SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – The recall election that once threatened to derail the governor of California. Instead, Gavin Newsom’s political future has breathed new life into him, offering a rare midterm vote of confidence that could push an ambitious legislative agenda with new mandates for coronavirus vaccines, housing for the homeless and health insurance. for people living illegally in the country.
Almost 64% of voters voted in the recall election to keep Newsom in office, Based on early results, which has given him a greater margin of victory so far compared to his 2018 pick.
On Wednesday, a day after surviving the recall that made him sweat a few months ago, Newsom indicated he planned to go even bigger in 2022 as he heads into his re-election campaign.
“When you face a recall … you sharpen your focus on timing,” Newsom said. “Things that you may have looked at on the horizon and said, ‘You know that in the next two or three years, we want to do this,’ you start looking very differently and you say, ‘What’s possible in the next two or three? years? months? ‘”
Newsom was not afraid to make big changes in his first term, often avoiding the dovish tendencies of some of his predecessors. While he has not always satisfied the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party, he has enjoyed ruling what he calls a “national state” given his status as the most populous in the nation.
In his first three years in office, Newsom signed legislation that allowed college athletes to get paid, it gave free lunch to all public school students and issued executive orders with the goal of prohibiting the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035 and finish all oil extraction in the state by 2045.
This year, it has already issued orders requiring that all of the state’s roughly 2.2 million health workers get vaccinated to keep their jobs. He also requires everything state workers and public school teachers and staff to get vaccinated or get weekly tests.
President Joe Biden has already ordered large employers would demand vaccination of their workers. But some Democrats in the California legislature want to go further by applying that standard to companies with fewer than 100 employees and to school children old enough to be immunized.
State Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, an Oakland Democrat who is getting ready to present vaccine verification legislation, said Newsom’s campaign did not refrain from saying “vaccine mandate” in campaign ads.
And the voters responded. I see that, I think my fellow legislators see that, “he said.” We cannot be intimidated by a very small group living on unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. “
Some local governments are already doing it. San Francisco requires proof of complete vaccination for a number of indoor activities, including dining indoors and visiting the gym. Los Angeles County will implement a similar policy for customers and workers in bars and discotheques starting next month. The Los Angeles Unified School District will soon require that all eligible students be immunized.
Newsom said Wednesday that he supports those decisions and urged other local governments to do the same, but is satisfied with the local rules at this time, although he said there are “talks” about a vaccine mandate statewide for students from public schools.
The pandemic has also stepped up efforts to increase the number of people who have health insurance in California for primary and preventive care. The UC Berkeley Labor Center estimates that nearly 3.2 million Californians will be without health insurance next year, the highest percentage of them immigrants living in the country illegally.
This year’s Newsom budget offers government-funded health insurance for low-income people. adults over 50 living in the country illegally, but some Democrats want it to expand coverage to all low-income adults, regardless of immigration status.
“I think this year was a significant down payment for us to work toward universal coverage,” said Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, a Fresno Democrat who chairs the budget subcommittee that oversees health care spending.
Newsom said Wednesday that it plans to renew its focus on housing the homeless. He dedicated all his State of the state address 2020 to that topic, but the pandemic soon struck and it quickly shifted its focus to public health. Still, Newsom noted that his administration brought 6,000 homeless housing units online in just five and a half months, a remarkable pace made possible by the urgency of the pandemic.
He added: “That has now focused my energy to say what else can we do in that space with that same sense of urgency on climate change, on housing affordability issues?”
Moving forward on those issues will require reaching a consensus among the Democrats who dominate the state legislature, a task that is not as easy as California’s progressive reputation suggests.
But Michael Bustamante, a Democratic consultant who worked for the former Democratic governor. Gray Davis, during the impeachment campaign that led to his impeachment in 2003, said Newsom shouldn’t hold back.
“When you have a near death experience, it seems to me that people tend to appreciate the life that they have a lot more,” he said. Newsom “has almost nothing to lose and a lot to gain by thinking big, being aggressive.”