With only hours left to pass a budget that ensures California legislators continue to get paid, state lawmakers held a marathon session that resulted in the passage of a record-breaking $300 billion budget plan for the new fiscal year starting today. As with most state budgets, this one came with its fill of last-minute trailer bills. Such bills were met with disapproval by Republicans who claim they were drafted in private. However, such remarks fell on deaf ears with the Democrats controlling enough seats in the Legislature to pass a budget without a single Republican vote. As reported by CalMatters, even some Democrats were having issues with the process due to the length of time (or lack thereof) to review the bills and fully understand them.
One of the ongoing issues among Democratic lawmakers and the Governor has been what an inflation relief package might look like. How much money will Californians be getting and who will be getting it? That issue was resolved Sunday evening among the Big 3 (Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon). The final agreement is a $17 billion inflation relief package that could deliver as much as $1,050 to 23 million Californians. CalMatters’ Alexei Koseff reported that such refunds would go to individual filers making as much as $250,000 and joint filers making as much as $500,000. Lower- and middle-income taxpayers, as well as families with children, would receive more than those with higher incomes. Which means you may not know what you get until you get it. While the one-time rebates will be nice, Californians will still experience bloated prices at the pumps, even as Republicans continued to unsuccessfully push for a suspension of the gas tax.