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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs budget to close $46.8B budget deficit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed California’s budget to close an estimated $46.8 billion deficit through $16 billion in spending cuts and temporarily raising taxes on some businesses.

Lawmakers passed the budget Wednesday following an agreement between Newsom and legislative leaders in which both sides made concessions and also had wins as they were forced, for the second year in a row, to pare back or delay some progressive policies that had been fueled by record-breaking surpluses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a responsible budget that prepares for the future while investing in foundational programs that benefit millions of Californians every day,” Newsom said in a statement. “Thanks to careful stewardship of the budget over the past few years, we’re able to meet this moment while protecting our progress on housing, homelessness, education, health care and other priorities that matter deeply to Californians.”

The deficit was about $32 billion in 2023 before growing even bigger this year, with more deficits projected for the future in the nation’s most populous state. Saturday’s signing came just two years after Newsom and Democratic lawmakers were boasting about surpluses that totaled more than $100 billion, the product of hundreds of billions of dollars of federal COVID-19 aid and a progressive tax code that produced a windfall of revenue from the state’s wealthiest residents.

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