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Correction (2/8/2024): The funding source for the new CEC Petroleum Market Oversight Division has been corrected to the Energy Resources Program Account.
Budget and Policy Post
October 16, 2023

The 2023‑24 California Spending Plan

Resources and Environmental Protection


Overview

The 2023‑24 budget package provides a total of $19.2 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, a number of special funds, and federal funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and Environmental Protection Agency. This is a net decrease of $15.5 billion (45 percent) compared to 2022‑23 estimated levels. This change is primarily due to a large amount of one-time funding—mostly from the General Fund—provided to departments within both agencies in 2022‑23. As discussed below, many departments continue to receive some one-time funding augmentations in 2023‑24, but at lower aggregate levels. Figures 1 and 2 display total funding provided for the major departments overseen by both agencies.

Figure 1

Natural Resources Budget Summary

(Dollars in Millions)

2021‑22
Actual

2022‑23
Estimated

2023‑24
Enacted

Change From 2022‑23

Amount

Percent

Total

$11,117

$24,151

$13,298

‑$10,853

‑45%

By Department

Forestry and Fire Protection

$2,634

$4,029

$3,326

‑$703

‑17%

Water Resourcesa

2,468

8,264

3,032

‑5,232

‑63

Energy Commission

562

3,327

1,665

‑1,662

‑50

General obligation bond debt service

1,259

1,238

1,478

241

19

Parks and Recreation

1,887

1,481

973

‑507

‑34

Fish and Wildlife

634

1,213

784

‑429

‑35

Coastal Conservancy

156

524

617

93

18

Natural Resources Agency

310

1,097

417

‑680

‑62

Conservation

227

621

264

‑357

‑57

Wildlife Conservation Board

186

1,282

262

‑1,020

‑80

Other resources programsb

291

731

253

‑478

‑65

Conservation Corps

146

291

179

‑112

‑39

State Lands Commission

356

53

47

‑6

‑11

By Funding Source

General Fund

$7,356

$16,534

$7,809

‑$8,725

‑53%

Special funds

2,759

4,743

4,387

‑356

‑8

Bond funds

749

2,519

749

‑1,770

‑70

Federal funds

253

354

353

‑2

aIncludes funding from contractors of the State Water Project that is continuously appropriated to the department.

bIncludes state conservancies, Coastal Commission, and other departments.

Figure 2

Environmental Protection Budget Summary

(Dollars in Millions)

2021‑22
Actual

2022‑23
Estimated

2023‑24
Enacted

Change From 2022‑23

Amount

Percent

Total

$7,383

$10,564

$5,901

‑$4,663

‑44%

By Department

Water Resources Control Board

$2,197

$3,653

$1,941

‑$1,712

‑47%

CalRecycle

1,968

2,443

1,916

‑527

‑22

Air Resources Board

2,630

3,300

1,285

‑2,015

‑61

Toxic Substances Control

414

927

562

‑364

‑39

Pesticide Regulation

124

157

132

‑25

‑16

Other departmentsa

50

83

64

‑20

‑24

By Funding Source

Special funds

$4,147

$6,227

$4,621

‑$1,606

‑26%

Federal funds

1,164

403

669

266

66

General Fund

2,056

3,920

598

‑3,321

‑85

Bond funds

16

14

12

‑2

‑14

aIncludes the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and general obligation bond debt service.

CalRecycle = California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.

Revisions to Prior Budget Packages

Makes Some Reductions to Address General Fund Condition, Maintains Majority of Funding From Previous Climate Packages. The 2021‑22 and 2022‑23 budget packages included a number of multiyear thematic climate and natural resources funding packages totaling about $36.5 billion across the six-year period of 2021‑22 through 2026‑27. Most of this funding was provided from the General Fund on a one-time or temporary basis, though some was from special funds such as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), as well as a small amount of federal funds. To help address the state’s General Fund shortfall, the 2023‑24 spending plan makes a number of revisions—including reductions and delays—to these thematic packages. Specifically, the budget includes General Fund reductions to these climate packages totaling $8.7 billion across 2021‑22 through 2023‑24 (the three-year budget window), although backfills about $2 billion of that amount by shifting costs to other fund sources (particularly GGRF). Because the spending plan achieves some of these General Fund savings by delaying funding to future years and also anticipates additional out-year GGRF backfills, the planned net programmatic reduction from these packages across the six-year period is only $3.6 billion. That is, the budget agreement intends to maintain $32.9 billion (90 percent of the original total) from 2021‑22 through 2026‑27 for specified climate-related and natural resources activities.

This section highlights changes and revised programmatic funding totals for the 11 specific multiyear funding packages that were part of prior-year budget agreements.

Zero-Emission Vehicles

Retains Most Intended Funding for Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Programs. Previous budgets included a commitment of $10 billion for a variety of ZEV-related activities from 2021‑22 through 2026‑27. As shown in Figure 3, the budget package maintains $9.2 billion of this funding (92 percent), primarily through using GGRF revenues in place of some planned General Fund. Specifically, the spending plan shifts a total of $2.3 billion in intended ZEV expenditures to GGRF through 2026‑27—achieving a like amount of General Fund savings—including $720 million in 2023‑24. As shown in the figure, the budget does include net reductions to a few ZEV programs, most notably a total of $550 million—$380 million through the California Energy Commission (CEC) and $170 million through the California Air Resources Board (CARB)—for transit buses and infrastructure. (As noted below in the section on cap-and-trade spending and discussed in our companion post, The 2023‑24 Spending Plan: Transportation, the budget package also established a new program that transit agencies can use either for ZEV buses and infrastructure or to support their base operational costs.)

Figure 3

Revised Zero‑Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2021‑22 and 2022‑23

2023‑24

2024‑25

2025‑26

2026‑27

Totals

Light‑Duty Programs

ZEV fueling infrastructure grants

CEC

$530

$120b

$140b

$80b

$870

Clean Vehicle Rebate Project

CARB

525

525

Clean Cars 4 All

CARB

531

$80c

45b

656

Equitable At‑Home Charging

CEC

20

100b

80b

60b

40b

300

Heavy‑Duty Programs

School buses and infrastructure

CARB

‑$135

$640d

$375d

$375d

$1,390

CEC

‑15

160d

125d

125d

410

Clean trucks, buses, off‑road equipment

CARB

1,100

1,100

CEC

299

$145b

137b

89b

670

Transit buses and infrastructure

CARB

‑380

140

140

CEC

‑170

60

60

Drayage trucks and infrastructure

CARB

232

80b

48b

48b

$37b

445

CEC

266

85b

50b

50b

49b

500

Drayage trucks and infrastructure pilot

CARB

40

40

CEC

25

25

Ports

CARB

‑65

185b

185

CEC

‑20

130b

130

ZEV manufacturing grants

CEC

250

250

Near‑zero heavy duty trucks

CARB

45

45

ZEV consumer awareness

Go‑BIZ

5

5

Other

Transportation package ZEV

CalSTA

$484e

$77f

$77f

$76f

$76f

$790

Sustainable community plans and strategies

CARB/CalSTA

60b

100b

100b

79b

339

Emerging Opportunities

CARB

53

47b

100

CEC

54

46b

100

Charter boats compliance

CARB

60

20a

20b

100

Hydrogen infrastructure

CEC

‑$60

g

g

g

Totals

‑$845

$5,519

$627

$1,177

$1,176

$676

$9,175

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2022‑23 through 2025‑26.

bGreenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).

cIncludes $30 million GGRF.

dIncludes Prop 98 General Fund.

eIncludes $200 million Public Transportation Account and $157 million federal funds.

fFederal funds.

gProgram funding eliminated.

CEC = California Energy Commission; CARB = California Air Resources Board; CalSTA = California State Transportation Agency; and Go‑BIZ = Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Energy

Retains Most Funding for Energy Package. Previous budgets included a commitment of $8.5 billion for various energy initiatives from 2021‑22 through 2025‑26. The budget package retains $7.5 billion of this amount, including $1.1 billion shifted from the General Fund to GGRF. Figure 4 displays the new funding totals for each energy program, including summarizing the $992 million in net reductions. Notable reductions and changes include:

  • California Arrearage Payment Program. The budget reduces total funding for this program—which is administered by the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) and intended to help address energy bill debt accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic—by $549 million in 2022‑23. The retained amount ($651 million) should be sufficient to reimburse all of the remaining eligible amounts from applications that utilities submitted by the 2022 program deadline, based on debt they accrued between March 4, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

  • Residential Solar and Storage Program. The budget package reduces funding for this program—administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)—by a net total of $270 million and also delays some of the remaining funding across three years. Specifically, the budget eliminates $900 million General Fund for the program in 2023‑24, replacing it with $280 million GGRF in 2023‑24, $125 million General Fund in 2024‑25, and $225 million General Fund in 2025‑26. According to the administration, the remaining $630 million will be focused on helping residential customers in lower-income, tribal, and disadvantaged communities to install solar systems with or without energy storage.

