California state Capitol building
The California state Capitol building in Sacramento. File photo courtesy of Sen. Toni Atkins’ office

The Legislature approved a $267 billion 2021-22 budget for California in the aftermath of the pandemic, but changes in negotiation with Gov. Gavin Newsom are still possible.

The budget passed on party-line votes of 57-15 in the Assembly and 30-8 in the Senate. All Republicans voted against it.

“I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership and am confident we will reach a budget agreement that reflects our shared values and keeps California on a sustainable path of recovery and growth,” said Newsom after the votes.

Senate President Toni Atkins of San Diego and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood issued a joint statement calling the action “responsible budgeting” that makes “vital investments” in the post-pandemic future of California.

“Our budget plan includes continued stimulus funding for vulnerable individuals and families, help for the small businesses who are the backbone of our state’s economy, support for future generations through investments in childcare, increased financial support for housing, and substantial commitments to address climate change and wildfire prevention,” they said.

The Legislature’s plan differs from the Governor’s in assuming greater tax revenues and thus committing to more long-term spending for public health, preschool and child care.

Republicans criticized the budget for making expensive long-term commitments instead of building up reserves.

“The Democrats’ irresponsible budget is funding long-term spending using short-term dollars, which might further burden future budgets and get the state, as it has before, into financial trouble,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen of Red Bluff.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.