On Friday, Newsom’s Department of Finance reported that preliminary General Fund cash receipts in January were $5 billion below (or nearly 20%) the governor’s budget forecast. Unless state tax revenues pick up significantly, the bigger number will make it more difficult to balance the state budget just through dipping into reserves and targeted spending cuts. 

But exactly how the state can dig its way out — at least in the Assembly — remains to be seen. Speaker Robert Rivas told reporters today that the budget has been at the forefront of conversations among Assembly Democrats and that he is very concerned with the growing deficit.

He praised the governor’s commitment to preserving classroom funding, and said he didn’t see a way to avoid dipping into the state’s reserves, as the governor’s January budget plan proposed — though the speaker urged a prudent approach to using rainy day savings in case the budget picture worsens in future years. 

“We are very concerned about short-term fixes for long-term problems,” said Rivas, who took over as speaker last summer, just days after the Legislature and Newsom reached a deal on the 2023-24 budget that covered a $30 billion deficit after two years of record surpluses.  

“Clearly, we need to prioritize oversight and curb spending and our investments,” Rivas added.

In the coming weeks, Rivas’ plan calls for an oversight budget subcommittee he formed in December to review the state’s spending on housing, he said. 

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters