California will move in the direction of providing healthcare for all immigrants in the state, regardless of their immigration status as part of the state’s budget proposal for 2022.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday laid out his agenda for the new year that includes making the most of an approximately $31 billion surplus in California’s budget. In his proposal, Newsom said he would like to spend $200 billion on a series of priorities including $300 million on boosting law enforcement efforts to combat retail theft, $2.7 billion on COVID-19 testing and hospital staffing, $648 million to back wildland firefighters and $1.5 billion for forest management.

"With our new proposal, California will be the FIRST STATE to achieve universal access to healthcare coverage," Newsom posted Monday on Twitter.

California already provides access to healthcare for immigrants, those documented and undocumented, aged 50 and older. This was approved last summer and built off previous efforts to expand the state's Medi-Cal system for poor, disabled Californians as well as undocumented residents who were under the age of 26.

In an analysis by the Legislative Budget Office produced in November, the cost of covering uninsured Californians would amount to $2.4 billion. This group of low-income, undocumented Californians is considered the largest single group left uncovered by California's current Medicaid program.

Immigration advocates as well as Newsom’s fellow Democrats praised the decision to expand healthcare coverage to undocumented Californians.

The Latino Community Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, praised the governor for the decision.

State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, chair of the upper house's Latino Caucus, expressed her "deepest gratitude" to Newsom for moving ahead with expanding healthcare for all immigrants. She insisted that now it was legislators' turn to pass the governor's budget and bring the expansion into practice.