Governor Releases May Revision of the Budget
On Friday May 14th Governor Newsom released his May Revision of the 2021-22 Budget. The State is reporting a record budget surplus of $78 billion, and with a significant infusion of Federal Coronavirus relief funds, the May Revision proposes a $100 billion “California Roars Back” stimulus plan. The stimulus plan proposes significant investments of interest to CASA members, including:
- A $5.1 billion drought package which includes:
- $1.3 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure
- $20 million for PFAS support
- $150 million for groundwater cleanup/water recycling
- $1 billion for water/wastewater utility arrearages;
- A $1.8 billion Zero Emission Vehicle Package, which includes:
- $402 million for Clean Trucks, Buses, and Off-road Equipment
- $55 million for organics waste infrastructure, including:
- $20 million in grants to expand co-digestion capacity at existing wastewater facilities
We have been actively advocating in support of several of these aspects of the proposal being included in the final Budget package. The Senate, Assembly and Administration are now in the final negotiations on the Budget package and will be sorting out the remaining details over the next two weeks. It is possible some aspects of the Budget will be deferred and passed as a supplemental Budget bill later this summer, but details of which specific items will be deferred are not yet available.
AB 377 (Rivas) Held Over as a Two-Year Bill
On Thursday, May 20th, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committee held concurrent “suspense file” hearings in which all bills with significant fiscal implications for the state are prioritized and dispensed with in both houses. This somewhat opaque process often results in many controversial bills being held over for the remainder of the year. This was the case for AB 377 (Rivas), which CASA has been actively engaged on this year. It was held over as a two-year bill, meaning it is dead for the remainder of this year and is not eligible to move again unless the author requests the committee’s reconsideration in January 2022. The bill contained several problematic provisions including limitations on regional board flexibility in NPDES, WDR and MS4 permitting decisions, and the creation of a new punitive water quality enforcement program. CASA led an opposition coalition against the bill with our water and local government partner associations, including the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA), Association of California Water Agencies, (ACWA) California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA), California Special Districts Association (CSDA), the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and others.