Governor Newsom Signs 2022-23 Budget into Law
On Thursday – the day before the 2022-23 Fiscal Year kicked off on July 1 – Governor Newsom signed into law the Budget Act of 2022 and several budget trailer bills (measures which enact policy changes to effectuate budget allocations). At $308 billion, it is the largest-ever state budget in the nation.
A major centerpiece of the agreement is a $17 billion inflation relief package. The package includes $9.5 billion in tax refunds to roughly 23 million Californians making under $250,000 per year, with refunds ranging from $200 to $1,050 based on taxpayers’ adjusted gross income and number of dependents. The package also includes a suspension of the state sales tax on diesel fuel.
As part of a $19.3 billion multi-year climate-energy package, the Budget Act allocates $2.7 billion over two years for wildfire prevention and forest resilience and appropriates $2.8 billion aimed at drought resilience. The details of the climate-energy package have yet to be finalized; the Legislature will tackle funding for drought, wildfire and energy when session resumes in August.
Unfortunately, the Budget Act signed into law on Thursday eliminates $25 million in Williamson Act Subvention funding initially appropriated by the Legislature on June 13 and previously reported in Legislative Bulletin. The Budget Bill signed Thursday instead directs that funding to the Department of Conservation’s Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation program.
CCA will provide additional updates on the budget when the Legislature addresses the climate-energy package in August. For additional information, contact Kirk Wilbur in the CCA office.
Curtailments Updates From SWRCB
Since the June 27th edition of Legislative Bulletin, there have been several curtailment updates involving Mill, Deer Creek, Russian River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Scott River Watersheds. Information regarding lifted curtailments, recently imposed curtailments and further details about providing written comments among other details can be found below.
Mill and Deer Creek Watershed
On Thursday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced that curtailments have been lifted on Mill Creek and Deer Creek.
Russian River Watershed
Effective July 1, the SWRCB has imposed additional curtailments within the Russian River watershed due to abnormally dry conditions. Diverters within the Russian River watershed can review the curtailment status of their water rights here.
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
As of last Wednesday, several curtailments have been imposed within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed. The Sacramento River tributary water rights curtailed include appropriative water rights for the Bear River subwatershed with a priority date of 1942 or later and Putah Creek subwatershed water rights with a priority date of 1945 or later.
Water rights on several San Joaquin River tributaries have also been curtailed, including all appropriative water rights and riparian water rights in the Calaveras River and Chowchilla River subwatersheds and all appropriative water rights in the Merced River subwatershed with a priority date of 1859 or later.
Finally, all appropriative water rights within the San Joaquin River watershed with a priority date of 1914 or later have been curtailed.
The above curtailments are expected to continue through summer and the beginning of fall, depending on precipitation.
Additionally, the SWRCB announced last Tuesday that it will consider revising and readopting the Emergency Curtailment and Reporting Regulation for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed on July 20. This emergency regulation, active since August 2021, depends upon the Board’s updated Water Unavailability Methodology to direct curtailment decisions. Written comments on the proposed regulation are due this Friday at noon; additional information, including instructions on submitting written comments, is available here.
Scott River Watershed
Curtailments have been reimposed for all surface water diversions in the Scott River watershed, and all diverters were required to cease diversions by July 2. Under the emergency drought regulations for the Scott River watershed, diversion may continue for purposes of providing minimum livestock watering needs so long as diverters have filed the necessary certification with the SWRCB. Additionally, curtailments remain suspended for groundwater rights within the Scott River watershed.
For 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.
Season Finale of Stories from California Cattle Country
The season one finale of Stories from California Cattle Country ” Steak au poivre with Natalie Koopmann” is out now. To listen and get the recipe, 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.
USFWS Rescinds Regulatory Definition of “Habitat”
The US Fish and Wildlife Service late last month issued a final rule rescinding a Trump Administration regulation which had defined the term “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for purposes of designating critical habitat for threatened and endangered species. In compliance with Supreme Court precedent, the Trump-era rule had defined “habitat” as limited to “the abiotic and biotic setting that currently or periodically contains the resources and conditions necessary to support one or more life processes of a species.” For more information, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.