Newsom runs away from state’s issues, again

Not another junket.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced he’ll speak at a May 15-17 climate conference at Vatican City.

Remember his trip to China last October when he met with President Xi Jinping and other Communist Party officials?

The aspiring future president essentially greenwashed the Chinese Community Party for the sake of boosting his profile.

Newsom, if he wanted to show leadership, would have used the opportunity to condemn the Communist police state for its abuses of the Uyghur and Tibetan people. But, no, he wanted to pal around with a regime that’s also the biggest polluter on the planet.

Then came a debate the next month in Georgia with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which, again was just another way to position himself as a potential successor to President Joe Biden. Who knows what that did for his presidential prospects, but it certainly didn’t help him figure out what to do about his very real problems back in California.

The Vatican announcement said the conference, called “From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience,” would feature “trans-disciplinary partnerships between science and community leaders.” So, clearly, Newsom wants to keep his mind off of his actual duties as governor of California.

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His Vatican trip will come just after he releases his May Revision to his Jan. 10 budget proposal for fiscal year 2024-25, which begins on July 1. His prior numbers pegged the state’s budget deficit at $38 billion, while the Legislative Analyst calculated the budget deficit at as much as $73 billion.

Then begins the forced march in the Legislature to pass the budget before the June 15 constitutional deadline. When the governor returns from his excellent adventure to Rome, less than a month will remain to solve the biggest crisis of his governorship.

His biggest budget action to date has been a gimmicky move in April in which the Legislature shifted billions of dollars onto the books for the next fiscal year. Those on-paper “savings” only mean the governor and the Legislature will have an even bigger headache to deal with around the corner.

Unfortunately, Newsom prefers to keep his head in the clouds.

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