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The Latest: Newsom pledges to modernize troubled DMV

January 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on proposals by new California Gov. Gavin Newsom (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is launching an effort to modernize the state’s embattled Department of Motor Vehicles.

Newsom on Wednesday appointed Marybel Batjer to lead a “strike team” focused on finding new DMV leadership and recommending reforms to improve service. Batjer is the secretary of the state government operations agency and will retain that job during her six-month role at the DMV.

The DMV has been under fire for long lines and voter registration errors. It’s under a state audit. Its former director, Jean Shiomoto, retired last month.

Newsom says the agency has been “chronically mismanaged” and is failing in its mission to serve customers.

Newsom didn’t announce an expected price tag for modernizing the agency.

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6 a.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom gets his chance this week to show how he’ll resolve a central tension in his platform: advancing expensive new programs while maintaining robust savings.

Newsom has already previewed more than $2.5 billion in new spending initiatives while promising to maintain the savings that California will desperately need in the next recession.

The governor’s first comprehensive budget proposal is due by Thursday under state law.

His initial focus has been on early childhood education and health care.

For the budget year that begins July 1, California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst has projected that lawmakers would have $15 billion to divvy up between new spending initiatives, extra debt payments or savings-account deposits. Newsom will release his own revenue estimate along with his budget proposal.

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