California Budget Surplus ‘Explodes’ to $68 Billion, Enough for Two Ukraine Wars

Gavin Newsom Sued by CA Churches
Jeff Chiu/AP

California officials report that the state’s expected budget surplus has risen dramatically, and could reach $68 billion — more than twice the amount President Joe Biden requested from Congress on Thursday to fund weapons shipments to Ukraine.

The Golden State is one of several that is experiencing a surplus after fears of shortfalls in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Massive transfers from the federal government, as well as rising tax revenues, have contributed to the excess cash.

In January, as Breitbart News reported, Gov. Gavin Newsom told the state legislature that “the state expects a $45.7 billion surplus — thanks partly to $26 billion received from President Joe Biden’s so-called coronavirus ‘relief’ bill.”

That total has now risen sharply, according to the nonpartisan analysts, as reported by Politico:

State Senate leaders on Thursday released an extensive wish list for spending the windfall — now estimated to be as high as $68 billion. That staggering figure is the high end of a projection from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, which in January put the number far lower, at $29 billion.

Atop the spending list is a proposal to send $8 billion in payments to taxpayers, a move that Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senate Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) pitched as a way to combat rising costs of energy and consumer goods. The plan would also include rebates to small businesses and nonprofits to help repay federal unemployment debt, along with grants that could be used to offset new costs from the state’s supplemental Covid-19 sick leave program.

The Senate proposal also calls for large increases in education spending. The plan would increase the base funding schools receive by $5 billion for the upcoming year and by $10 billion in 2024-25. Those dollars would come out of a separate pool of revenue that the state is constitutionally required to spend on K-12 schools.

The $68 billion would theoretically allow California to fund the Ukraine war on its own, plus the $22 billion requested by the Biden administration for an additional round of spending on coronavirus, and still have more than $10 billion left to spend.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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