The State Senate has unveiled an agriculture budget proposal that rejects the Newsom administration’s bid to overhaul the state’s mill assessment on pesticides. CalEPA has been pitching a new tiered fee structure based on toxicity that would raise an additional $45 million in annual revenue for the Department of Pesticide Regulations.
Instead, the Senate would backfill DPR’s budget shortfall and add two years of funding to cover other programs the administration proposes. This would include efforts to promote integrated pest management, support county ag commissioners, expand an air monitoring network and engage with environmental justice communities.
The money—$90 million in all—would come from the state’s taxpayer fund. Ag groups were concerned the limited-term funding would leave farmers on the hook in two years to cover the added costs for staffing and programs.
“Rather than rectify a small structural deficit today, we will be required to meet a much larger one tomorrow,” said California Farm Bureau’s Taylor Roschen.