As the Legislature races toward a Friday deadline for the end of session, lawmakers have hundreds of bills to process. And now 16 more budget trailer bills have been added to determine billions more in state spending.
The administration has also released a two-year budget plan that includes:
- $363 million for ag equipment upgrades
- Nearly $300 million for implementing groundwater management plans
- $200 million for conveyance repairs
- $160 million for the Healthy Soils Program
- $100 million for water use efficiency grants
- $80 million for manure management and dairy digesters
- and $60 million for a farm-to-school program spearheaded by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
According to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, the money comes with limited-term liquidation, requiring the administration to get it out the door as soon as possible.
“It's going to take a lot of partnerships and outreach to make sure that every farmer that wants to put some of these practices on an acre of land has the opportunity to apply for this,” said Ross during a meeting of the food and ag board on Tuesday.
The current budget negotiations, however, are focused on the 2021-22 year. For the program on ag engine upgrades, known as FARMER, the Newsom administration and lawmakers have been negotiating a budget bill that includes $170 million for this program and another $43 million for the effort from the Carl Moyer program at the Air Resources Board.
The administration is proposing an additional $150 million for FARMER in the 2022-23 budget. That would be a part of budget negotiations for next year that begin in January. Given that the money would come from the state’s General Fund taxpayer account, the allocation would depend heavily on tax revenues and whether the state will maintain its economic growth.