Governor’s May Revise Contains Significant Water Investment
This week Governor Newsom is unveiling his May Revision of the Budget, which reflects changes in tax revenue and significant revisions to the January Budget proposal.  Significantly, the Governor has revealed in a series of press conferences this week that California has an unprecedented revenue surplus, and he has been promoting multiple components of his $100 billion “California Roars Back” stimulus plan for investing the revenues.  The detailed May Revise plan will be released in its entirety on Friday.

On Monday a significant component of the “California Roars Back” plan was revealed to be a  $5.1 billion Drought Relief Package, including $1.3 billion in funding for water and wastewater.  The Governor also proposes an additional $2 billion in gas, electric, and water utility arrearages relief, with $1 billion set aside just for water and wastewater utilities.  Both the drought relief and arrearages proposals are substantial increases from the package approved by the Senate several weeks ago.  Moving forward the Administration will work with the Legislature to reconcile the differences between the proposals to negotiate a final Budget deal by the June 15 deadline.  Given there is support for both a drought relief and utility relief package from the Administration and the Senate, it greatly increases the likelihood of the final Budget package including this funding.


Governor Newsom Expands Drought Emergency
 H.R. 1915 DRAFT Substitute Amendment-1-1-1On Monday, May 10, Governor Gavin Newsom significantly expanded his April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed counties where accelerated action is needed to protect public health, safety and the environment. Forty-one counties are now under a drought state of emergency, representing thirty percent of the state’s population. Climate change-induced early warm temperatures and extremely dry soils have further depleted the expected runoff water from the Sierra-Cascade snowpack, resulting in historic and unanticipated reductions in the amount of water flowing to major reservoirs, especially in Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed counties. “With the reality of climate change abundantly clear in California, we’re taking urgent action to address acute water supply shortfalls in northern and central California while also building our water resilience to safeguard communities in the decades ahead,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re working with local officials and other partners to protect public health and safety and the environment and call on all Californians to help meet this challenge by stepping up their efforts to save water.” Read more here.