Governor Releases Proposed 2020-’21 State Budget

  • by Will Holbert
  • Jan 14, 2020
  • Water News

Gov. Gavin Newsom released his proposed Fiscal Year 2020-’21 budget Jan. 10 for the State of California, calling for $222 billion in overall spending and the placing of a $4.75 billion climate resilience bond on the November ballot.

The budget also highlights the Administration’s focus on Voluntary Agreements on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Bay-Delta as holding “the promise to adaptively manage enhanced flows and habitat to improve conditions for fish and wildlife.”

Other key highlights to the Governor’s proposed budget include:

  • $103 million one-time for efforts undertaken to implement the Water Resilience Portfolio related to groundwater management and the state water use efficiency and enhancement program, as well as the New River and Tijuana River on the Mexican border
  • $35 million ongoing for statewide implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
  • $50 million to support more energy resiliency in communities impacted by public safety power shutoff events
  • $80 million for increased use of aerial Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to better inform resources management across sectors. This could benefit the Aerial Snow Observatory program, which uses LIDAR to measure the Sierra snowpack.
  • $66 million for urban flood risk reduction projects

In addition, the proposed budget highlights the Administration’s support for a single-tunnel conveyance project under the Bay-Delta to protect California’s water supply from a number of issues, including the impact of an earthquake on levees.

“The Governor’s proposed budget includes many potentially positive developments for ACWA members and would address a wide variety of needs, innovative applications and opportunities for collaboration,” said ACWA Director of State Legislative Relations Adam Quiñonez.

Newsom’s release of a proposed budget initiates a four-step process, with a revised version coming out in May, passage by the Legislature no later than June 15, and finally approved by the Governor.

In a first for a state budget, a comprehensive Climate Budget would spend $12 billion (including the bond, if approved) over five years and prioritize investments in transportation, fuels, infrastructure, and land based strategies to reduce climate risk. The proposed $4.75 Climate Resilience Bond, if passed by voters, would include:

  • $1 billion for water management projects with a focus on regional approaches on a wide range of multi-benefit projects, spanning stormwater and wastewater treatment, water reuse storage, conveyance and watershed protection
  • $395 million to support local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies’ implementation projects required under SGMA
  • $360 million for safe drinking water to improve access to safe drinking water in disadvantaged communities, including capital funding for treatment and distribution
  • $340 million for urban flood risk reduction projects and $270 million to support multi-benefit flood risk reduction and restoration efforts
  • $500 million for hardening critical infrastructure including drinking water infrastructure
  • $250 million to support forest health projects including reforestation and conservation activities


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