  • Equitable Building Decarbonization. This multifaceted program is designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings and is administered by multiple agencies, with the largest portion administered by CEC. The budget package retains the full amount of program funding for the three administering agencies (CEC, CPUC, CARB), but delays $283 million to future years and shifts $405 million from the General Fund to GGRF.

Figure 4

Revised Energy Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2021‑22 and 2022‑23

2023‑24

2024‑25

2025‑26 and
2026‑27

Totals

Reliability

Investments in Strategic Reliability Assets

DWR

$2,200

$20

$75

$75

$2,370

Distributed Electricity Backup Assets

CEC

‑$5

545

100

25

25

695

Demand Side Grid Support

CEC

200

95

295

Transmission Financing

iBank

‑25

200

25

225

DOE grid resilience match

CEC

5

5

Support for reliability

DWR

3

3

Clean Energy

Equitable Building Decarbonization

CEC

$62b

$432c

$213

$215

$922

CPUC

50

95d

145

CARB

20

20

40

Residential Solar and Storage

CPUC

‑$270

280d

125

225

630

Long duration storage

CEC

‑50

140

190d

330

Oroville pump storage

DWR

10

100

130

240

Carbon removal innovation

CEC

‑25

50

25

75

Industrial decarbonization

CEC

‑10

90e

90

Hydrogen grants

CEC

100

100

Food Production Investment Program

CEC

‑10

25

40d

65

Offshore wind infrastructure

CEC

45

45

Energy modeling

CEC

7

7

Distributed energy workload

CPUC

1

1

1

2

5

Hydrogen Hub

Go‑Biz

5

5

Energy data infrastructure and analysis

CEC

5

5

AB 525 implementation

Various

4

4

Ratepayer Relief

California Arrearage Payment Program

CSD

‑$549

$651

$651

Capacity building grants

CPUC

30

30

Other

Climate Innovation

CEC

‑$48

$2

$100

$375

$477

Totals

‑$992

$4,440

$1,333

$639

$1,047

$7,459

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2022‑23 through 2025‑26.

bIncludes $60 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).

cIncludes $345 million GGRF.

dFunded with GGRF.

eIncludes $22 million GGRF.

DWR = Department of Water Resources; CEC = California Energy Commission; iBank = California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank; CPUC = California Public Utilities Commission; CARB = California Air Resources Board; Go‑Biz = Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development; and CSD = Department of Community Services and Development.

Water and Drought Resilience

Retains Most Funding for Water and Drought Resilience. Previous budgets developed a multiyear plan to appropriate a cumulative $3.2 billion from 2022‑23 through 2025‑26 for water and drought resilience activities. As shown in Figure 5, the budget package intends to retain most of this amount, providing $2.9 billion for water-related activities, including $587 million in 2023‑24. (This new total includes $200 million shifted from 2021‑22, as discussed below.) Nearly all of this funding is from the General Fund, apart from approximately $50 million that is from bond funds and special funds.

Figure 5

Revised Water and Drought Resilience Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2022‑23

2023‑24

2024‑25

2025‑26

Totals

Drinking Water, Water Supply and Reliability, Flood

Drinking water and wastewater projects

SWRCB

$200b

$200

Water recycling, groundwater cleanup

SWRCB

‑$278

$190

$32

222

Flood and dam safety

DWR

237

188

425c

Water conveyance, water storage

DWR

100

$500

600

Flood planning (CVFPP)

DWR

2

2

Immediate Drought Response

Data, forecasting (FIRO)

DWR

$17d

$17

$17

$50

Save Our Water campaign

DWR

$75

75

Water rights, permitting, enforcement

SWRCB

4

9d

9

9

32c

Water refilling stations at schools

SWRCB

‑$5

e

Habitat/Nature‑Based Solutions

Fish and wildlife protection/study

CDFW

$47

$47

Watershed climate resilience

WCB

44

$32

$228

$14

318

Watershed climate resilience

DWR

25

18

97

11

151

Aquatic/large‑scale habitat projects

Various

7d

7

7

7

27

River restoration activities

DWR

14

9

22c

Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration

Water resilience projects

CNRA

$100

$180

$280

Streamflow enhancement program

WCB

150

150

Salton Sea

DWR

‑$119

11

50

61

PFAS support

SWRCB

‑45

50

45

$30

125

Urban streams

Various

20

20

Conservation/Agriculture

SGMA implementation

DWR

‑$60

$60

e

$60

SWEEP

CDFA

‑40

10

10

Multibenefit land repurposing

DOC

‑20

e

Totals

‑$567

$1,145

$587

$588

$558

$2,877

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2022‑23 through 2025‑26.

bFunding delayed from 2021‑22.

cIncludes funding from sources other than General Fund.

dOngoing funding.

eFunding eliminated.

SWRCB = State Water Resources Control Board; DWR = Department of Water Resources; CVFPP = Central Valley Flood Protection Plan; FIRO = Forecast‑Informed Reservoir Operations; CDFW = California Department of Fish and Wildlife; WCB = Wildlife Conservation Board; CNRA = California Natural Resources Agency; PFAS = per‑ and polyfluoroalkyl substances; SGMA = Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; SWEEP = State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program; CDFA = California Department of Food and Agriculture; and DOC = Department of Conservation.

Reduces General Fund Spending on Water and Drought by $567 Million. Notable among these reductions are:

  • Water Recycling. The budget reduces total funding for water recycling and groundwater cleanup by $278 million (from $500 million to $222 million) over 2022‑23 and 2023‑34. These programs also receive federal funding (not shown in the figure), including a significant increase from 2022 through 2026 that will help offset the reduction in state funding.

  • Various Conservation and Agricultural Programs. The budget reduces total funding for three conservation and agricultural programs by $120 million (from $190 million to $70 million) in 2022‑23. The programs—the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR’s) Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation grants, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA’s) State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, and the Department of Conservation’s (DOC’s) Multi-Benefit Land Repurposing Program—will accommodate the reduction by awarding fewer grants to local entities.

  • Salton Sea. The budget reduces General Fund support for DWR Salton Sea projects and management activities by $119 million (from $180 million to $61 million) over 2022‑23 and 2023‑24. However, this reduction is partially offset by two new augmentations for Salton Sea activities provided outside of this package—$25 million in Proposition 68 (2018) bond funds through CNRA and $20 million in federal funds. In addition—as discussed later in the DWR section of this post—the state will receive another $228 million in federal funds, contingent on certain local reductions in Colorado River water use.

Makes Some Reductions to Earlier Funding. In addition to the funding reductions noted above, the budget also reduces unspent General Fund that was appropriated in 2021‑22 for three DWR programs. This includes reductions of $25 million for the LandFlex program and $25 million for a drought salinity barrier in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Improved water conditions this year reduced the need for funding in both programs. The budget also reduces spending by $15 million for aqueduct solar panel pilot projects, while continuing to maintain $20 million for one pilot that is already underway.

Delays Funding for Two Programs. The budget package delays a total of $450 million in General Fund spending until 2024‑25: (1) $200 million from 2021‑22 to 2024‑25 for drinking water and wastewater projects at the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), and (2) $250 million that was originally planned in 2022‑23 and 2023‑24 until 2024‑25 for the Wildlife Conservation Board ($178 million) and DWR ($72 million) for watershed climate resilience activities and projects.

Makes Modifications to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Funding. The budget both reduces and delays General Fund support originally planned for 2023‑24 for SWRCB to address PFAS contamination. Specifically, it reduces funding by $45 million and delays $30 million until 2024‑25, while continuing to retain $45 million in 2023‑24. New federal funding the state is receiving to address “emerging contaminants of concern”—which include PFAS—will partially offset the reduction.

Wildfire and Forest Resilience

Makes Very Few Reductions to Planned Wildfire Spending. The budget includes a few General Fund reductions to the wildfire and forest resilience funding that was originally included in recent budget packages (an early action package adopted in April 2021 that amended the 2020‑21 Budget Act, a 2021‑22 Budget Act package, and a 2022‑23 Budget Act package). Cumulatively, the changes included in the 2023‑24 package reduce General Fund spending by $61 million across four programs. However, the budget shifts $14 million to a different fund source, so the net programmatic reduction only totals $47 million. Specifically, the budget reduces General Fund support for:

  • Stewardship of state-owned lands ($25 million—$10 million in 2022‑23 and $15 million in 2023‑24).

  • Climate Catalyst Fund Program ($16 million in 2020‑21).

  • Workforce training grants ($15 million in 2023‑24, partially offset by providing $14 million in Proposition 98 General Fund and limiting eligibility for the program to community colleges).

  • Defensible space inspections ($5 million in 2023‑24).

As shown in Figure 6, after these reductions, the budget retains a total of $2.8 billion for wildfire and forest resilience—$2.1 billion in prior years, as well as $669 million in 2023‑24.

