Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal would set aside $75 million to aid small agricultural businesses as the drought deepens.
The one-time assistance would provide grants ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the amount of lost revenue. The program would prioritize businesses in the hardest hit regions, such as the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.
During a Friday press conference, Newsom thanked CDFA Secretary Karen Ross for her efforts “to really focus on the issue of businesses notably impacted” by water scarcity.
“How about the person that warehouses some of the fruit and vegetables and—because the land was fallowed—doesn't have the ability to warehouse?” said Newsom
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Newsom’s budget plan would allocate $100 million for repairing conveyance canals, which was part of a 2021 budget deal. But it would not add anything further.
This is despite a coalition of water interests asking for $585 million to tackle the issue and Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Sanger seeking a more modest $300 million.
The administration anticipates a record $300 billion budget, bolstered by a $97.5 billion surplus, which is greater than the entire budget of any other state, aside from New York and Texas. It was just 20 years ago that California’s whole budget hit $100 billion for the first time.