A $286.4 billion budget plan for the state of California was introduced this week by Governor Gavin Newsom. This budget will make investments to target the greatest threats to the state. Those threats include fighting COVID 19, keeping the streets safe, confronting homelessness and combating the climate crisis with an emphasis on drought response.
Last year’s budget included an allocation of $5.2 billion over a 3-year period to tackle water issues. In this 2022 budget proposal, an additional $750 million will go directly to the general fund to support drought resilience and response.
California Farm Bureau welcomed the budget proposal. CFBF President Jamie Johansson said, “Governor Newsom’s budget is a good framework for this year’s budget discussions in that it proposes to fund more water storage and conveyance, opportunity for California-grown products in schools, funds for both implementation of and research on climate smart ag practices and begins to relieve the massive burden on employers on costs associated with COVID-19.”
The $750 million will be dispersed into several investments. Those investments include $180 million for water conservation programs, $30 million for ground water recharge, $20 million for on farm water conservation, $10 million for technical assistance and drought relief for small farms and $250 million for drought contingency.
“At a time when food prices are soaring and inflation and shortages are no longer speculative, it is critical that we shore up the farm economy. As they say though, the devil is the details, and we need to ensure that the farmers who are supposed to benefit from these programs have a voice in the enactment of them,” Johansson said.
Listen to the report below.