California State Budget and Climate Bond Update

State Budget Update:

On June 26, the Governor signed the final State budget agreement for FY 2024-25. It is important to keep in mind that the state is experiencing a serious decline in revenue, which is what drove the push to claw back General Fund commitments and to replace General Fund with Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund money. 

Overall, there were more than $1 billion in reductions to nature-based solution funding that had been included in the $54 Billion Climate Funding Agreement in 2022. The largest reductions were directed to the State Coastal Conservancy ($395.9 M) and the Wildlife Conservation Board ($348.2 M). While the WCB did receive reductions in funding, we did protect more than $200 million in the General Fund and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Despite these cuts, we should be very pleased that – due to our collective advocacywe defeated the effort to take $45 M from the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) and a proposal to end the General Fund contribution to the HCF ($20 M annually). In the face of a very challenging budget deficit, thanks to your advocacy and that of the state leaders who sided with wildlife, nature, and California voters, we have protected the legacy and ongoing importance of the HCF. 

For more details, please see Kim Delfino’s budget summary for natural resources and climate resilience funding here. Thank you for your efforts through the various sign-on letters, contacting your legislators, attending budget hearings, asking your supporters to engage, and amplifying on social media! 

Climate Bond Update:

$10 Billion Climate Bond Headed to November Ballot!! 

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is excited to announce the passage of the $10 billion climate bond, Senate Bill 867. This climate resilience bond represents the largest investment in conservation in our state’s history and is a significant milestone toward a safer and more sustainable future for California and the Sierra Nevada region.

We express our sincere gratitude to the California Legislature and leadership who voted in support of the climate bond and thank them for their deep commitment to climate resilience. We hope you’ll join us in supporting this historic measure by voting YES to the climate bond in the November Ballot!

Sierra Nevada Needs a Climate Bond

A series of budget cuts have significantly reduced funding for programs that forward nature-based climate solutions which are cost-efficient and effective ways to prevent megafires, flooding and extreme heat. Budget cuts have also been directed to watershed protection, land and water conservation, meadow restoration, and sustainable outdoors recreation – all of which deeply impacts the Sierra Nevada habitats, communities, and industries.

What is in the Climate Bond?

Below we have included a short summary of the funding allocated within the Climate Bond that is specifically of interest to the Sierra Nevada region. You can find a detailed summary of the Climate Bond here and the final Senate Bill 867 text here.

  • Within the $1.5 billion for wildfire, there is $135 M for home hardening and other assistance to disadvantaged communities, $1.25 B for wildfire resilience including investing in partnerships and collaboratives, fuels management, fire prevention, and workforce housing. Note:  There are specific allocations to conservancies to do wildfire resilience work:
    • $33.5 million to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy
    • $25.5 million to the Tahoe Conservancy
  • Within the $1.2 billion for biodiversity – ALL of which will go towards meeting our 30×30, public access, and climate resilience goals — there is $870 million for wildlife conservation, habitat connectivity, and ecosystem restoration for the benefit of the entire state. There is also $320 million in investments to conservancies to do biodiversity work:
    • $29 million to California Tahoe Conservancy
    • $48 million to Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Within the $3.8 billion for water, there is $610 million dollars in grants and loans for safe drinking water, nearly $800 million for groundwater, water recycling and water reuse, $200 million for agricultural land repurposing, more than $1 billion for flood risk and stormwater management, and more than $600 million to protect and restore rivers, lakes, and streams. NOTE that there are specific allocations for regions in the $600 M – unfortunately, no funding has been allocated to Sierra Nevada Conservancy nor Tahoe Conservancy under this category.  
  • Within the $700 million for Parks, there is $500 million in parks for park poor neighborhoods, parks improvements, and public access and $175 million for deferred maintenance for state parks.
  • Within the $450 million for Extreme Heat, there is $150 million for Transformative Climate Communities, $150 million for urban greening, green schoolyards, and urban forests; $60 million for Community Resilience Centers; and $40 million for upgrades to fairgrounds for emergency events. This is the first time a bond has included investments to address the massive Extreme Heat threat facing our state.  
  • Within the $300 million for sustainable agriculture, there are investments in healthy soils; SWEEP; combating invasive species; conservation of farm and ranchland; farmers’ markets; community gardens; and grants to provide increased market access, land access, and support for small and medium sized farms, socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers and veteran farmers.

Of the $850,000 million for clean energy, there is $325 million for clean energy transmission, $50 million for long-duration energy storage, and $475 million for port infrastructure for offshore wind.

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