Legislative Leaders Unveil Draft Budget
In response to Governor Newsom’s “May Revise” of the 2022-23 State Budget last month, Senate and Assembly Leadership on Wednesday outlined the Legislature’s budget blueprint, “Delivering Prosperity & Strengthening the Future by Putting California’s Wealth to Work.”
While Newsom’s May Revise budgeted more than $2 billion for drought resilience and response and $2.7 billion over two years for wildfire prevention and forest resilience (as detailed in the May 23 edition of Legislative Bulletin), the Legislative proposal provides little detail as to how the Legislature would manage these priorities in the 2022-23 State Budget.
Rather than detail the Legislature’s plans for addressing drought, wildfire and other natural resource priorities, the Legislature’s plan calls for an investment of $21 billion into a “Climate-Energy Budget Plan…with details subject to ongoing negotiations. The Plan is expected to include items related to…Water-Drought Resilience, Wildfire Resilience, Sea Level Rise, Extreme Heat, Biodiversity and Outdoor Access, Energy, Zero-Emission Vehicles, and other climate-related actions.”
The Legislature’s proposal does adopt one significant element of Newsom’s May Revise relating to ranchers’ ability to weather the drought, however: the California Small Agricultural Business Drought Relief Grant Program. This grant program would “provide direct assistance to eligible agriculture-related businesses that have been impacted by severe drought conditions,” with grants of $30,000-$50,000 available to agricultural operations which have lost revenue due to severe drought. According to Governor Newsom’s proposal, the program “will be prioritized first to businesses located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley and then to additional areas experiencing drought impacts.”
The Legislature must finalize the 2022-23 Budget by a Constitutional deadline of June 15, though as with last year, the budget is likely to continue taking shape well after that date with subsequent “junior” budget bills and budget trailer bills. CCA will continue to keep you informed regarding elements of the budget most impactful to the ranching community.
Represent California on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board
Interested in helping shape the beef checkoff? Now is your chance to get involved! The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking nominees for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Nominees will be considered for seat openings that expire in March 2023 for the Southwest Unit (California and Nevada). The Board is authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 and is made up of 101 members representing 34 separate states, four units of geographically grouped states and one importer unit.
Any beef producer who owns cattle may be nominated. Producers must be nominated by a USDA certified producer organization (including CCA) and submit a completed application. USDA will select appointees from the nominated producers. To learn more about the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and being nominated, click here. Those interested in being nominated please contact Billy by June 20th at email@example.com.
UPDATE: SWRCB Extends Curtailment Suspensions in the Scott River and Russian River Watersheds
The SWRCB on Friday announced that it has renewed its temporary suspension of Scott River watershed curtailments through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 10. The temporary suspension will remain in place only so long as minimum flow requirements are sustained at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fort Jones gage (the minimum flow requirement throughout June is 125 cubic feet per second). If flows dip below the minimum flow requirements, diversions under the water rights included in the SWRCB’s “List A1” must cease immediately.
You can find more information on drought in the Scott River watershed on the Scott River and Shasta River Drought webpage.
Additionally, as reported in last week’s Legislative Bulletin, temporary suspension of curtailments in the Russian River watershed remain in place through June 15. You can find more information on the Russian River Drought Webpage. The SWRCB is also accepting enrollment in a “locally driven voluntary water sharing agreement in the Upper Russian River” through June 20; interested diverters should fill out the form at the Voluntary Water Sharing Program webpage.
For any questions about curtailment and suspension notices or how to comply, please contact the Rancher Technical Assistance Program at (916) 409-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Episode of Stories from California Cattle Country
Episode 18 of Stories from California Cattle Country “Hospitality Tour at Circle Ranch Recap with Molly Dennis” is available now. To listen, click here. Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council. If you want a glimpse into our travels, follow the podcast’s Instagram account @calcattlecountry.
CCA-Sponsored Legislation Survives House-of-Origin Deadline
May 27 was the House of Origin deadline in the State Legislature. CCA-sponsored AB 2415 (Lackey), which would extend the agricultural vehicle exemption from the Basic Inspection of Terminals program, and CCA-sponsored SB 880 (Laird), which would indefinitely extend the availability of UCCE water measurement courses, unanimously passed their respective houses of origin ahead of the deadline. CCA remains strongly positioned on several other legislative priorities, as well. For further details, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin or the July/August edition of California Cattleman.
USDA Announces Initiatives to Strengthen Beef Supply Chain and Markets
The U.S. Department of Agriculture late last month issued a press release highlighting additional investments to improve processing capacity and promote competitive agricultural markets. Specifically, the agency has announced the formation of a Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program, a $25 million investment in workforce training programs for meat and poultry processors and the release of a report on promoting agricultural competition. For additional details, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.
TAKE ACTION: Sign Grassroots Letter Against Mandatory Reporting of GHG Emissions
In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. While cattle producers will not be subject to direct reporting requirements, the proposed rule could indirectly impact several segments of the cattle and beef supply chain. In response, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has launched a grassroots campaign for cattle ranchers to urge the SEC not to require companies to report their ‘supply-chain’ emissions. Click here to tell the SEC to stick to regulating Wall Street, not Main Street. The grassroots letter will be available for sign-on through June 17. For additional details, see the May 23 edition of Legislative Bulletin, listen to NCBA’s podcast episode on it or watch this video.
CDFW Offers Grants for Non-Lethal Wolf Deterrence
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently announced a Non-Lethal Wolf Deterrence grant program as part of its Wolf Livestock Loss Compensation Grant Program. To apply for compensation for implementing non-lethal deterrents, see CDFW’s compensation form, here. To seek compensation for livestock lost to wolf depredation on or after September 23, 2021, click here. For additional details, see the May 23 edition of Legislative Bulletin.