Climate Priorities Poised for Big Wins in State Budget – But Fight’s Not Over
The record budget Gov. Newsom signed last week includes nearly $8 billion for unspecified climate resilience, drought, and wildfire prevention programs. While the details of the spending aren’t expected to be finalized until August, the amounts included in the budget strongly indicate several top priorities of the Bay Area Council’s Water & Climate Resilience Committee will receive significant funding, including hundreds of millions of dollars for regional sea level rise adaptation, drought resilience, research and development into desalination technologies, and overhauling the state’s water data systems. The funding can’t come soon enough as Gov. Newsom this week expanded emergency drought orders over much of the state and record high temperatures across much of the West continued to sap reservoirs and intensify wildfire danger.
The Bay Area Council and its partners helped push these priorities into AB 1500 (Garcia/Mullin) and SB 45 (Portantino/Allen), the climate resilience bond bills that were on track for the 2022 ballot before the state’s record surplus provided an opportunity to secure these investments immediately via the General Fund. To engage with the Council’s Water & Climate Resilience Committee, please contact Senior Policy Associate Anna Sciaruto.