Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget got a lukewarm response from state Assembly members Tuesday during a rare committee of the whole hearing.
The Assembly has not convened in that way for 25 years. The process allows all members to comment on the governor's budget proposal before they must vote on a final bill. The Legislature is working with a shortened timeline after taking a long recess because of COVID-19.
Newsom’s plan attempts to close a projected $54 billion budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers acknowledged they’ll have to make difficult choices. But there was criticism over slashes to education and the social safety net, among other things.
Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, said Newsom’s budget proposes short-term cuts that will cause long-lasting pain.
“It feels like we just dusted off the plan from the last recession and are using the same playbook," Wood said. "There also feels like an over dependence on the federal government with an unpredictable administration.”