On Friday, May 12th, Governor Newsom released the California statewide May Revised Budget.
Despite California’s projected budget shortfall jumping from January’s estimate of $22.5 billion to the new estimate of $31.8 billion, the state isn’t planning additional cuts for climate and natural resources projects. However, the cuts to natural resources spending that Newsom proposed in January are still included. To cover these deficits, the Governor is proposing to work with lawmakers to pass a “climate resiliency bond” that could be used in place of state general fund money to pay for some planned projects.
While we’re supportive of a bond, several programs with proposed reduced funding cannot be backfilled with bond funding. The Power in Nature coalition is working on a letter to request that the Legislature restore $35 million for science, monitoring, planning, and capacity-building programs that cannot be backfilled with bond funding. We will also continue to request the Legislature to prioritize restoring critical funding to the Wildlife Conservation Board, State Parks, all state conservancies, Ocean Protection Council, and the State Coastal Conservancy that are used to fund important land acquisitions, restoration, and access to nature projects. We hope to send this letter to the Legislature next week and will circulate it for sign-on soon.
Power in Nature released the following statement regarding Governor Newsom’s proposed 2023-2024 budget revision featuring a statement from Kay Ogden.