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Newsom and Lawmakers Say Early Budget Package Could Reduce Deficit by $18 Billion

California State Capitol, Sacramento.
Steven Pavlov
California State Capitol, Sacramento.

State lawmakers and Governor Gavin Newsom are trying to decide how to close a budget deficit as high as $73 billion this year.

Part of that will come through an early budget package next month. But details are still scarce.

Newsom and top legislative Democrats all agree that acting early will make the shortfall easier to handle when the budget deadline rolls around in June.

They’re aiming to carve $12 billion to $18 billion from the deficit next month. Senate President pro Tem Mike McGuire said, "The quicker we move, the better it is for California."

McGuire’s plan would save around $17 billion through a mix of cuts, delayed spending, and renewing a tax on health insurers.

He and Newsom want urgency, but the Assembly is signaling in favor of a more deliberative approach.

Either way, lawmakers are now in spring recess and won’t be back to vote on anything until April 1.