Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Kelly Seyarto
Senator, 32nd District 

Senator Seyarto: State Spending is Out of Control


Last updated 2/15/2024 at 12:13pm

The Governor released his $291 billion budget proposal for 2024-2025. The record revenues of recent years have disappeared and been replaced by a deficit projected by the independent Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) to top $68 billion. The Governor disputes that number and is projecting a $39 billion deficit. Either way, California is far from the $97 billion surplus from two years ago.

It has become clear that overspending while underperforming is now the status quo. In the ten years of supermajority rule, the state budget has ballooned without the corresponding population growth. General Fund spending has been raised to a level more than 2.5 times higher, from $86 billion to $222 billion. Has your quality of life increased by that much living in California? Do you think your money is being invested wisely?

When spending your taxpayer dollars, the government has repeatedly embraced and often doubled down on failed spending policies. In the last three years, California has added more than $17 billion worth of new government programs and expenses. Since 2019, the state has spent $22 billion on the homelessness crisis, only resulting in the increase of homeless individuals from 130,000 to over 181,000. The recent healthcare bills signed by the Governor raised the minimum wage for hospital workers, resulting in a $2 billion increase for the state (which the Governor did NOT include in his current budget proposal), and expanded Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented immigrants projected to cost taxpayers over $4 billion a year. This is simply unacceptable.

Californians are rightfully frustrated. They are paying more and getting less. State spending continues to rise, but the problems continue to get worse, and crises go unaddressed. You deserve real results from your tax dollars.

Deciding to add billions to new programs with ongoing costs while ignoring one-time infrastructure projects that would make our roads safer to travel on, help us capture rain water in years of record rainfall, prevent wildfire damage, and invest in schools to promote the education our children deserve is the definition of irresponsible spending. We need to get back to the basic functions of government. We have the money to responsibly take care of those who are most vulnerable, keep our communities safe, and invest in infrastructure and our children’s education.

My colleagues and I have come up with common sense solutions and ideas to mend these spending issues year after year. It is time that those in the majority work with us to actually utilize all the ways we can keep money in the pockets of Californians who are struggling to balance their own budgets due to rising prices, crippling inflation, and an ever growing high cost of living. Our legislature needs to pass a responsible, accountable, and balanced budget and rein in reckless spending.

To view the entire budget proposal, visit:

This January budget proposal is an initial draft followed by a May revision proposal and months of budget debates before the budget is finalized in June. I look forward to the upcoming discussions.

Kelly Seyarto

– Senator, 32nd District