Democratic governor Gavin Newsom plans to use some state’s budget surplus from federal COVID stimulus payments toward climate-related projects.
- Across the country states are experiencing budget surpluses from federal COVID payments and tax collection, and many governors are using the extra money for their climate change agenda.
- Gavin Newsom proposed “the California Blueprint” this past week, naming climate change as one of the state’s five “existential threats,” Breitbart reported.
- This $22 billion spending plan would fund various projects over the next five years, including expanding vehicle charging stations in low-income communities and $3.5 billion towards zero-emission school buses, transit buses and heavy-duty trucks.
- “We have the capacity to invest in our growth engines, invest in the future, as well as making sure that we prepare for the uncertainties that the future presents,” Newsom said during a press conference last Monday.
- Newsom also wants to offer “green” technologies tax credits in an effort to further his clean energy plan and intends to spend $3.9 billion on electric vehicle infrastructure over three years, aligning with his executive order that would retire gas-powered new car sales by 2035.
WHAT OPPONENTS ARE SAYING:
“Newsom’s proposed budget fails. It lacks a comprehensive investment plan for ending fossil fuels and factory farms, two major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, Newsom includes funds for technologies that prop up these industries, like green hydrogen, factory farm manure digesters and carbon capture,” said Food & Water Watch California Director Alexandra Nagy.
- The state is receiving $26 billion from President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” in addition to the billions in federal spending California already received during the pandemic.
- Democrats directed billions of dollars in deficit spending to “blue” states, as their budgets had been heavily strained due to the pandemic.
- While advocates of the bill say the money is going to states where it is most needed and hit the hardest by COVID, Republicans are arguing the bill is short-changing states such as Wyoming and South Dakota that have imposed less strict restrictions, Reuters reported.
- “The real reason for this bill is to send billions to bail out blue-state governors and reward their harmful lockdown policies,” Representative Jason Smith of Missouri said at a House Budget Committee hearing in February 2021.