SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Anticipating a potential surge in COVID-19 patients across the state, Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a proclamation of a budget emergency to make additional resources available to fund the state’s pandemic response.

The proclamation will clear the way for passage of legislation allowing the state to draw from the state’s rainy day fund to spend on personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures as needed for a surge in hospitalizations and to provide services to vulnerable populations.

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On Monday, Newsom and the Democratic state Legislature agreed to a state spending plan that avoids billions of dollars in permanent cuts to public schools and health care programs but imposes pay cuts to state workers and other programs to cover an estimated $54.3 billion budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement will delay about $12 billion in payments to public schools to future budget years. This gives school districts the authority to go ahead and spend the money — either by borrowing or pulling from their reserves — and the state will pay them back later.

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The deal also avoids cuts to health care and other social services programs for one year. But it gives Newsom the authority to suspend some of those programs on July 1, 2021, if the state’s revenues have not improved.

 

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