Figure 6

Revised Wildfire and Forest Resilience Package

General Fund, Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2020‑21 and 2021‑22

2022‑23

2023‑24

Totals

Resilient Forests and Landscapes

‑$25

$587

$262

$265

$1,114

Forest Health Programb

CalFire

$315

$120

$120

$555

Stewardship of state‑owned land

Various

‑$25

175

55

50

280

Post‑fire reforestation

CalFire

50

50

100

Forest Improvement Programb

CalFire

50

11

14

75

Forest Legacy Programb

CalFire

16

14

19

49

Tribal engagement

CalFire

20

10

10

40

Reforestration nursery

CalFire

11

2

2

15

Wildfire Fuel Breaks

$384

$190

$192

$766

Fire prevention grantsb

CalFire

$243

$115

$117

$475

Prescribed fire and hand crewsb

CalFire

64

35

35

134

CalFire unit fire prevention projects

CalFire

50

20

20

90

Forestry Corps and residential centersb

CCC

27

20

20

67

Regional Capacity

$318

$55

$155

$528

Conservancy projects

Various

$208

$35

$135

$378

Regional Forest Capacity Program

DOC

110

20

20

150

Forest Sector Economic Stimulus

‑$17

$60

$72

$21

$153

Workforce training grants

CalFire

‑$1d

$24

$15

$14c

$53

Biomass to hydrogen/biofuels pilot

DOC

50

50

Climate Catalyst Fund Program

IBank

‑16

33

33

Transportation grants for woody material

CalFire

5

5

10

Market development

OPR

3

2

2

7

Science‑Based Management and Other

$82

$19

$19

$120

Monitoring and research

CalFire

$23

$7

$8

$38

Remote sensing

CNRA

25

3

2

30

Prescribed fire liability pilot

CalFire

20

20

Permit efficiencies

CARB & SWRCB

4

4

4

12

State demonstration forests

CalFire

5

5

10

Interagency Forest Data Hub

CalFire

10

10

Community Hardening

‑$5

$47

$22

$17

$86

Home hardening

OES & CalFire

$25

$13

$12

$50

Defensible space inspectors

CalFire

‑$5

15

5

20

Land use planning and public education

CalFire & UC ANR

7

4

5

16

Totals

‑$47

$1,478

$620

$669

$2,767

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2020‑21 through 2023‑24.

bIncludes Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

cIncludes Proposition 98 General Fund.

dReflects a reduction of $15 million dollars of General Fund, partially offset by $14 million in Proposition 98 General Fund.

CalFire = California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; CCC = California Conservation Corps; DOC = Department of Conservation; IBank = Infrastructure Bank; OPR = Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; CNRA = California Natural Resources Agency; CARB = California Air Resources Board; SWRCB = State Water Resources Control Board; OES = Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; and UC ANR = University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Nature-Based Activities

Sustains $1.4 Billion for Nature-Based Activities. As shown in Figure 7, the budget includes General Fund reductions totaling $155 million to five programs in the areas of nature-based activities. The largest reduction—$100 million—is to funds slated for various conservancies across the state. Some other notable changes include reducing $35 million for a Wildlife Conservation Board program to mitigate the impacts of climate change on wildlife and reducing $10 million for San Francisco Bay wetlands support. After accounting for these reductions, the budget retains $1.4 billion for nature-based activities. Of the funding retained, $1.1 billion was provided in prior years and $286 million is appropriated in 2023‑24.

Figure 7

Revised Nature‑Based Activities Package

General Fund (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Level

2021‑22

2022‑23

2023‑24

Totals

Land Acquisition and Management Programs

$325

$170

$495

Various WCB programs

WCB

$150

$95

$245

Habitat restoration

DWR

125

75

200

Opportunity coastal acquisition

SCC

50

50

Wildlife Protection Programs

‑$35

$46

$257

$65

$368

Protect wildlife from changing conditions

WCB

‑$35

$31

$222

$65

$318

Climate change impacts on wildlife

CDFW

15

35

50

Regionally Focused Programs

‑$110

$60

$204

$9

$273

Conservancy funding

Various

‑$100

$60

$70

$130

Wildlife corridors (including Liberty Canyon)

CDFW & SMMC

52

52

San Joaquin Valley flood plain restoration

WCB

40

40

Natural Community Conservation Program Planning and Land Acquisition

CDFW

‑6

30

30

Climate Smart Land Management Program

DOC

‑4

10

$6

16

Resource conservation strategies

WCB

2

3

5

Youth and Tribal Programs

$109

$42

$151

Local and tribal NBS corps programs

CCC

$38

$11

$49

Tribal program

CNRA

70

30

100

Tribal staffing

CNRA

1

1

3b

Wetland Focused Programs

‑$10

$101

$101

Wetlands Restoration Program

CDFW

$54

$54

NBS Wetlands Restoration Program

DC

36

36

San Francisco Bay wetlands support

SCC

‑$10

1

1

Redondo Beach wetlands restoration

CNRA

10

10

Other Programs

$20

$21

Cal CIS

CNRA

$18

$18

Partnerships and improvements

CNRA

2

2

California nature support

CNRA

0.3

0.3

0.5

Totals

‑$155

$106

$1,016

$286

$1,409

aReflects the reduction in total funding in 2022‑23 and 2023‑24.

bPackage also provides $1 million in 2024‑25.

WCB = Wildlife Conservation Board; DWR = Department of Water Resources; SCC = State Coastal Conservancy; CDFW = California Department of Fish and Wildlife; SMMC= Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; DOC = Department of Conservation; DC = Delta Conservancy; NBS = Nature‑based solutions; CCC = California Conservation Corps; CNRA = California Natural Resources Agency; and Cal CIS = California Climate Information System.

Community Resilience

Maintains Bulk of Originally Planned Funding for Community Resilience. Previous budget agreements included $2.2 billion for community-based climate resilience activities. As shown in Figure 8, the revised budget package provides $1.7 billion for these programs from 2021‑22 through 2024‑25, including $344 million in 2023‑24. (This multiyear total includes $50 million for the Regional Climate Resilience Program originally intended to be provided in 2023‑24 but delayed and now planned for 2024‑25.) This reflects a net reduction of $515 million (24 percent) from the original multiyear planned amount. As shown in the figure, these reductions affect three programs: Transformative Climate Communities, Regional Climate Resilience, and Community Resilience Centers. (As noted in the “Extreme Heat” section below, additional funding is provided for resilience centers through that package.) To achieve additional General Fund savings, the budget package also shifts $250 million in 2023‑24 funding for the AB 617 program to GGRF.

Figure 8

Revised Community Resilience Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2021‑22 and
2022‑23

2023‑24

Totals

AB 617

CARB

$630b

$300b

$930

Transformative Climate Communities Program

SGC

‑$205

215

215

Community Resilience Centers

SGC

‑160

110

110

Methane monitoring satellites

CARB

105b

105

Community air monitoring

CARB

30b

30

Regional Climate Resilience Program

OPR

‑150

25

25

100c

Fifth Climate Assessment

Various

22

22

Climate Adaptation and Resilience Planning Grants

OPR

20

5

25

Environmental Justice Initiative

CalEPA

20

5

25

Regional Climate Collaboratives

SGC

20

20

School ventilation upgrades (CalSHAPE)

CEC

20b

20

Fluorinated Gas Reduction Incentive Program

CARB

15

15

California Climate Action Corps

OPR

10

9d

19

High‑GWP refrigerants

CARB

10b

10

Vulnerable Communities Platform and CalAdapt Mapping

OPR

5

5

Wood stove replacements

CARB

5b

5

Regional planning for lithium extraction

CEC

5

5

Totals

‑$515

$1,267

$344

$1,661

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2021‑22 through 2023‑24.

bIncludes funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

cIncludes $50 million delayed until 2024‑25.

d2023‑24 budget agreement doubles annual program funding and converts to ongoing.

AB 617 = Chapter 136 of 2017 (AB 617, C. Garcia); CARB = Air Resources Board; SGC = Strategic Growth Council; OPR = Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; CalEPA = California Environmental Protection Agency; CalSHAPE = California Schools Healthy Air, Plumbing and Efficiency Program; CEC = California Energy Commission; and GWP = Global Warming Potential.

Sustainable Agriculture

Maintains $1.1 Billion for Sustainable Agriculture Activities. Recent budgets committed a total of $1.2 billion from 2021‑22 through 2023‑24 for a package of programs related to promoting sustainable agriculture. The 2023‑24 budget makes several changes to the package that result in a net reduction of $94 million in total funding. As shown in Figure 9, the budget maintains $1.1 billion (92 percent) of the previously approved funding levels. The figure also shows how the General Fund reductions are spread across several programs. For one program—Healthy Soils—the spending plan reduces General Fund by $65 million in 2023‑24 but partially backfills the cut with $50 million from GGRF, resulting in a net reduction of only $15 million.

