Newsom's first budget a balancing act for competing promises

Gov. Newsom has made two big promises that are seemingly at odds: Advancing bold and expensive new initiatives while maintaining the robust savings that California will desperately need in the next recession.

When he releases his first comprehensive budget proposal, which is due by tomorrow under state law, he gets his chance to show how he'll resolve that tension. He's already previewed more than $2.5 billion in new spending proposals.

His initial emphasis has been on early childhood education and health care. Taking a page from former Gov. Jerry Brown's budget playbook, which targets as much new spending as possible on one-time expenditures that don't carry a long-term cost. Newsom has focused much of his new early-childhood spending on the construction projects to build new facilities and improve existing ones. That will limit the long-term cost of his initiative and help Newsom maintain his pledge to preserve rainy day savings.

Dawn Kamber