January 12, 2022 Amidst the continued surge of the COVID pandemic and its strain on every facet of the economy, Governor Newsom spent three hours Monday unveiling his $286.4 billion budget proposal, which exceeds last year’s record-setting spending plan by nine percent. One of the most notable developments is the now projected surplus of $45.7 billion – up from the previously estimated $31 billion. The excess surplus is the result of higher tax revenue than anticipated. The Governor prioritized his spending plan on the “greatest existential threats” facing the state, including COVID-19 testing and response, addressing climate issues such as wildfire and drought, housing and homelessness, cost of living and income equity, and public safety. Background: Navigating the California State Budget Process The California Catholic Conference is disappointed and is actively advocating against the Governor’s planned $61 million in additional funding for abortion facilities based on the recommendations of the CA Future of Abortion Council report. The budget also removes the requirement for follow-up visits and ultrasounds for chemical abortion under Medi-Cal. The first of its kind in the U.S. and arguably one of the closest watched pieces of his budget, Newsom is proposing universal health care coverage for all Californians regardless of immigration status. The program would launch in the 2023-24 fiscal year at a cost of $819.3 million. Lawmakers and the governor will continue to revise the budget details until the June 15 deadline. The CCC will be monitoring and reporting throughout the budget process.