The Assembly and Senate spent hours debating aspects of the proposed budget on Monday. At one point, Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove of Bakersfield (pictured) pointed out that the Newsom administration had set aside about $6.5 million “to pay for lawsuits so that the state of California can sue the Trump administration,” she said.
“But we’re begging him for $14 billion in bailouts.… It’s just crazy,” added Grove.
Her counterpart representing Bakersfield in the Assembly brought up a similar argument earlier. During a budget subcommittee hearing in May, Republican Asm. Vince Fong pointed to a budget request to fund litigation over the biological opinions for Bay-Delta flows.
The proposal was for an additional $1 million split between CalEPA and the Natural Resources Agency to pay for the attorney general’s office to sue the federal agencies.
Fong argued the state should save that money and instead pursue a collaborative approach to find “a more lasting and comprehensive solution.”
The budget proposal also provides nearly $350,000 to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for attorney fees related to litigation over the federal Endangered Species Act.
Negotiations over the final budget language will continue through the rest of the month between the lawmakers and the governor’s administration, with more trailer bills to follow in the coming months.