The 2019-2020 budget of $558 million for the Department of Food and Agriculture is down by $175 million, or 24%, from the 2018 fiscal year, according to a report released last week by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The difference comes largely from a $142 million decrease from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and $23 million that had come from Proposition 68 funding, which is now depleted. The governor’s May revision of the budget proposed a $73 million cut in funding from the GGRF. The final budget was more aggressive, zeroing out programs like water efficiency grants.

The cap-and-trade money was used for several first-time expenditures as well, including $100 million for safe and affordable drinking water, $35 million for workforce development “for a low-carbon economy,” and $10 million for local wildfire prevention.

Notably, the General Fund includes first-time costs of $17 million for fish screens to prevent invasive bass from spreading between two lakes. Yet the GGRF also provided $9.3 million for research into better predicting atmospheric rivers and $2 million for nutria eradication in the Central Valley.

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