As the California legislature works on approving a budget for the coming fiscal year, it still remains to be seen whether a proposed state version of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will come to life or not, according to a published report. Staring at a deadline of yesterday to submit an updated budget to the governor’s office, negotiators opted not to include a new Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, although it could still be added back into the budget before it is finalized.
Whether the new agency, which would grow out of the California Department of Business Oversight, has become less of a priority thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the state to overhaul its budget to account for billions in unexpected expenses and revenue shortfalls.
The state legislature has until August 31 to finalize the budget, which means 10 more weeks of “will it be included or won’t it.” Initially thought to have fallen by the wayside when the state began working on its revised budget last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom kept the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation alive, allocating more than $10 million to fund its creation and staff the agency with 44 employees.
But a compressed legislative calendar — the legislature has been closed as part of the state’s shelter-in-place order — has forced lawmakers to prioritize what needs to get done before the budget must be approved and the legislative session ends in August.
Time will tell if lawmakers and the governor can work out a deal to keep the agency alive or if it will have to be shelved until next year or later.