California Public Health Officials Blast Governor Newsom’s $300 Million Budget Cut Proposal

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: May 13, 2024

California public health officials, workers, and advocates have publicly blasted Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget revision plan, which would result in $300 million in cuts.

These health experts have claimed that these budget cuts would severely hamper their efforts to help California residents, especially as the state combats various infectious disease outbreaks.

Newsom’s Budget Plan

Governor Newsom recently released a budget revision that was designed to deal with a budget shortfall of about $27 billion.

Gavin Newsom wearing a suit talking in front of a podium.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Newsom’s $288 billion budget proposal was made to try to balance the budget. However, many cuts have been proposed, which would impact various industries in California. Job cuts have also been recommended in this plan.

The Biggest Hits

Various aspects of this budget plan have worried many officials in the state. Newsom has suggested the elimination of 10,000 state jobs that are currently vacant to help save money.

Gavin Newsom talking in front of a microphone and podium.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

However, across the board, certain sectors were hit more than most. Health, housing, and human services programs have mainly taken the biggest hits in proposed budget cuts.

Health Officials Fight Back

Already, state officials around California have publicly chosen to fight back against Newsom’s budget proposal.

Two doctors wearing face masks and hair nets during surgery.

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Front-line healthcare workers, state health officials, and healthcare advocates in California have warned both legislators and residents that these budget cuts would severely harm their operations.

Fighting Infectious Diseases

Many of these state health experts are worried that the $300 million in proposed cuts could completely ruin their efforts to fight infectious diseases throughout California.

A close-up of a COVID-19 pandemic sign on a street cone.

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California has continued to have certain infectious disease outbreaks, such as tuberculosis outbreaks. Money has always been set aside to allow these officials to better contain these outbreaks. However, now, officials are saying their fight to combat infectious cases could be harmfully curbed because of this budget proposal.

Stopping Future Pandemics

Health experts in California have also suggested that these budget cuts would hurt the programs put in place to stop future pandemics.

A doctor wearing gloves and a suit using a testing swab.

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If Newsom’s budget revision is approved, they are worried that the state will once again repeat the incredibly detrimental mistakes that they made when they tried to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


Identifying Bio-Terror Attacks

California health officials have also openly discussed the growing worry that a bad actor or foreign adversary could potentially try to harm Americans through a bio-terror attack.

A grayscale photo of a man wearing a face mask.

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If Newsom receives the budget cuts he’s looking for, health experts have stated that they won’t be able to identify and fight these types of bio-terror attacks.


Federal Worries

California health officials aren’t the only ones worried about potentially deadly bio-terror attacks or problematic infectious disease outbreaks. Earlier this year, the federal Bipartisan Commission on Bio-Defense released a report stating the same thing.

A health official in a white suit sanitizing the street during a pandemic.

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The commission explained that the next pandemic could be even more deadly than the COVID-19 pandemic was.


Why Future Pandemics Could Be Worse

According to this report, a future pandemic could be much worse and more deadly than what we’ve seen thus far for a variety of reasons.

A person wearing gloves on a computer that shows pandemic numbers on a world map.

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Most notably, the commission has stated that the U.S. is unorganized and not funded correctly to combat another pandemic. Therefore, the entire country — and all of its states — is not prepared.


Bio-Terror Worries

The report also took time to look at the growing threat of bio-terror attacks. As the country remains poorly prepared to deal with bioweapons being used against it, the commission has made many suggestions about what the U.S. could do.

A close-up of a person wearing a white mask.

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For example, the commission believes that replacing Biowatch, the U.S.’s biological detection system, and creating a new, better technology is essential.


Newsom Receives Backlash

Since announcing his new budget plan, Newsom has faced some backlash from different sectors of California life. Many have grown worried that he will raise taxes, something he’s been vocally against.

Gavin Newsom in a suit seen outside in 2024.

Source: Bureau of Reclamation/Wikimedia Commons

“I’m not prepared to increase taxes,” Newsom explained. “We have among the highest tax rates in the United States of America for high-wage earners. We have among the highest tax rates, as I noted, for corporate tax rates … I feel strongly that we have to live within our means, within the framework of being more efficient and more effective.”


The Fight Against Newsom

California health officials and workers will take their fight against Newsom’s budget revision public as they try to encourage lawmakers to vote against the governor’s plan.

The California capitol building lit up blue during the COVID-19 pandemic for healthcare workers.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

To further spotlight their worries, these officials have planned a news conference to explain exactly why they’ve decided to speak out against the governor’s proposed budget cuts.