Figure 9

Revised Sustainable Agriculture Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductions

Revised Funding Levels

2021‑22 and
2022‑23

2023‑24

Totals

Agricultural diesel engine replacement and upgrades

CARB

$363a,b

$363

San Joaquin Valley agricultural burning alternatives

CARB

180

180

Healthy Soils Program

CDFA

‑$15

105a

$50a

155

Livestock methane reduction

CDFA

100a

100

California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program

CDFA

90

90

Fresno‑Merced Future of Food Innovation Initiative

CDFA

30

30

California Nutrition Incentive Program

CDFA

20

20

Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program

CDFA

20

20

Transition to safer, sustainable pest management

CDFA

18

18

Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program

CDFA

‑22

18

18

Pollinator Habitat Program

CDFA

‑15

16

16

Farm to Community Food Hubs Program

CDFA

15

15

Urban Agriculture Program

CDFA

12

12

Technical assistance for underserved farmers

CDFA

10

10

Farmer training and farm manager apprenticeships

CDFA

10

10

Methane reduction through cattle feed

CDFA

10a

10

Assessment of regulatory requirements for agriculture

CDFA

6

6

Research in GHG reductions

CDFA

‑5

5

5

Invasive Species Council

CDFA

‑5

5

5

Integrated pest management technical assistance

CDFA/DPR

2

3

5

Canine blood bank

CDFA

1

1

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

CDFA

1

1

Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program

CDFA

‑9

1

1

Climate Catalyst Fund

Go‑Biz

‑25

Totals

‑$94

$1,036

$53

$1,090

aIncludes funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

bIncludes funding from the Air Pollution Control Fund.

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

CARB = California Air Resources Board; CDFA = California Department of Food and Agriculture; GHG = greenhouse gas; DPR = Department of Pesticide Regulation; and Go‑Biz = Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Extreme Heat

Maintains Majority of Funding for Extreme Heat Package, Reduces Three Programs. Figure 10 displays the revised multiyear funding package for activities to respond to the climate threat of extreme heat. As shown, the budget maintains $494 million, which represents about two-thirds of the amount originally included in prior-year funding agreements ($739 million). The net reduction of $245 million (including $125 million in 2023‑24) is spread across three programs—Urban Greening, Extreme Heat and Community Resilience, and Urban Forestry. The majority of the reduction ($175 million) affects the Urban Greening Program administered by CNRA, which is left with $75 million.

Figure 10

Revised Extreme Heat Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2021‑22 and
2022‑23

2023‑24

Totals

Green Schoolyards Program

CalFire

$117b

$33

$150

Urban Greening Program

CNRA

‑$175

75

75

Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program

OPR

‑40

25

110

135

Low Income Weatherization Program

CSD

25

25

50

Urban Forestry Program

CalFire

‑30

20

20

Farmworker Low‑Income Weatherization Program

CSD

15c

15

Protections for vulnerable populations

CDPH, DIR, CDSS

14

14

28

Community‑based public awareness campaign

OPR

6

14

20

Animal Mortality Management Program

CDFA

0.6

0.6

1.2

Origin Inspection Program

CDFA

0.3

0.3

0.5

Totals

‑$245

$298

$197

$494

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2021‑22 through 2023‑24.

bIncludes $100 million for the Urban Forestry Program for schools and childcare facilities provided through a budget control section.

cIncludes funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

CalFire = California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; CNRA = California Natural Resources Agency; OPR = Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; CSD = Department of Community Services and Development; CDPH = California Department of Public Health; DIR = Department of Industrial Relations; DSS = Department of Social Services; and CDFA = California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Circular Economy

Sustains Nearly All Funding for Recycling and Waste Reduction. Using a mix of General Fund and special funds, recent budgets committed a total of $468 million in 2021‑22 and 2022‑23 for a package of programs related to promoting a circular economy through recycling and waste reduction. All of this funding is provided through the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). As shown in Figure 11, the 2023‑24 budget makes several changes to the package that result in a net reduction of $25 million in total funding. Overall, the budget maintains $443 million (95 percent) of the previously approved funding levels.

Figure 11

Revised Circular Economy Package

CalRecycle, General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Net
Reductions

Revised Funding Levels

2021‑22

2022‑23

Totals

Organic waste infrastructure

$90a

$15

$105

SB 1383 implementation grants

60a

180a

240

RMDZ Loan Program

‑$5

25

20

45

Co‑digestion capacity

10

20a

30

Quality incentive payments

10b

10

Edible food recovery

3

2

5

Compost Permitting Pilot Program

8

8

Recycling feasibility grants

‑15

Community composting opportunities

‑5

Totals

‑$25

$198

$245

$443

aIncludes funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

bIncludes funding from the Beverage Container Recycling Fund.

CalRecycle = California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and RMDZ = Recycling Market Development Zone.

Coastal Resilience

Retains $1.1 Billion in Funding for Coastal Resilience. Previous budgets developed a multiyear plan to appropriate $1.3 billion from 2022‑23 through 2024‑25 for coastal resilience activities. As shown in Figure 12, the recent agreement intends to retain $1.1 billion (86 percent) of that total, including $653 million in 2023‑24. The most significant change is reducing the State Coastal Conservancy’s (SCC) coastal resilience and sea-level rise adaptation activities from a total of $1.1 billion to $881 million. The changes include a $174 million reduction for coastal protection and adaptation activities and a decrease of $9 million for adapting infrastructure to the effects of sea-level rise. Budget bill language provides somewhat more flexibility to SCC about how to prioritize projects within these programs to address urgent sea-level rise adaptation needs.

Figure 12

Revised Coastal Resilience Package

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

Net
Reductionsa

Revised Funding Levels

2022‑23

2023‑24

2024‑25

Totals

Protecting the coast from climate change

SCC

‑$174

$175

$151

$326

Adapting to sea‑level rise: nature‑based activities

SCC

120b

300

420

Protecting the ocean from climate change

OPC

50

50

100

Implementing SB 1

OPC

38c

55

$10

103

Adapting infrastructure to sea‑level rise

SCC

‑9

38c

97

135

Totals

‑$183

$421

$653

$10

$1,084

aReflects the reduction in total funding from 2022‑23 through 2024‑45.

bIncludes $80 million from GGRF.

cGGRF.

SCC = State Coastal Conservancy; OPC = Ocean Protection Council; SB 1 = Chapter 236 of 2021 (Senate Bill 1, Atkins); and GGRF = Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Parks, Access, and Other Programs

Makes a Few Targeted Reductions to Other Programs. The budget includes General Fund reductions to a few other programs, mostly in the areas of parks and access. (The allocations to most of these programs were not included in a defined programmatic budget package but rather funded as stand-alone proposals.) Specifically, the budget reduces General Fund support for:

  • The Department of Parks and Recreation’s (Parks’) Statewide Parks Program ($183 million across several years, retaining $197 million).

  • Parks’ deferred maintenance projects ($31 million in 2021‑22, retaining $138 million).

  • CNRA’s Recreational Trails and Greenways Program ($25 million in 2022‑23, retaining $10 million).

  • DOC’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program ($25 million in 2022‑23, which eliminates the recent General Fund support for the program).

  • The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CalFire’s) deferred maintenance projects ($13 million in 2021‑22, retaining $37 million).

  • SCC’s Explore the Coast program ($1 million in 2021‑22, retaining $13 million).

Additionally, the budget reverts $115 million of General Fund that was set aside in a designated fund in 2021‑22 and 2022‑23 for park-related activities but is not urgently needed.

Cap-and-Trade Spending Summary

Targets Cap-and-Trade Discretionary Spending Primarily to Offset General Fund Reductions. As shown in Figure 13, the budget package allocates $4.8 billion in spending from GGRF. This includes $2.7 billion in statutorily required appropriations and $2.2 billion in discretionary spending. The budget projects that with these expenditures, the fund will maintain a balance of $102 million. Nearly all of the discretionary spending is focused on minimizing the programmatic impacts of addressing the budget shortfall—primarily by reducing General Fund spending commitments in the ZEV and energy packages made in previous budget agreements and backfilling them with GGRF. For example, the budget package backfills a total of $500 million for the Equitable Building Decarbonization Program across 2022‑23 and 2023‑24. As shown earlier in Figure 3, the budget also expresses legislative intent for additional discretionary GGRF funding to be used to backfill reductions in the ZEV package in subsequent years through 2027.

