Gavin Newsom to slash police, prison budget by nearly $200 MILLION

The budget would cut $97 million for trial court operations, $10 million to the Department of Justice's Division of Law Enforcement, and over $80 million to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom's new budget proposal would cut law enforcement and judicial funding by nearly $200 million to help close the state's massive budget deficit of at least $45 billion.

This comes despite the Golden State struggling to contain its existential public safety crisis following the defunding of law enforcement agencies in 2020, which has resulted in a mass exodus of businesses and residents over the past several years.

Newsom's proposed budget would cut $97 million for trial court operations, $10 million to the Department of Justice's Division of Law Enforcement, and over $80 million to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, per Fox News.

When pressed about the proposed budget cuts, a spokesperson for Newsom gloated about the Democrat governor's "record investments in law enforcement" since he took office in 2019, "including $1.1 billion to tackle crime, support police, and hold criminals accountable." However, that funding only came after the failures that came from defunding the police, a movement backed by Democrat lawmakers.

Major national retailers and local businesses in California continue to report that they are still experiencing theft and other criminal activity. Videos of large-scale thefts, in which groups of individuals boldly enter stores and steal goods in plain sight, continue to go viral. 

The San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles experienced a consistent rise in theft between 2021 and 2022, as indicated by crime data, while commercial burglaries and violent assaults have plagued urban counties. San Francisco has experienced 8,686 thefts since the beginning of the year. This data doesn't include the 1,962 burglaries and 2,298 motor vehicle thefts.

Jimmy T. Patronis, Florida's chief financial officer, told the network: "What's happening in California is just the greatest disrespect of taxpayer's resources in the history of America."

Patronis contended that the budget deficit had been exacerbated by the mass exodus of Californians and businesses fleeing the state due to high crime, saying that Newsom's proposed budget cuts to law enforcement departments would only fuel the "vicious cycle."

"Ultimately, this vicious cycle where you've got a weaker prison system" will result in "weaker incarcerations, which has been kind of the narrative that's been coming out of California now," said Patronis. "San Francisco has been kind of like the poster child for businesses fleeing a once-prosperous city."

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's $80 million budget reduction is designed to eliminate 4,600 beds in 13 prisons. In addition, Newsom suggested that county probation departments be reduced by $4.4 million in addition to the reduction of law enforcement training.

Meanwhile, the California State Legislature has opposed certain proposed cuts to public safety, including a $15 million reduction for the Department of Justice, according to H.D. Palmer, the state's deputy director of external affairs for the Department of Finance.

The budget, which is scheduled to take effect in July, must be approved by the legislature by June 15.
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