California Gov. Newsom's first 100 days in office
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU) - Governor Newsom has spent 100 days in office as California's 40th governor and he's been busy trying to tackle some of the most important issues facing Californians.
Newsom has spent his time signing executive orders and bills, traveling up and down the state, declaring flood and wildfire emergencies and getting into the occasional spat on Twitter with President Trump.
He ended the death penalty under his administration, created a DMV task force to improve service, developed a strategy to prevent another deadly wildfire season, and announced he would like to scale back the high speed rail and Delta twin tunnels projects.
It all started with his inauguration on Jan. 7 in Sacramento. Newsom released his proposed budget days later with healthcare, education, and housing and homeless as top priorities.
In his second week in office, Newsom hosted a roundtable in San Jose and signed an executive order to build affordable housing on excess state lands. He has proposed $1.75 billion to help cities and counties plan and zone for new housing, but cities that don't comply with housing goals may have gas tax dollars withheld for road repairs. In March, he met with the mayors of California's 13 biggest cities after he proposed $500 million in aid to help local governments build emergency shelters and navigation centers.
Jennifer Friedenbach, Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness in San Francisco, said that money wouldn't even address the crisis in the city alone. She noted that strong tenant rights and more supportive housing for the homeless is needed.
"It sounds like a lot [of money]. It really isn't," Friedenbach said. "We've got to tax the rich to be able to house the poor. Otherwise we're talking about taxing poor people who are already struggling to get by. That's really what he's going to have to do and that's when you know they're serious."
After meeting with the mayors, Newsom said the budget would change when it comes to address homelessness, but he didn't elaborate.
The father of four is making California children a top priority too. He has named longtime early childhood advocate, Kris Perry of Berkeley, as the state's Deputy Secretary of Early Childhood Development. Newsom has proposed $2 billion in funding for expanded early childhood education and health support, which includes universal preschool for all low income kids.
Ted Lempert, President of ChildrenNow, said their statewide advocacy group has been sought out by Newsom's administration for guidance. He said it's a welcome sign because kids have not been the priority under past governors. Newsom also wants to spend $80.7 billion on K-12 schools and community colleges.
"What's most exciting from our point of view is not only that proposal, but the governor is saying this is the beginning," Lempert said. "He's saying cradle to career... We're optimistic, but we're going to need his continued leadership to make sure we get there."
One of Newsom's biggest campaign goals may still be his biggest challenge - universal healthcare. Healthcare for all Californians is far from reality. The governor has proposed a series of changes and investment to get there, which includes providing coverage to young undocumented adults through Medi-Cal.
Professor and Dean emeritus Stephen Shortell at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health said he gives the governor high marks for his universal healthcare proposal, but the details of the plan are unknown. Shortell said research at UC Berkeley suggests it would cost roughly $6 to $7 billion, but it can be done by possibly imposing a 1% tax on providers and health insurers, or expanding the "Healthy San Francisco" program where employers provide health insurance or pay into a fund that provides coverage.
Newsom will release a revised budget in May. The legislature has until midnight on June 15 to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.