Figure 13

2023‑24 Cap‑and‑Trade Expenditure Plan

(In Millions)

Program

Department

Funding

Statutorily Required Appropriations

$2,639

High‑Speed Rail

HSRA

889

Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities

SGC

711

Transit and Intercity Rail

CalSTA

356

Healthy and Resilient Forests

CalFire

200

Low Carbon Transit Operations

Caltrans

178

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water

SWRCB

130

Manufacturing Tax Credit

N/A

89

State Responsibility Area Fee Backfill

CalFire/CCC

86

Discretionary Spending

$2,171

Energy Package

CEC

$703

Energy Package

CPUC

375

ZEV Package

CEC

330

AB 617 Program

CARB

250

Zero‑Emission Transit Capital Program

CalSTA

220

ZEV Package

CARB

170

Healthy Soils Program

CDFA

50

Extreme Heat Package

CalFire

33

Low‑Income Weatherization Program

CSD

25

Low Carbon Economy Grant Program

CWDB

15

Total

$4,810

HSRA = High Speed Rail Authority; SGC = Strategic Growth Council; CalSTA = California State Transportation Agency; CalFire = California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; N/A ‑ not applicable; CCC = California Conservation Corps; Caltrans = California Department of Transportation; SWRCB = State Water Resources Control Board; CEC = California Energy Commission; CPUC = California Public Utilities Commission; ZEV = zero‑emission vehicle; CARB = California Air Resources Board; CDFA = California Department of Food and Agriculture; CSD = Department of Community Services and Development; and CWDB = California Workforce Development Board.

Establishes New Program for Transit Buses and Infrastructure. In addition to statutory allocations and General Fund backfills, the budget provides GGRF for one large new program—$220 million in 2023‑24 for transit agencies to purchase ZEV transit buses and infrastructure. This new program also offers agencies that are facing budget shortfalls the flexibility to use the funding to help support operations. (We discuss this program and transit agency operational funding issues in more detail in our companion post, The 2023‑24 California Spending Plan: Transportation.) The budget agreement includes intent to provide an additional $230 million annually for this program from future GGRF discretionary spending in 2024‑25 through 2026‑27.

Other Crosscutting Issues

Clean Energy Reliability Investment Plan

Begins Implementing Clean Energy Reliability Investment Plan (CERIP). Chapter 239 of 2022 (SB 846, Dodd), which authorized an extension of operations at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant through 2030, also included intent language to provide funding to support future clean energy reliability activities. Specifically, SB 846 directed CEC to develop the CERIP and expressed intent to provide $1 billion from the General Fund to support its implementation, with the first $100 million installment to be provided in 2023‑24. As shown in Figure 14, the budget allocates this $100 million for both new activities and existing programs. Notable expenditures include:

  • Community Renewable Energy. The budget provides CPUC with $33 million to support renewable energy generation and storage programs, with a focus on support for disadvantaged communities. According to the administration, the funding will support existing programs, such as (1) the Self-Generation Incentive Program, which provides incentives to customers who install distributed energy resources such as energy storage systems, and (2) the Disadvantaged Communities Single Family Solar Homes Program, which supports lower-income homeowners in installing rooftop solar systems.

  • Central Procurement Function. The package provides $32 million for DWR to begin establishing a new centralized energy procurement office and begin implementing Chapter 367 of 2023 (AB 1373, E. Garcia).

Figure 14

Clean Energy Reliability Investment Plan Funding

2023‑24, General Fund (In Millions)

Program

Department

Funding

Community renewable energy

CPUC

$33

Central procurement function

DWR

32

Demand Side Grid Support Program

CEC

19

Permitting and interconnection

Go‑Biz

11

Transmission studies

CEC

4

Administrative costs

CEC

1

Total

$100

CPUC = California Public Utilities Commission; DWR = Department of Water Resources; CEC = California Energy Commission; and Go‑Biz = Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Carbon Capture, Removal, Utilization and Storage Program

Funds Multiple Departments to Implement New Requirements. Chapter 359 of 2022 (SB 905, Caballero) required CARB to establish a Carbon Capture, Removal, Utilization, and Storage Program to evaluate carbon capture, utilization, or storage (CCUS) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. These technologies are in the beginning stages of development in California and CARB has identified their success as an important factor in the state meeting its GHG emissions reduction targets. The budget provides the following to implement SB 905’s requirements:

  • $3.6 million from the Cost of Implementation Account (COIA) to CARB for nine three-year positions and consulting services to begin developing the program and evaluate technologies.

  • $3.7 million from COIA to DOC for four permanent positions, consulting services, and data acquisition regarding seismic and geologic suitability and risk factors for CCUS and CDR. The new positions will create the Geologic Carbon Sequestration Group, as required by SB 905. This group will support the development of a regulatory framework and provide expertise on geologic and seismic issues.

  • $280,000 from COIA to SWRCB for one permanent position that will collaborate with CARB to develop and implement a permit application process and provide expertise to ensure projects consider groundwater resources.

Stream Gages

Includes Funding to Reactivate High-Priority Stream Gages. The spending plan includes $24 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24, as well as $3 million in 2024‑25, to implement Chapter 361 of 2019 (SB 19, Dodd). (This final budget agreement represents an increase from the $5 million over two years that the Governor had originally proposed.) Senate Bill 19 required interagency development of a plan to deploy a stream gage network. Stream gages measure various water conditions—including depth, streamflow, quality, and temperature—to assist local, state, and federal governments with a variety of water management activities. While the U.S. Geological Survey and DWR formerly operated as many as 3,600 stream gages in California, the number in operation has declined since the 1970s—down to about 1,000 today—due to reduced funding over time. The SB 19 Plan, released in 2022, recommended several steps to improve the stream gage network: (1) integrating third-party gages, (2) improving and expanding the current state stream gage network (including reactivating historical stream gages and installing new ones), (3) prioritizing funding for stream gages, and (4) streamlining regulatory permitting. Funding is allocated to:

  • DWR ($18.4 million in 2023‑24 and $2.3 million in 2024‑25) to identify, physically activate or reactivate, and operate and maintain stream gages.

  • SWRCB ($2.9 million in 2023‑24 and $280,000 in 2024‑25) to consult with DWR and provide technical expertise in the identification and reactivation of historical stream gages.

  • DOC ($1.6 million in 2023‑24 and $150,000 in 2024‑25) to consult with the other departments during the reactivation process, including traveling to sites, analyzing data, and conducting research.

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) ($1 million in 2023‑24 and $99,000 in 2024‑25) to consult with the other departments and provide technical expertise during the reactivation process.

Clean Vehicle Fees

Reauthorizes Clean Vehicle Fees. Chapter 319 of 2023 (AB 126, Reyes) extends the sunset of certain vehicle-related fees that support clean transportation activities and also makes a number of statutory changes to the programs these funds support. (These extensions were first proposed as part of the Governor’s budget but the Legislature ultimately approved them through a policy bill and not a budget trailer bill.) These fees generate about $185 million per year for three programs:

  • Clean Transportation Program ($110 Million). This program is administered by CEC and provides grants to accelerate the deployment of ZEV fueling infrastructure and alternative fueling infrastructure including hydrogen. Assembly Bill 126 reduces the set aside allocation for hydrogen refueling stations from 20 percent to 15 percent of total funding and prioritizes funds for the least carbon-intensive hydrogen projects. The legislation also requires that CEC spend at least 50 percent of the funds on projects that directly benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities.

  • Air Quality Improvement Program ($42 Million). This mobile source incentive program focuses on reducing criteria pollutants and diesel particulate emissions. In recent years, CARB has allocated these revenues to help small-business fleet owners secure financing for cleaner truck upgrades. Assembly Bill 126 requires vehicle replacements funded through this program to be zero-emission.

  • Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program ($33 Million). This program is administered by CARB and the Bureau of Automotive Repair and provides subsidies to retire older, high-polluting vehicles and replace them with newer vehicles, with higher subsidies for low-income households.

Natural Resources

Natural Resources Agency

The budget includes a total of $417 million from various funds to support CNRA, including $364 million from the General Fund. (These amounts do not include $100 million allocated through CNRA as part of a budget control section, as discussed below.) This total is a net decrease of $680 million, or 62 percent, from the estimated 2022‑23 level. This decrease is primarily due to the expiration of one-time funds that were available to CNRA in 2022‑23.

Funds Specific Legislative Priority Projects. The 2023‑24 spending plan provides $131 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis through CNRA’s budget to support various specific projects of legislative priority, most of which are to be undertaken by non-state entities. Some of the most significant of these augmentations include:

  • $100 million for 63 specific local projects identified in a budget control section.

  • $12 million for museums, including the Museum of Latin American Art ($10 million) and the Museum of Tolerance ($2 million), both located in Los Angeles.

  • $10 million for the Ocean Protection Council to support the creation of an Intertidal Biodiversity Deoxyribonucleic Acid Barcode library.

  • $7 million to support the creation of a Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center in Bakersfield.

  • $2 million for the Women's 20th Century Club located in Los Angeles.

