The Governor’s $291B proposed budget reflects a roughly $38B budget shortfall (formerly $68B), based largely on stock market declines and a delay in income tax reporting. To minimize the financial impacts, the proposal includes drawing $13.1B from three primary reserve funds, reducing and delaying up to $22.7B in spending. Some major spending highlights pertinent to Agriculture include:
- Reverting $12 million in funding for the home hardening pilot program and $43 million for a biomass to hydrogen/biofuels pilot program.
- Reducing funding for dam safety improvements by $50 million.
- Increasing the mill assessment imposed on pesticides to address the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) structural budget imbalance and adding 117 new DPR staff.
- Providing $22 million in new funding for fruit fly containment.
- A reversion of $14.4 million General Fund for the Farm to Community Food Hubs Program. The Budget maintains $600,000 previously allocated to this program.
- A reversion of $8.5 million General Fund for the Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program. The Budget maintains $12 million previously allocated to this program.
- A reversion of $18.8 million General Fund for the Food Production Investment Program at California Energy Commission. The Budget maintains $46.2 million for this program.
- Increasing funding to accelerate pesticide evaluation, registration, and support pesticide enforcement, monitoring, and risk mitigation.
- Providing $6.1 million for additional training and compliance support for County Agricultural Commissioners and local engagement.
This budget includes $22 million from the general fund to address the growing fruit fly infestation in California. Funding will be invested in efforts and resources to stop the spread of exotic fruit flies in California, which affect a wide range of crops including citrus. There are currently seven active fruit fly quarantines across 15 counties. Of the most concern to the citrus industry right now is the Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
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