Newsom takes aim at critics, touts surplus spending plan at virtual event

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Gov. Gavin Newsom took aim at critics of the state’s economy and his administration in front of business leaders across California Thursday morning.

“Don’t believe all those headlines of people that have been trying to take us down for decades,” Newsom said. “Someone described it like hating on the Yankees or something.”

He addressed what he called “the haters” at the virtual Chamber of Commerce event, defending California’s economy and citing it as a leader of innovation and business across several industries.

“With all due respect, we are a whole other place of opportunity,” Newsom said.

His appearance marked another stop on his week-long, statewide tour touting his spending plan for what he considers California’s $100 billion opportunity. The money comes from the state’s historical $75.7 billion surplus and $27 billion in relief from the federal government.

With a focus on the economy Thursday, Newsom proposed adding another $1.5 billion to the state’s small business grant program and another $1 billion for new tax credits.

He also proposed investments, including grants to incentivize businesses to relocate to California, expanding credit access to small businesses, investments to improve the state’s ports and a funding boost to help the state’s tourism industry.

In a statement, California GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson took aim at what she called “Day Four of the governor’s recall response tour.”

“Gavin Newsom’s job-killing policies devastated small businesses during this pandemic, and now he thinks he can paper over facts with press conferences,” Patterson wrote.

Meanwhile, Newsom wrapped up his speech with a final note for his so-called haters.

“You wanna take cheap shots, take cheap shots, but we’re going to push back,” he declared. “People think our best days are behind us; you’re full of it.”

The governor is set to give his formal budget presentation with more details on his spending plan Friday.

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