California

Universal health care for illegal immigrants headlines Newsom’s 2022 budget pitch. Here’s what else is in play.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday revealed his plan for how to spend more than $200 billion of taxpayer money. It’s the first version of his annual budget proposal to the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and details of what ultimately gets passed will change as he negotiates with leaders of his party and circumstances change.

“The budget is not a reflection of me but it is a reflection of what I believe – our values as a state,” Newsom said.

He said that he anticipated that a revision of the budget will “look very different” in May.

That said, Newsom’s office outlined that the spending plan will take on challenges in five areas that include COVID-19, climate change, homelessness, inequality and “keeping our streets safe.”

At the top of the pile, Newsom’s plan would provide universal access to health care coverage for all low-income state residents regardless of immigration status by January 2024.

He said that would cost $614 million from the general fund for 2022-2023 and would then cost about $2.2 billion each year going forward.

There’s also $1.4 billion for community-based mobile crisis intervention services. Newsom also said the state is working to contract and manufacture insulin to reduce cost as part of what’s called CalRx.

Elsewhere, Newsom’s budget proposal devoted $6.1 billion for electric trucks, school buses, heavy-duty vehicles, 100,000 new charging stations and more transportation projects.

There’s also $2 billion for clean energy projects and $1 billion in tax credits for companies working on climate solutions. About $9 billion in transportation projects include money for transit, rail, bicycle and pedestrian safety, climate adaptation and high-speed rail.

There’s also $500 million for “climate workforce” programs that involve professional training.

Newsom said his proposal will add $2 billion for mental health, housing and services and clearing encampments. That would build on last year’s $12 billion plan.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.