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Senator Applauds Governor Newsom’s Revised Budget Proposal, Expresses Concern Over Mental Health Funding – Pasadena Now

State Senator Anthony J. Portantino, who represents Pasadena, applauded Governor Gavin Newsom for his approach in addressing California’s budget deficit, following the release of the Governor’s revised budget proposal for the 2024-25 fiscal year on Thursday.

However, Senator Portantino expressed concern about the proposed one-time $426 million reduction to the Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative.

“Mental health has long been a priority issue for me, and it is important to address the behavioral health challenges that today’s youth are facing,” Portantino said in a statement.

The senator also noted that the proposal to create an Excess Revenue Investment Capture Account is an innovative way to increase revenue during economic upswings.

Governor Newsom’s plan aims to close California’s $27.6 billion budget shortfall this year and the projected $28.4 billion deficit for the next year by cutting one-time spending by $19.1 billion and ongoing spending by $13.7 billion through 2025-2026, while preserving key services such as education, housing, health care, and food assistance. The budget maintains service levels for these programs while addressing the deficit by pausing the expansion of certain programs and decreasing numerous recent one-time and ongoing investments.

The budget also proposes a nearly 8% cut to state operations and the elimination of 10,000 unfilled state positions to improve government efficiency and reduce non-essential spending.

“Even when revenues were booming, we were preparing for possible downturns by investing in reserves and paying down debts – that’s put us in a position to close budget gaps while protecting core services that Californians depend on,” Governor Newsom said on Friday. “Without raising taxes on Californians, we’re delivering a balanced budget over two years that continues the progress we’ve fought so hard to achieve, from getting folks off the streets to addressing the climate crisis to keeping our communities safe.”

The budget shortfall is rooted in two separate but related developments over the past two years: a plunge in state revenue following a stock market downturn in 2022, and a delay in tax filing deadlines due to severe winter storms in 2023, which delayed the revelation of reduced tax receipts. When these receipts were eventually processed, they were 22% below expectations.

The revised budget proposal will now be negotiated with the State Legislature, with a final budget expected to be passed by the June 15 deadline. Portantino said he anticipates working with the Governor and his colleagues on passing a responsible state budget.

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