Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a $227 billion budget proposal on Friday for the fiscal year starting in July. With a windfall of $15 billion, the governor plans to backfill a few ag-related programs in the current year as well.
These include CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program, which will receive $30 million in total from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The same cap-and-trade revenues will deliver $170 million to a program at the Air Resources Board that incentivizes farmers to upgrade ag equipment. Another climate-smart program focused on water-use efficiency would gain $40 million. On the note of water, $60 million in taxpayer dollars would help communities to implement plans for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
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Newsom has also revived his proposal for the Climate Catalyst Fund, which would offer low-interest loans to farmers investing in green tech.
With a pot of nearly $4 million, CDFA plans to continue funding research on integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, while another $8 million would expand cooperative extension research and assistance for IPM.
The administration has also responded to industry concerns over skyrocketing compliance costs across agencies. The proposal would allocate $8 million for streamlining those requirements across agencies and for developing a central hub for all reporting.