Lawmakers in California are expected to pass the state’s budget today; if they don’t, they’ll forgo their salaries until they do.
Worth $2.6 trillion, California’s economy is by far the largest of any state in the US and makes up 14% of the entire country’s GDP. Indeed, if California was a country, its $183 billion budget would be nestled between Norway and Indonesia as the 25th largest in the world.
The Democrat-sponsored spending bill has been described as “pretty responsible” by a leading opposition Republican figure—a rare moment of bipartisanship in America’s bitterly polarised political scene. The budget will deliver more money to schools and healthcare for the poor, while also increasing tax-break support for low-income earners.
But Thursday’s vote will also come with controversy. Attached to the spending legislation are provisions that would extend a prohibition on possessing a gun to those with outstanding warrants. Current laws only ban those convicted of felonies from bearing arms. Coming just a day after a senior US congressman was shot in Virginia, gun rights advocates will have a hard time convincing legislators not to give their support to California’s budget.
Simon is the founder of Foreign Brief who served as managing director from 2015 to 2021. A lawyer by training, Simon has worked as an analyst and adviser in the private sector and government. Simon’s desire to help clients understand global developments in a contextualised way underpinned the establishment of Foreign Brief. This aspiration remains the organisation’s driving principle.