Gov. Newsom proposes massive spending as state coffers overflow

When Gov. Gavin Newsom offered his preliminary budget proposal in January, he noted a reversal of fortune that had turned a projected pandemic-induced $54.3 billion shortfall into a $15 billion surplus, but even so, called California’s future “tenuous” and preached “prudence” and “fiscal discipline.”

No more. While the state’s catastrophic winter coronavirus case surge was peaking in January, California today boasts the country’s lowest infection rate, and is poised for an economic rebound.

That $15 billion surplus has ballooned five-fold to a projected $75.7 billion, and Newsom aims to spend it on longstanding priorities in his $267.8 billion budget, up from $227.2 billion proposed in January.

The general fund budget that

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