Newsom urges California lawmakers not to tax forgiven federal student loans
Gov. Gavin Newsom has been asking state lawmakers for weeks to make clear his opposition to tax breaks for student loan borrowers who have forgone the federal government.
But he’s been told for weeks to go to San Francisco’s State Assembly and Senate, and make his arguments there, not here in Sacramento, the governor’s office said.
With Newsom’s reelection bid in full swing, the issue has been thrust into the spotlight as the state Senate and Assembly begin to debate tax laws that would benefit the state.
Newsom made his final pitch Tuesday morning to the California Senate Republican Caucus, which he has dubbed “my family.”
Sen. Mike Morrell, the caucus chairman, announced the governor’s plea from the Legislature’s top floor.
“He has asked me, and he has asked me to make available to him, to explain why I oppose what the governor would like to do with the tax relief going forward,” Morrell said at the caucus meeting.
He said Newsom called him to ask why he supported the tax breaks and that he refused to do so.
“I said, ‘We’re talking about tax relief. We’re trying to give tax relief to Californians, and I can’t do that, the state can’t do that,’” Morrell told the story.
He then told Newsom that he would support their proposal to tax the students who have taken out federal loans after they were granted relief. That proposal would allow the state to spend more on schools and less on pensions, which Republicans want for higher education.
The state Senate has three Republicans who have said they will vote for the tax break, which the governor would like to see go forward.
This year the Legislature is proposing up to $500 million in tax cuts for businesses, according to Newsom. Democrats have said the money should go to schools.
The governor made his initial pitch to the Assembly last week. But the Assembly GOP sent Newsom’s comments to the California Senate and Assembly Republican Caucus and the governor did not speak to his legislative colleagues again.