The Legislative Analyst’s Office is recommending lawmakers reject Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal for $75 million in drought aid to small agricultural businesses.
During a budget subcommittee hearing this week, LAO staff said the program would not address the underlying issues around water availability or efficiency. Senator Sydney Kamlager of Los Angeles added that the farm representatives she spoke with said the grants—ranging up to $50,000—wouldn’t go far.
Department of Finance staff defended the proposal as targeting the hardest hit regions and argued that a cash injection would help the struggling businesses survive.
Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of the Sacramento Valley blasted the proposal, arguing that farmers want water, not money, and the administration “has done almost nothing” in that regard.
“Sir, you are talking to a farmer, and this is almost insulting. Why bother?” said Nielsen.