Home » CAPITOL UPDATE #19 – May 18, 2023

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CAPITOL UPDATE #19 – May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023

Golden State Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the GSRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Karen Contreras,
Lou Ann Flaherty and Elaine Freeman, 

UPDATE ON REPARATIONS TASK FORCE – This last week, the Task Force appointed by Governor Newsom, reported on their recommendations after a two-year effort. The Task Force is a nine-person team, which includes civil rights leaders,attorneys, lawmakers, and academics. The draft report recommends lawmakers craft an apology on behalf of the state.


The panel also recommends creating a new agency to provide services to descendants of enslaved people, and it advises the state to make cash payments to people eligible for restitution. They suggest criteria for eligibility and a model for calculating the amount of those payment, if lawmakers were to approve them. The Taskforce recommends two ways for compensation: cumulative compensation for an eligible class and particular compensation for individuals for provable harms.


There is also a list of proposals dealing with police changes, including declaring election day a paid state holiday,restoring voting rights to all formerly and currently incarcerated people and implementing rent caps in historically redlined neighborhoods. The proposals are far from implementation. By the way, it is estimated that to implement the recommendations would total $500 billion.


The panel will meet one more time, and send its final report to the legislature by July 1. Lawmakers will then need to act on the recommendations.Governor Newsom’s May Revised Budget – Tying into the 2023-24 May revised budget that the Governor released this last week, the Reparation Report will be an added deficit to the $31.5 billion deficit already in place. This is up from the January draft budget with a deficit of $22.5 billion.


Even with this deficit, the budget is $306 billion, including special funds, less than a 1% decline from a record $308 billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The Governor expects to close the deficit by shifting $3.3 billion in existing commitments out of the general fund, including paying for $1.1 billion in climate spending and $1.1 billion in college student housing projects with bonds and pulling back another $1 billion in unused money from programs such as middle class tax refunds and utility bill support for low income residents.


Monthly tax revenues came in billions of dollars below forecasts this spring and fears of a recession continue to loom. A fact that has not been really out there is that the State defaulted on $18.6 billion it borrowed from the federal government to help cover unemployment benefits during covid. The January proposed budget, had $750 million allocated to start paying down the loan, but Newsom made changes to the plans and withdrew funding. What he did do, along with the Legislature, however, is change the amount employers have to pay in unemployment insurance by adding an additional .3% above the current requirement of .6% to pay the debt.


So, businesses will have to pick up the tab for the poorly managed unemployment debacle overrun with fraud. Not a friendly state for business. A new budget has to be approved by July 1, so it will be interesting to see what is deleted or what other fees/taxes will be added to help balance the budget.


AB-710 State Department of Public Health – pregnancy care and abortion services awareness campaign – Here is a link that may be of interest. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Appropriations. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/XaxK8pk.JJfs

ACA 10 Fundamental Human Right for Housing – The California Constitution enumerates various personal rights, including the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy. This measure would declare that the state recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California. The measure would make it a shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right, by all appropriate means. This will be interesting to watch as it will be on the November 2024 ballot. Does it mean that state and local governments must provide housing includingconstructing that housing? In Appropriations Committee.


By the GSRW Legislative Analysts Committee:  Karen Contreras, Lou Ann Flaherty and Elaine Freeman Please share this info. in your club newsletters/websites. Comments/Questions: E-mail: [email protected].


To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Legislative Portal links – Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of GSRW) – click here, or the bill’s author – click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”.


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