The Senate Budget Committee presented a draft plan Thursday that strayed from the Newsom administration’s approach to budget tightening.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May Revision proposes $15 billion in cuts to take effect on July 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. The Senate delays a number of actions, assuming a new federal relief package will be approved before then. If not, the plan would instead trigger cuts in October.

This allows the Senate to reject many of the cuts proposed in the May Revision — specifically highlighting more than $7 million in cuts to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, about 10% of its current budget, and nearly $4 million for CDFA’s partnership in the California Biodiversity Initiative.

The Senate is also urging the Air Resources Board to consider updating the cap-and-trade program to draw in new revenues. The fund has been in decline this year, resulting in significantly less money for incentives grants to support emissions-reductions goals.

The Senate asserted its plan “makes use of the historic reserves—rather than draconian cuts—in the event federal funds do not materialize.” This would mean digging further into the state’s rainy day fund this year. Newsom’s plan would stretch that money across multiple years.

The Legislature is less than two weeks away from a constitutional deadline to finalize a budget that both houses and the governor agree on, according to Budget Chair Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles. The Assembly has yet to present its budget proposal. 

During the committee hearing Thursday, Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen, who represents the Sacramento Valley, raised a couple of issues concerning state fairs. One was a trailer bill providing $40 million for CDFA to cover its liabilities for layoffs at state fairs. It would not extend to county fairs. The Senate approved of the measure. (Read our full report on this issue at

Nielsen also brought up a January executive order by Newsom to make fairs and other state facilities available for housing the homeless. Nielsen argued this would “impede their ability to make money,” since fairs must generate their own income.

The Department of Finance was unable to immediately provide any details on whether the administration had actually mobilized any fairs for this.


Top photo: Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles