Analysis of the 2005-06 Budget Bill
Legislative Analyst's Office
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), in conjunction with local agencies, is responsible for promoting waste management practices aimed at reducing the amount of waste that is disposed in landfills. The CIWMB administers various programs which promote waste reduction and recycling, with particular programs for tires, used oil, and electronics. The board also regulates landfills through a permitting, inspection, and enforcement program that is mainly enforced by local enforcement agencies that are certified by the board. In addition, CIWMB oversees the cleanup of abandoned solid waste sites.
The budget proposes expenditures of $190 million from various funds (primarily special funds) for support of CIWMB. This is an increase of $41 million (or 27 percent) from estimated 2004-05 expenditures. This increase is largely a result of the first-time receipt of a full year of fee revenues from the electronic waste recycling fee.
We withhold recommendation on $3.5 million proposed for an environmental education program pending receipt of a revised funding proposal that more accurately reflects the broad range of environmental topics covered by the program.
Background. Chapter 926, Statutes of 2001 (SB 373, Torlakson), established an office in CIWMB which was charged with the development and implementation of an environmental education program for elementary and secondary schools in the state. The environmental principles that are to be included in the program are very broad in scope and relate to, but are not limited to, the following topics: air, water, energy, pest management, forestry, fish and wildlife resources, toxic and hazardous waste management, resource conservation and recycling, and integrated waste management. Chapter 665, Statutes of 2003 (AB 1548, Pavley), further defined the requirements of the program (The Education and the Environment Initiative [EEI]), mandated school boards to include the environmental principles in instructional materials, and established the Environmental Education Account to be administered by the Secretary for Environmental Protection for purposes of funding this program. This account may receive funds from public or private organizations and also proceeds from state or federal court judgments.
The first two phases of EEI have been completed. These were (1) the development of environmental principles and concepts and (2) the alignment of the environmental principles and concepts to the California Academic Content Standards.
Budget Proposal. The budget proposal requests $3.5 million (in each of the budget year and 2006-07) and 5.5 permanent positions to implement the next two phases—planning for model curriculum and curriculum development—of EEI. Of the $3.5 million requested in the budget year, $3.3 million is from the Integrated Waste Management Account (IWMA) and $200,000 is from the Waste Discharge Permit Fund (WDPF). The IWMA receives its revenues from "tipping" fees on the disposal of waste at landfills. The WDPF receives its revenues from fees levied on permittees of the State Water Resources Control Board discharging waste into the water. (Statute provides that a portion of WDPF revenues is for CIWMB programs.) The budget does not propose any funding for the environmental education program from the Environmental Education Account established by Chapter 665.
The budget proposes to make the $3.5 million of appropriations contingent on the enactment of clean-up legislation that would make changes to Chapter 665, including repealing the mandate on school boards to include environmental principles in instructional materials. Legislation with these changes was introduced last session (AB 1696, Pavley), but was vetoed by the Governor.
Governor's May Revision Should Include New Funding Proposal. As previously mentioned, this program includes the development of curriculum on a broad range of environmental topics; however, $3.3 million (94 percent) of the requested funding for 2005-06 is from a CIWMB account—IWMA—funded by landfill disposal fees.
We withhold recommendation regarding this budget request and recommend that the Governor's May Revision include a revised funding pro posal for this program that better reflects the scope of the environmental education program to be funded. Specifically, since CIWMB is coordinating the implementation of all environmental topics in the curriculum, we think that the funding proposal should include reimbursements from other environmental protection and resources departments whose programmatic area of focus is covered prominently in the environmental education curriculum to be developed. To the extent that private-sector funding is available, we also think that the funding proposal should include some level of funding from the Environmental Education Account, as intended by the Legislature in establishing the program.