Governor Newsom Issues May Revision of 2023-24 Budget
In a press conference on Friday morning, Governor Gavin Newsom presented the “May Revise” of his 2023-24 State Budget first proposed in early January.
Revenues over the past four months have fallen short of projections, resulting in a budget deficit that has ballooned to $31.5 billion. Despite this shortfall, the Governor is not yet proposing to tap into the state’s reserves, opting to preserve the State’s “Rainy Day Fund” in case a recession should materialize in the years to come. The Governor has also committed to not hiking taxes to bridge the funding gap. Rather, the Governor’s May revision of the Budget seeks to cut previously-authorized multi-year climate spending by an additional $1.1 billion above January’s proposed cuts and to implement $4 billion in previously-forecasted “trigger cuts” (which have now been ‘triggered’ by the ongoing shortfall).
The Governor is also supporting a state bond to offset the $1.1 billion in cuts to climate programs, though he has not specifically endorsed any one of the several climate bond bills currently being considered by the Legislature.
One significant change in the May Revise was occasioned by the series of severe atmospheric rivers which hit the State in early 2023: the Governor’s May Revise has slashed $125 million in proposed outlays for “drought contingency” and that money has instead been directed “to support costs associated with preparedness, response, recovery, and other associated activities related to the 2023 storms, the resulting snowmelt, and other flooding risks.” In total, the updated Budget proposes $290 million in one-time spending to address flooding impacts.
CCA will provide additional details on the May Revise of the 2023-24 State Budget in next week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.
CARB Approves “Advanced Clean Fleets” Rule
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has unanimously approved its “Advanced Clean Fleets” regulation, requiring the phased-in adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) within some commercial trucking fleets. The regulation applies to trucking fleets of 50 or more vehicles or to trucking companies which make at least $50 million in annual revenues, as well as to local government vehicles and port trucks (the trucks impacted by the regulation are medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks, defined as those with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 8,500 pounds). For more information, see the May 1 edition of Legislative Bulletin.
USFWS Re-opens Proposed Threatened Species Listing of Bi-State Sage Grouse
In late April, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a notice that it is “reopening the comment periods on [its] October 28, 2013, proposed rules to list the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse … as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.” USFWS had previously withdrawn the Proposed Rule, but that withdrawal was overturned last year in a lawsuit in the Northern District of California, reopening the 2013 comment period. Comments on the proposal, which are due June 26, may be submitted here. For further details, including a discussion of a state proposal to list the species as threatened or endangered, see the May 1 edition of Legislative Bulletin.
Storm Recovery Assistance Available Via USDA’s NRCS, FSA
The California State office of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced $2 million in financial assistance available for agricultural producers impacted by recent flooding. Financial assistance is also available via the USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), with the deadline to apply for ECP recently extended through October 13. Impacted producers in every county except Lake, Lassen, Mono, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties are eligible to apply for both programs. For more information, see the May 1 edition of Legislative Bulletin. To apply for assistance through FSA or NRCS, locate your local USDA service center here.
New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
A New episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now. This week CCA Fire Subcommittee Chair Anthony Stornetta is back on the podcast to discuss the outlook for the upcoming wildfire season in California, share how the livestock pass and burn boss classes are going and talk about what the state’s fire resiliency efforts have consisted of over the last several months. To listen to the episode click here.
AgriWebb’s 2023 State of the Global Farmer Report is Available
Agriwebb’s 2023 State of the Global Farmer Report is available. The report includes a compilation of over 850 voices of farmers and ranchers worldwide. Feedback from ranchers found the report valuable to see what challenges and priorities their peers have identified and what their thoughts are surrounding topics like grazing strategies, carbon, governmental regulations and more. To get a copy of the report click here.