Newsom Has Bad News for California’s Policemen and Prisons

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 08, 2024

As California wrestles with a hefty $27.6 billion deficit, Governor Gavin Newsom is making cuts, particularly on public safety, which includes law enforcement and prisons.

The plan? A whopping $97 million from trial courts and $10 million from the Department of Justice’s Division of Law Enforcement. 

What’s Really Getting Cut?

A Newsom spokesperson declared “no cuts to law enforcement.” 

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Close-up of a police car with red and blue lights flashing in the dark

Source: Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash

However, the Department of Finance begs to differ, citing a 1.6% shrinkage in the Department of Justice’s overall budget.

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Crime Concerns Amid Fiscal Austerity

Even as California tightens its budget, the state is seeing an alarming rise in crime, with thefts and violent offenses escalating. 

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Close-up of the side of a Los Angeles Police Department car showing the motto "To Protect and to Serve" alongside the city's seal

Source: Nick Page/Unsplash

This uptick is making headlines as businesses, both big and small, face an onslaught of high-profile thefts. The rising crime complicates the decision to scale back on funding for law enforcement.

Californians on the Move

A United Van Lines study reveals that the Golden State is losing residents fast, contributing to the budgetary blues.

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A busy and colorful Hollywood Boulevard at dusk with neon signs, palm trees, and a bustling crowd,

Source: Lala Miklós/Unsplash

High living costs and blue-collar stagnation aren’t helping either.

A Troubling Uptick in Violence

The first quarter of 2024 brought a concerning rise in violence across Los Angeles, with violent crimes up by 2.9% and robberies by 9.5%. 

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Panoramic view of downtown Los Angeles during the day, showing a dense cluster of high-rise buildings

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More disturbingly, homicides initially spiked by 28.1%, although they later stabilized, resulting in a total of 81 murders during the period, as reported by NBC Los Angeles.

The Cycle of Crime and Budget Cuts

Jimmy T. Patronis, a Florida CFO, criticizes Newsom’s public safety cuts, saying they’re fueling a “vicious cycle” of high crime driving businesses away. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at a podium inside a building, gesturing during his speech with a flag and a seal in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

With California slashing funds for prisons and law enforcement training, the debate intensifies.

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Florida’s Gain from California’s Pain

Patronis attributes Florida’s budget surplus in part to California’s missteps. 

Aerial view of a coastal town showcasing a long stretch of sandy beach adjacent to a dense residential area

Source: Lance Asper/Unsplash

He boasts about recruiting law enforcement officers with attractive bonuses, taking direct advantage of California’s “poor governance.”

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The San Francisco Flight

San Francisco’s soaring crime stats—with thousands of thefts and burglaries—might explain why major retailers like Aldo, J.Crew, and Madewell are saying goodbye to the city. 

Scenic view of San Francisco's skyline at sunset, featuring the iconic Transamerica Pyramid and colorful Victorian houses in the foreground

Source: Joshua Sortino/Unsplash

It’s a trend that’s hollowing out once-thriving shopping centers.

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Defending the Financial Decisions on Law Enforcement

Despite the cuts, Newsom’s office stands by its record of supporting law enforcement, highlighting a significant increase in funding. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking passionately at a conference podium, with an attentive audience in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Funding for DOJ has increased 33 percent – more than $200 million increase in police funding — nearing almost $1 Billion in total funding in the current budget proposal,” stated a spokesperson to the Daily Mail.

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Delving into the Deficit

Governor Newsom initially pegged the deficit at $27.6 billion. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at an outdoor event with a rainbow in the background, standing at a podium with a sign that reads "Investing in America,"

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Yet, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the real figure might be closer to $45 billion, taking into account prior agreed-upon spending reductions.

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Scaling Back on Education and Healthcare

The governor’s new budget proposal suggests cuts in critical areas like public education and healthcare.

Young children engaged in play on a colorful rug with various toys in a daycare setting, showcasing early childhood education and playtime activities

Source: BBC Creative/Unsplash

These cuts include pausing the expansion of state-funded child care and slashing funding aimed at Medicaid improvements, intending to save $6.7 billion.

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Newsom at the National Forefront Amid Fiscal Struggles

As Governor Newsom navigates California through these financial difficulties, his actions are closely watched on the national stage. 

Governor Gavin Newsom presenting the state budget at a podium, with a large screen showing "Governor's Budget May Revision 2024-25"

Source: CAgovernor/X

A key ally of President Biden and a potential future presidential candidate, Newsom’s handling of the state’s budget crises, following years of surplus, could define his leadership and political future.

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