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Lawmakers will have to fill a big budget deficit next year; most of the budget is spent on Health and Human Services

California lawmakers will have to fill a big budget deficit next year. Ahead of tightening their belts, top leaders are signaling more fiscal oversight in 2024. CapRadio's Nicole Nixon reports.

Health and Human Services accounts for more than a third of California's 300-plus billion-dollar budget, the biggest area of spending so far.

Speaker Robert Rivas announced he's splitting the committee that oversees that spending into two: one will focus on health and one will focus on social programs.

After years of record surpluses and spending, the speaker is also placing new emphasis on a committee tasked with financial accountability and oversight.

Rivas took over the Assembly in June, but only recently appointed new leaders to his chamber's policy and budget committees.

The state Senate could soon see a similar transition: Majority leader Mike McGuire will take over from Toni Atkins as Senate President pro Tem in early February.

Nicole covers politics and government for CapRadio. Before moving to California, she won several awards, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, for her political reporting in her hometown of Salt Lake City. Besides public radio, Nicole is passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.