Legislative Priorities Emerge as Governor Prepares to Release Proposed Budget
The California Legislature reconvened last Wednesday for the second year of the 2023-24 Legislative Session, and lawmakers’ policy priorities are beginning to take shape. In opening remarks to Assemblymembers on Thursday (after pro-Palestinian protests on Wednesday spurred an early recess in that chamber), Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) identified homelessness, public safety and climate change as his top legislative targets for the year. While the agricultural community often finds itself in the crosshairs on matters related to “climate change” policy, it should be noted that Rivas represents a district with significant agricultural interests and in the past has worked with CCA to author pro-grazing legislation, so there is reason to be optimistic about the direction of the Speaker’s climate change priorities.
Rivas’ newly-appointed Chair for the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee has also shed light on her priorities for the legislative year ahead. During a Q&A with Politico, Chair Diane Papan (D-San Mateo) was specifically asked whether she would push water rights reform legislation like her predecessor, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), had (Bauer-Kahan last year authored CCA-opposed AB 460). In response, Chair Papan largely deflected, instead highlighting her support for efforts to improve the State Water Resources Control Board’s database management for water rights. Papan’s comments signal that water rightsholders may this year avoid the kinds of legislative threats to their water rights which proliferated last year.
A review of the 42 bills introduced last week reveals yet another legislative priority for the year ahead: legislating the emerging technology of artificial intelligence (AI).
Legislators are currently focused primarily on “two-year” bills; Friday is the deadline by which policy bills filed last year must advance out of policy committees in their chamber of origin to remain viable. The Legislature will likely increase the pace with which it takes up newly-filed bills beginning next week.
Another major policy focus this week will be the 2024-25 State Budget. Wednesday is the deadline for Governor Gavin Newsom to release his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2025. As previously reported in Legislative Bulletin, California is projected to face a $68 billion budget deficit in this cycle, and this week’s Proposed Budget will outline how the Governor proposes to address the funding gap.
CCA will provide updates on the Proposed Budget in next week’s Legislative Bulletin and will keep you informed of major policy news throughout the legislative session.
New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
Season four, episode one of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In the first episode of the season CCA President Steve Arnold and CCA 1st Vice President Rick Roberti talk through the priorities of the year, officer goals and why California cattle ranchers can be optimistic about the year ahead with host Katie Roberti. To listen to the episode click here.
New Name for Weekly E-Newsletter Legislative Bulletin
Legislative Bulletin is getting a new name! Come Monday, Feb. 5, the weekly e-newsletter will hit inboxes with the title, California Cattleman Weekly. The name change is being made to reflect that the weekly e-neswletter includes an array of information, sources, news and legislative updates. Other than the new name, the weekly e-newsletter will have no change in content or delivery.
CARB Extends Clean Truck Check Reporting Deadline to January 31
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that January 31 is the deadline for vehicle owners subject to the Clean Truck Check regulation to report their vehicles to CARB’s Clean Truck Check database. The Clean Truck Check regulation – also known as the Heavy Duty Inspection and Maintenance Program – applies to nearly all non-gasoline vehicles (including diesel vehicles) with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds or more which operate within California. Along with the reporting requirement, the regulation requires vehicle owners to pay a fee of $30 per reported vehicle. For more information about the Clean Truck Check program, see last week’s Legislative Bulletin or CARB’s program webpage.
CARB Delays Enforcement of “Advanced Clean Fleets” Regulation
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that it will delay enforcement of its Advanced Clean Fleets regulation until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants the state a waiver to implement stricter regulations than those implemented by the federal government “or determines that a waiver is not necessary.” Provisions of the regulation relating to drayage trucks; local, state and federal government fleets; and “high priority fleets” (defined as trucking fleets of 50 or more vehicles or trucking companies which make at least $50 million in annual revenues).
For additional details about the Advanced Clean Fleets regulation, see the May 1, 2023 edition of Legislative Bulletin and read CARB’s recent Enforcement Notice.