California Governor Proposes Cutting 10,000 Vacant State Jobs To Address Deficit

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has unveiled his proposed $288 billion state budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, which includes cutting thousands of vacant state jobs and reducing funding to more than 200 state programs. The measures aim to close the state’s $27.6 billion deficit.

The announcement comes a month after state officials agreed to reduce California’s deficit by $17.3 billion following Newsom’s January announcement that the state’s deficit was $37.9 billion. The actual state deficit ended up being closer to $45 billion, $7 billion more than initially estimated by Newsom and state officials.

“These are programs, propositions that I’ve long advanced — many of them,” Newsom explained. “But you’ve got to do it. We have to be responsible. We have to be accountable.”

Under Newsom’s proposal, 260 state programs would have their funding slashed including $2 billion for broadband expansion, $500 million for improving the state’s water storage system and $272 million for enhancing employment services for California’s welfare system.

Other cuts consist of closing housing units with more than 4,000 beds across 13 state prisons, saving nearly $81 million. Additionally, $300 million that was helping to provide state and local health departments with COVID-19 pandemic-related assistance would be slashed.