California’s governor is proposing heavy cuts to education, healthcare, and other public services in an effort to meet a $54.3 million budget shortfall instigated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the LA Times.
The governor, Gavin Newsom, estimates that federal assistance would help California eliminate approximately 40% of its deficit. If government aid is not forthcoming, the state will be forced to dip into a $16.2 billion reserve fund, which it anticipates will be exhausted by summer 2023.
The proposed cuts include a $13.5 billion decrease in K-12 and community college educational spending. “More than $10 billion in proposed cuts will lead to cuts to vital student programs, educator layoffs, furlough days and pay cuts just like it did during the last recession when we lost 33,000 educators,” California Teachers Association President E. Toby Boyd said in a statement. “Our students, our schools, our colleges, and our families cannot afford to go back.”
“The federal government has a moral and ethical and economic obligation to help support the states,” Newsom said. “After all, what is the point of government, if not to protect people, our safety and the wellbeing of citizens?”
Read more about California’s proposed budget cuts and how federal aid can help curtail them here.