California will have another ‘historic budget surplus’ next year, Gov. Gavin Newsom says

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California will have another “historic budget surplus” next year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

The Democratic governor made the announcement during an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd at the Milken Institute’s 24th Global Conference.

Newsom in July signed a $262 billion budget that relied on a projected $75 billion surplus, based on estimates from January.

On top of its record-breaking surplus, California also received $27 billion in COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government.

Newsom and lawmakers used the surplus to send $600 checks to Californians making less than $75,000 a year, expand grants for small businesses and bolster other programs to help the Golden State emerge from the pandemic recession.

His announcement Wednesday means his administration anticipates another windfall as it begins writing the 2022-23 budget proposal he’s expected to announce in January.

Newsom said he’ll propose using next year’s surplus to pay down $11.3 billion in pension obligations, but didn’t give further details.

In addition to a surplus for next year’s budget, Newsom said California has already collected $14 billion more in tax revenue than expected for the current budget year.

The state had such a massive surplus this year in large part because the state slashed money during the first year of the pandemic, anticipating a much deeper recession than materialized.

Instead, high earning individuals and businesses in California largely escaped the economic pain from COVID-19 and continued to pay high taxes, filling the state’s coffers, while low-income people bore the brunt of the recession.

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