Written by Will Hekman
At a press conference pushing his California Comeback Plan, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a budget bill containing a $100 billion stimulus package. The package was helped by both federal funds and a surplus and Newsom hopes that the passage of this will help his chances of the recall against him, which he stayed away from mentioning during his press conference. The package contains items such as stimulus checks for two-thirds of Californians, rent relief, small business aid, and investment in public education.
Newsom said in his press conference that this package will help relieve bills from many Californians struggling, “People that have been directly impacted by this pandemic … we will pay 100% of your rent going back to April of last year … and going forward to Sept. 30 of this year. 100% of your rent. … And you say, ‘That’s great, but I’ve got this water bill, I’ve got this electric bill.’ We will pay 100% of those bills as well.” Despite the package being signed, Newsom has not signed a budget despite being two weeks into the fiscal year.
However, Newsom is facing criticism from an unlikely individual, former Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. Newsom served as Lieutenant Governor during Brown’s term and eventually succeeded as governor. In an interview with NBC Los Angeles, Brown called Newsom’s spending plan “not sustainable” and also said that the surplus the state has from its state tax revenue is “artificially pumped up”. He also criticized the federal government for doing the exact same thing and continuing to increase the debt. “We need a more frugal, sustainable, prudent way of doing business. I would predict, certainly within two years, we’re going to see fiscal stress,” Brown said.
Brown also criticized the homeless crisis particularly in Los Angeles saying, “You are going to have rules and the rules have to be enforced. You are going to need mandatory drug treatment and mental health intervention… you have to be willing to exercise control, discipline, authority… if you don’t, you just create what we have now.”
While Brown believes Newsom will survive the recall against him, Brown’s critical words could be a problem for Newsom especially if Brown’s predictions come true.