On May 13, 2022 Governor Gavin Newsom presented his revisions of the California State Budget Blueprint. One of the most notable changes, is the proposal of a $300.7 billion budget with $75 million dedicated to the California Small Agricultural Business Drought Relief Grant Program. This program aids eligible agriculture-related businesses that have been affected by severe drought conditions. Grant funds will be prioritized for those in areas hit hardest by drought.
Other significant investments include:
- $530 million to support water recycling and groundwater cleanup; advance drinking water and clean water projects that leverage significant federal infrastructure funds; and continue aqueduct solar pilots.
- $553 million to provide grants to urban water districts and smaller community water suppliers for drought-relief projects; support data, research, and public education campaigns; support local technical assistance emergency drinking water response, including the purchase and pre-positioning of water storage tanks; enhance water rights enforcement and modernization tools; and support food assistance programs for farmworkers impacted by drought.
- $280 million to address fish and wildlife impacts associated with drought and climate change, and to build aquatic habitat and water resilience projects to support implementation of voluntary agreements with water suppliers.
- $187 million to support agricultural water conservation practices; incentivize farmers to install more efficient irrigation equipment and provide on-farm technical assistance; provide direct relief to small farm operators; and support additional water conservation projects.
The May Revision builds on the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan in the Governor’s Budget by targeting additional investments to programs that identify and mitigate methane emissions and protect disadvantaged communities. Specifically, the Administration proposes investing an additional $120 million from Cap and Trade auction proceeds to two programs including:
- Methane Satellites—$100 million Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund on a one-time basis to expand the number of satellites launched for methane observations, which would provide weekly measurement of large methane emissions in the state and enhance enforcement capabilities. This data will allow California to identify the source of these emissions, work with programs to hold emitters accountable for violations, and further reduce the amount of short-lived climate pollutants in the atmosphere.
- AB 617 Community Air Protection Program—$20 million Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund on a one-time basis for the Community Air Protection Program, which reduces emissions in communities with disproportionate exposure to air pollution through targeted air monitoring and community emissions reduction programs. The Governor’s Budget included $240 million to support AB 617 investments; this additional allocation will bring the total proposed investment to $260 million.
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