Supports Implementation of Recent Legislation. The budget provides a total of $5 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24 and five positions for CNRA, as well as funding in future years, to implement various recently enacted legislation. This includes $3 million in 2023‑24 (of which $500,000 is ongoing) and two positions to support the implementation of Chapter 341 of 2022 (AB 1757, Garcia). It also includes funding to implement various other bills that the Legislature passed in 2022, including Chapter 349 (AB 2278, Kalra), Chapter 338 (AB 1384, Gabriel), and Chapter 479 (AB 2022, Ramos). These bills cover a variety of topics, such as related to tracking and reporting on GHG and conservation goals, updating state strategies, and removing derogatory place names.

Department of Water Resources

The budget package includes a total of $3 billion from various funds for DWR in 2023‑24, including $863 million from the General Fund. (The total includes the roughly $1.5 billion in annual payments from water contractors for DWR’s work on the State Water Project that is continuously appropriated outside of the annual budget act.) The total DWR budget is down $5.2 billion (63 percent) from the estimated 2022‑23 level, which included significant one-time funding for water and drought package activities as well as for energy reliability.

Provides $462 Million for Flood Management and Response Activities. As shown in Figure 15, the budget includes $415 million across multiple departments (mostly DWR) in 2023‑24 ($388 million from the General Fund and $27 million from bond funds) for flood management and response activities, along with intent to provide an additional $47 million General Fund in 2024‑25. This includes funding for (1) continuing flood management projects in the Central Valley that are part of the State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC), (2) local flood management projects in areas outside the SPFC, and (3) Delta levees. Additionally, associated budget legislation streamlines the process for diverting flood flows to both reduce flood risk and recharge groundwater basins. The budget also includes the following funding to support recovery from the 2023 storms:

  • Agricultural Businesses. The budget includes $25 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis to support agricultural businesses affected by storms and drought, which consists of (1) $20 million for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to provide flood and drought relief grants to small agricultural businesses (which builds on $75 million provided for drought relief in 2022‑23) and (2) $5 million for CDFA to provide flood and drought relief grants to socially disadvantaged, small- and medium-scale producers.

  • Flood Contingency Funds. The budget includes up to $135 million General Fund for contingencies related to the 2023 storms: $40 million split equally between the communities of Planada in Merced County and Pajaro in Monterey County (which experienced severe damage and displacement from the storms), and $95 million for other response and recovery activities. Budget language stipulated that the Department of Finance may provide funding to support these storm-related costs after notifying and providing details to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. In September 2023, the department provided notice that the administration allocated the $95 million as follows: $67 million to DWR for critical levee repairs, $14 million to SWRCB to address needs resulting from flood impacts to domestic wells, $11.7 million to the Department of Social Services to provide direct assistance to individuals affected by floods who are ineligible for support through other programs, and $2.3 million to CDFA and the University of California to restore services at a flood-damaged animal and food safety laboratory.

Figure 15

Flood Management and Response Funding

General Fund Unless Otherwise Noted (In Millions)

Program

Department

2023‑24

2024‑25

Totalsa

Flood contingency funding

Various

$135

$135

Urban Flood Risk Reduction Program

DWR

101

$35

136

Flood Control Subventions Program

DWR

75

75

Delta levees system

DWR

41

41b

Systemwide flood protection—Paradise Cut and Yolo Bypass

DWR

25

25

Small Agricultural Business Relief Grant Program

GO‑Biz

20

20

California Underserved and Small Producer Program

CDFA

5

5

Joint Operations Center relocation

DWR

5

5

2027 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan

DWR

4

11

15c

Yolo Bypass‑Cache Slough Master Plan and comprehensive study

DWR

3

3

Flood maintenance and operations support

DWR

1d

1

1

Central Valley Flood Protection Board engineer positions

DWR

1d

1

1

Totals

$415

$47

$462

aAmounts may not add due to rounding.

bIncludes $27.4 million from Proposition 1 (2014) bond funds.

cTotal funding of $36.9 million to be provided over four years through 2026‑27.

dOngoing.

CDFA = California Department of Food and Agriculture; DWR = Department of Water Resources; and GO‑Biz = Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.

Adds Staff for SGMA Implementation. The budget includes $14.9 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24 to support implementation of SGMA. This amount includes $900,000 in one-time funding to support the development of a groundwater trading plan. The remaining $14 million is ongoing funding to support 11 new DWR positions and backfill funding for 29 existing positions (previously supported by Proposition 68 bond funds that have been expended). Overall, the budget will sustain roughly the same number of positions in the SGMA program, as most of the 11 new positions will backfill some of the staff who were temporarily assigned to SMGA work but will be transitioning back to their other DWR responsibilities beginning in 2024‑25. The 11 new positions will be conducting enhanced data collection, groundwater basin analyses, and enhanced reporting as local agencies implement their groundwater sustainability plans.

Continues Salton Sea Restoration Activities. The budget includes $20 million in federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act for DWR projects that are part of the Salton Sea Management Program’s ten-year plan. The funding will support construction of up to 8,000 acres of wetland habitat and up to 5,000 acres of vegetation enhancement projects intended to build up habitat and suppress toxic dust as the Salton Sea continues to recede. (The federal government has indicated it will provide California with an additional $228 million for Salton Sea activities, contingent on the Imperial Irrigation District and Coachella Valley Water District making voluntary reductions in their Colorado River use. Another $2 million in federal funding will go directly to local entities and tribes.) As noted earlier, the budget package also includes some changes in state funding for activities at the Salton Sea. Specifically, it reduces state General Fund support for DWR by $119 million and increases Proposition 68 bond funding for CNRA by $25 million.

Provides Funding for State’s Share of South Delta Permanent Operable Gates Project. The budget includes a combined $44 million in Proposition 13 (2000) and Proposition 50 (2002) bond funds for the state’s share of costs to implement the South Delta Permanent Operable Gates project. This funding will support construction of permanent barriers in three channels in the southern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with operable gates to control the flow of water. This project, which is expected to be completed by 2029, has been identified by the state and federal governments as a way to control salinity, improve water quality, and allow free fish passage in these south Delta channels. The department estimates the total project cost at $180 million (an increase compared to the previous estimate of $130 million). The state will share costs with the federal government.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

The budget includes a total of $3.3 billion from various funds to support CalFire in 2023‑24, including $2.9 billion from the General Fund. This total is a net decrease of $703 million, or 17 percent, from the estimated 2022‑23 level. This decrease is primarily due to the expiration of one-time funds that were available to CalFire in 2022‑23.

Augments Short-Term Fire Protection Resources. The budget provides $118 million ($116 million from the General Fund and $2 million from reimbursements and special funds) on a one-time basis as well as 503.5 positions to augment fire protection resources, including crews staffed by CalFire and California Military Department personnel, from July through December 2023.

Funds Aviation Program Contracts. The budget approves $6 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24, plus additional funding in subsequent years rising to $17 million in 2027‑28, to support various aviation program contracts, including for parts and logistics, as well as pilots and mechanics to support fixed-wing aircraft.

Implements Personal Protective Equipment Regulations. The budget provides $18 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24 ($13 million of which is ongoing) and 12 positions for the implementation of regulations related to the replacement and cleaning of personal protective equipment. (The California Conservation Corps also received $1.1 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24 [$841,000 of which is ongoing] and one position to support the implementation of these regulations.)

Supports Temporary Training Facilities and Study of New Facility. The budget includes $9 million from the General Fund annually through 2027‑28 to lease and operate two temporary training centers. The budget also includes $645,000 from the General Fund for a study examining CalFire’s training center needs and potential options to meet those needs. (The Legislature rejected the portions of the administration’s original request for funding to acquire property for a new training center and for facility-related staffing.)

Funds Various Other Capital Outlay Projects. The budget includes $31 million ($26 million from the General Fund and $5 million in lease revenue bonds) in 2023‑24 for various other capital outlay projects, such as for replacing, relocating, or improving facilities like fire stations and air attack bases. Notably, this includes $5 million from the General Fund for the working drawings phase of a project to replace the Growlersburg Conservation Camp. (The total project is anticipated to cost $100 million.) It also includes $12 million from the General Fund to fund the construction of the Pine Mountain Forest Fire Station project using cash rather than through lease revenue bonds as was previously anticipated.

Department of Parks and Recreation

The budget includes roughly $973 million from various funds for Parks, including $386 million from the General Fund. (These amounts do not include $100 million allocated through Parks as part of a budget control section, as discussed below.) This represents a net decrease of $507 million, or 34 percent, from the estimated 2022‑23 level. This decrease primarily is due to the expiration of one-time augmentations that were available to Parks in 2022‑23.

Funds Specific Local Projects. The budget provides $100 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis in 2023‑24 for 77 specific local projects identified in a budget control section. It also includes $3 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis for the Southeast Los Angeles Cultural Center.

Supports Various Capital Outlay Projects at State Parks. The budget includes a total of $39 million in 2023‑24 for various capital outlay projects at state parks. Of this amount, $3 million is from the General Fund via a transfer to the Natural Resources and Parks Preservation Fund and the remainder is from various bond and special funds. These monies mostly support replacing and upgrading various facilities at state parks. For example, the budget includes $13 million in bond funds for a project to replace the lifeguard headquarters at Lake Perris State Recreation Area.

Funds Various Compliance Obligations. The budget includes $28 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24 and $1 million ongoing to support Parks’ compliance obligations. This includes $23 million to comply with an Americans with Disabilities Act-related consent decree. It also includes $5 million in 2023‑24 (of which $1 million is ongoing) and seven positions to support federal permitting requirements at Fort Ord Dunes State Park.

Addresses 2023 Winter Storm Damage. The budget includes funding to support various activities related to repairing recent storm damage at state parks and enhancing resilience to future climate change-fueled disasters, including $14 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis in 2023‑24 and five positions. The spending plan also authorizes $95 million in reimbursement authority annually through 2027‑28 to enable the department to receive reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repair and restoration work.

Reduces Programs to Address Boating Fund Shortfall. The budget includes a reduction of $11 million in spending authority from the Harbors and Watercraft Fund. This reduction—affecting the Aquatic Invasive Species Program ($5 million) and Boat Launching Facility Grant Program ($6 million)—is intended to help maintain the solvency of the fund. (The budget agreement did include the related fee increase that the Governor had proposed as part of the May Revision.)

Initiates Operations at New Park Areas. The budget includes funding and positions to initiate the operations of two new park areas. First, it provides $6 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis in 2023‑24 (of which $3 million is ongoing) and 17 positions to open Dos Rios Ranch in Stanislaus County as a new state park. Second, it authorizes $3 million in reimbursement authority from the State Parks and Recreation Fund for three years, as well as four positions, to manage the park lands within the former Sonoma Developmental Center.

California Energy Commission

The budget provides $1.7 billion to CEC, a 50 percent reduction compared to revised prior-year spending levels. Much of the year-over-year decrease reflects a significant amount of one-time funding that was provided in 2022‑23 for ZEV and energy-related activities and not sustained at the same levels in 2023‑24. The CEC budget includes funding for a wide variety of programs that we describe in the energy, ZEV, and CERIP sections above, in addition to the new activities below.

Funds New Division of Petroleum Market Oversight. The budget provides CEC with $5.9 million from the Energy Resources Program Account to implement Chapter 1 of 2023 (SBX1 2, Skinner). SBX1 2 requires the commission to establish a new Division of Petroleum Market Oversight, as well as sets new requirements for data reporting from various entities along the state’s oil and gasoline supply chain. Under SBX1 2, CEC is authorized to establish a maximum gross gasoline refining margin and penalty on gasoline sold by refiners in the state, if certain conditions are met. The legislation also sets various reporting requirements for CEC regarding the price of gasoline. The funding will support 14 permanent positions and ongoing consulting services to complete the required reports.

Supports New Technical Assistance Efforts Related to Energy Tax Credits. The budget provides $10 million on a one-time basis from the General Fund for a new program to provide technical assistance and public awareness to help California residents obtain federal energy tax credits. Specifically, the program will focus on the Homeowner Managing Energy Savings and High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate programs, including the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit and the Residential Clean Energy Credit, that were all part of the Inflation Reduction Act. CEC is authorized to enter in to contracts to fulfill the program requirements set forth in the budget, and must develop the program by July 1, 2025.

Department of Fish and Wildlife

The budget includes a total of $784 million from various fund sources for CDFW in 2023‑24, including $257 million from the General Fund. The total is down $429 million, or 35 percent, from 2022‑23. This decline is due primarily to large amounts of one-time funding that were provided in 2022‑23. The department’s budget does contain some new augmentations, which include funding to support permitting of energy and water infrastructure projects (discussed below), a reappropriation of $17 million one-time General Fund for fish screens in Monterey County, $8.6 million from the General Fund spread over three years for the nutria eradication program, and $8 million in ongoing special funds to provide continued support for CDFW’s cannabis regulatory and enforcement program.

Increases Positions for Permitting of Energy and Water Infrastructure Projects. The budget provides $10.2 million from the General Fund in 2023‑24—of which $9.6 million is ongoing—and authority for 40 positions for CDFW to review and authorize permits for energy and water infrastructure projects. The department estimates it will experience a significant increase in workload to manage lake and streambed alteration agreements, incidental take permits, consistency determinations, and mitigation bank documents associated with a growing number of energy and water projects. CDFW also intends to use these expanded resources to provide applicants with more pre-submission consultation with the goal of expediting and improving the permitting process.

Establishes Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act. Budget trailer legislation—Chapter 51 of 2023 (SB 122, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)—creates the Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act, which provides new authorities to CDFW related to the western Joshua tree (WJT), which is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change. The desert region that is home to the WJT is also expected to be the site of an increasing number of alternative energy projects. The new law allows CDFW to authorize the incidental take of the WJT for these and other types of projects (such as housing development) if certain conditions are met; namely, if the permittee either mitigates impacts of WJT removal or pays an in-lieu fee for each WJT removed. Fees will be deposited into a new special fund and continuously appropriated to CDFW to acquire and manage WJT conservation lands. The administration estimates that fees ultimately could generate as much as $185 million in annual revenue over the next several years. CDFW may delegate authority to cities or counties to authorize incidental take of WJTs for certain types of projects and collect fees on behalf of the state. The law requires CDFW to develop and implement a WJT conservation plan and includes other reporting requirements for both the department and cities and counties with delegated authority.

Department of Conservation

The budget provides $264 million for DOC in 2023‑24, which is $357 million (57 percent) less than estimated spending for the department in the prior year. As with most other departments discussed in this post, this year-to-year change largely reflects the expiration of significant amounts of one-time funding provided in 2022‑23 associated with the climate-related packages highlighted earlier.

New Positions for Environmental Reviews of Oil and Gas Projects. One notable change for DOC in 2023‑24 is the authorization of 13 new positions within the California Geologic Energy Management Division to support expanded workload related to the California Environmental Quality Act. The division indicates it has encountered a significant uptick in workload associated with carrying out these responsibilities as a result of (1) more permits being submitted for review and (2) an increase in documentation and process requirements resulting from recent court cases. The new positions have an associated cost of $2.1 million in 2023‑24 of which $2 million is ongoing, to be supported through an increase to the annual regulatory fee paid by oil and gas operators into the Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Administrative Fund. DOC estimates these new costs will increase the fee in 2023‑24 by roughly 1.6 cents per barrel of oil produced. (Based on these and other anticipated regulatory costs, the total regulatory fee is increasing from $0.87 per barrel in 2022‑23 to $1.01 per barrel in 2023‑24.)

Exposition Park

The budget includes roughly $42 million from various funds to support Exposition Park, including $28 million from the General Fund. This total is a net decrease of $11 million, or 20 percent, from the estimated 2022‑23 level. This decrease is primarily due to the expiration of $10 million in one-time funds that Exposition Park received in 2022‑23.

Funds Parking Structure and Park Surveillance Capital Outlay Projects. The budget includes $15 million in spending authority in 2023‑24 from various sources for two capital outlay projects at Exposition Park. This includes $14 million from lease revenue bonds to fund the performance criteria phase of a project to build an underground parking structure with a public park on its top deck. (The total project is anticipated to cost $373 million, also to be funded using lease revenue bonds. The administration has not yet specified a planned funding source for paying the debt service on these bonds.) It also includes a combined $1 million from the General Fund and Exposition Park Improvement Fund for the working drawings phase of a project to build a new surveillance system for the park. (The total project is anticipated to cost $10 million.)

Authorizes New Park Partnerships. The budget package includes trailer bill language authorizing the establishment of foundations for the California African American Museum and for Exposition Park. The language also authorizes these two entities and their respective foundations to engage in specified fundraising-related activities. Additionally, the language requires the Department of Finance to submit a report relating to the foundations to the Legislature on or before January 10, 2024 and annually thereafter. These provisions become inoperative on July 1, 2030.

Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety

The budget includes a total of $41 million from various special funds for the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (OEIS). This reflects a net decrease of $1 million, or 3 percent, from the estimated 2022‑23 level. The year-to-year funding level for the office remains fairly stable because the augmentations discussed below largely replaced limited-term monies provided in 2022‑23.

Continues OEIS Implementation. The budget includes a total of $14 million in 2023‑24 (of which $13 million is ongoing) from special funds and 67 positions for three proposals to support OEIS’ efforts to operate as an independent department and meet its statutory requirements.

Supports Implementation of Expedited Utility Infrastructure Safety Program. The budget includes $4 million in 2023‑24 and ongoing from the Public Utilities Commission Utilities Reimbursement Account (PUCURA) and 18 positions to support OEIS’ implementation of Chapter 819 of 2022 (SB 884, McGuire). Chapter 819 authorizes large investor-owned utilities to submit distribution infrastructure undergrounding plans to OEIS and requires the office to approve or deny the plans within nine months. In addition to this funding, the budget also includes language authorizing the Department of Finance to augment OEIS’ budget by up to $1 million from PUCURA and five positions on an ongoing basis if more utilities submit undergrounding plans than anticipated. (CPUC is also receiving $2 million from PUCURA in 2023‑24, $1 million of which is ongoing, along with six positions to support the implementation of this legislation.)

Environmental Protection

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery

The budget provides $1.9 billion from various fund sources to support CalRecycle in 2023‑24, which represents a decrease of $527 million (22 percent) when compared to the revised 2022‑23 expenditure level. The year-to-year change largely is associated with the expiration of limited-term funding the department received in recent budgets, such as funding through the Circular Economy package discussed earlier.

Authorizes Loans From the Beverage Container Recycling Fund (BCRF). The budget package authorizes two loans from BCRF. First, the fund will loan up to $100 million to the General Fund in 2023‑24. This loan is intended to be repaid over a three-year period—$25 million in both 2024‑25 and 2025‑26 and $50 million in 2026‑27. Second, BCRF will loan up to $40 million to the Hazardous Waste Control Account (HWCA) in 2023‑24. (We discuss the loan to HWCA below in the Department of Toxic Substances Control [DTSC] section). DTSC is required to repay the loan by June 30, 2026.

Funds Creation of a New Zero Waste Plan. The budget includes $2 million from BCRF in 2023‑24 for the department to complete a statewide zero waste plan, consistent with requirements included in budget bill language. CalRecycle must begin by completing an initial report by July 1, 2024 that evaluates the effectiveness of the department’s existing programs and identifies needed programmatic and department-wide improvements. Second, the department must complete a zero waste plan by January 1, 2026 that (1) provides a status update on the implementation of the findings from the initial report; (2) evaluates whether newly established and recently expanded programs are aligning with their intended goals; (3) identifies additional strategies needed to achieve the statewide goal of having at least 75 percent of solid waste generated be source reduced, recycled, or composted (as well as the statewide goal of recovering 20 percent of edible food for human consumption that would otherwise be disposed); (4) analyzes efforts and opportunities to more quickly transition from municipal waste incinerators to strategies that improve air quality; and (5) provides recommendations for legislative changes that are needed to achieve the statewide goal. The budget also includes about $300,000 from various special funds on an ongoing basis for the department to hire two positions to oversee the development and implementation of the initial report and the zero waste plan.

State Water Resources Control Board

The budget includes a total of $1.9 billion from various fund sources for SWRCB in 2023‑24, including $222 million from the General Fund. The total is down $1.7 billion, or 47 percent, from estimated 2022‑23 levels. This year-over-year decrease is due to significant one-time funding included in the prior year, not all of which was sustained in 2023‑24. We discuss several key augmentations below.

Continues Water Rights Modernization Project. The budget includes $31.5 million from the General Fund on a one-time basis for SWRCB’s Updating Water Rights Data for California (UPWARD) modernization project. The UPWARD information technology system is intended to help SWRCB administer water rights in California by improving the collection, management, and reporting of relevant data and information. Recent budgets provided approximately $80 million from the General Fund (including $6 million ongoing to support 26 positions) for a variety of activities related to improving the management and enforcement of water rights, including planning and scoping this project. The augmentation will support contracts to develop the system, which is expected to be completed in 2025.

Increases Funding to Address Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Backlog. The spending plan includes a one-time $300 million increase to local assistance funding from the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund (USTCF) to support contamination cleanup at leaking petroleum underground storage tanks. This funding will allow SWRCB both to reimburse applicants for a backlog of cost claims associated with storage tank cleanup and to respond to new claims. The current funding builds on similar one-time local assistance augmentations totaling $481 million from the USTCF in 2021‑22 and 2022‑23. The budget also includes a $30 million transfer from the USTCF to the Orphan Site Cleanup Fund to pay for costs associated with tanks that lack a responsible party to pay for cleanup.

Shifts Water Arrearages Funding Back to SWRCB. The budget shifts $200 million in federal Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars from CSD back to SWRCB for the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program. These funds were originally allocated to SWRCB as part of a $1 billion appropriation in 2021‑22 for water bill arrearages. The 2022‑23 budget shifted $200 million of the total to CSD for its Low Income Household Water Assistance Program. Because other federal funding was available for that program, however, that funding ultimately went unspent. The SWRCB program helps to address unpaid water bills that accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing funding to operators of water systems to backfill their revenue losses. Budget trailer bill language expands eligible uses of both this $200 million and existing SWRCB unspent program funding (approximately $400 million) to include residential and commercial debt related to both water and wastewater. (Previously, funding for this program prioritized water bill debt and was only available for wastewater treatment providers if funds remained.) In addition, the language extends the eligibility period of unpaid bills for which operators can claim reimbursement, moving the end date from June 15, 2021 to December 31, 2022.

Augments SGMA Oversight Resources. The budget includes $4.8 million from the General Fund in both 2023‑24 and 2024‑25 and authority for 19 new positions to support SWRCB’s role in SGMA implementation. Of the total, $500,000 in each year is for technical and facilitation services contracts. The current increase in positions brings the total number of SWRCB positions for this program to 40. The new funding will support SWRCB in conducting its statutory oversight role over the six basins which DWR has found to have inadequate local groundwater management plans. Following the two years of funding, SWRCB expects to support the 40 positions with a combination of future General Fund and fee revenues.

Other Funding Augmentations. Other notable budget increases for SWRCB include:

  • Lead and Copper Database. The budget includes a total of $45.9 million in federal funds over five years (including $16.2 million in 2023‑24) to support development of a database for lead and copper data to comply with a revised federal rule. Funding will support 14 new positions, 2 existing positions, and associated contracts.

  • Leviathan Creek Diversion Channel Relining. The budget includes $5.2 million in one-time General Fund to repair the concrete walls of a diversion channel near the abandoned Leviathan Mine, a federally listed Superfund Site in Alpine County. The diversion channel prevents the creek from interacting with toxic mine waste.

  • Water Supply Strategy Implementation. The budget includes $4.7 million in 2023‑24, $6.6 million in 2024‑25, and $6.1 million in 2025‑26 and ongoing to support planning and permitting of water supply projects. Most funding is from the Waste Discharge Permit Fund (beginning in 2024‑25, the Safe Drinking Water Account will provide $408,000 annually). The budget also provides authority for 19 new positions beginning in 2023‑24 and an additional 9 new positions beginning in 2024‑25. Associated budget trailer bill language authorizes SWRCB to assess fees for recycled water permits. This fee revenue, which will be deposited into the Waste Discharge Permit Fund, will support the new positions working specifically on permitting of recycled water projects (15 of the total 28 positions).

While the budget included $25 million one-time General Fund to support SWRCB’s role in implementing Assembly Bill 249 (Holden)—which would have required lead testing at certain schools—the Governor vetoed the legislation. These funds will therefore revert back to the General Fund.

California Air Resources Board

The budget provides $1.3 billion for CARB, a $2 billion (61 percent) decrease compared to revised prior-year spending. Much of the year-over-year decrease reflects a significant amount of one-time funding provided in the 2022‑23 budget for ZEV activities that is not sustained at the same level in the current year. The 2023‑24 CARB budget includes funding provided through the ZEV, energy, community resilience, and cap-and-trade packages described above. It also includes $75 million General Fund on a one-time basis for the existing Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program. FARMER provides funding through local air districts for agricultural equipment upgrades to lower-emitting technologies.

Department of Toxic Substances Control

The budget provides $562 million from various fund sources to support DTSC in 2023‑24, which represents a decrease of $364 million (39 percent) when compared to the revised 2022‑23 expenditure level. The decrease is largely associated with the expiration of limited-term General Fund the department received to address brownfields across the state and for cleanup activities related to the Exide Facility in the City of Vernon.

Provides Special Fund Loans to HWCA. The budget provides $55 million in special fund loans ($40 million from BCRF and $15 million from the Toxic Substances Control Account) in 2023‑24 to address revenue shortfalls in HWCA. The department is required to repay both accounts by June 30, 2026. The HWCA shortfalls largely are related to lower-than-projected revenues materializing from the generation and handling fee that was established through the recent DTSC governance and fiscal reform package. The budget also authorizes $1.2 million in new ongoing spending from HWCA to support an analysis of the current shortfalls and to increase various administrative activities to better ensure that entities are paying the amounts owed.

Supports Additional Cleanup Activities at Exide Parkways. The budget includes $40.4 million in 2023‑24 and $26.9 million in 2024‑25 from the Lead-Acid Battery Cleanup Fund to clean up 6,425 parkways surrounding the former Exide Technologies facility. (Parkways are narrow strips of land that are found between sidewalks and curbs.) The parkways identified for cleanup have been found to have lead-contaminated soil. These cleanup activities are part of a larger multiyear remediation project related to the Exide facility.