Environment and Natural Resources Publications

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The 2022-23 Budget: Department of Toxic Substances Control Reform Implementation

January 25, 2022 - In this post, we provide a description and analysis of the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposals to spend the additional revenues the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is expected to receive from last year’s governance and fiscal reform. Overall, we find that the proposals are consistent with the information the Legislature used as the basis for approving DTSC’s governance and fiscal reform. However, we recommend the Legislature continue to conduct oversight of the programmatic expansions being proposed and to revisit staffing levels in future years.

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The 2022-23 Budget: Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plan

January 25, 2022 - In this post, we describe the Governor's cap-and-trade expenditure plan, evaluate the revenue assumptions used to determine the amount of funding available, and identify issues for legislative consideration.

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The 2022-23 Budget: Overview of the Governor's Budget

January 13, 2022 - On January 10, 2022, Governor Newsom presented his proposed state budget to the Legislature. In this report, we provide a brief summary of the proposed budget based on our initial review. In the coming weeks, we will analyze the plan in more detail and release several additional budget analyses.

Update (1/21/22): Includes a corrected estimate of Governor’s Budget proposals that are excludable under the State Appropriations Limit (SAL).

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Options for Creating a Forestry Management Training Center

January 4, 2022 - Prepared in response to a requirement in the Supplemental Report of the 2021-22 Budget Act, this report identifies key design choices and options for establishing a forestry management training center in Northern California. Additionally, this report discusses some other strategies that the Legislature could consider pursuing—either in addition to or instead of establishing a new training center—to meet its policy goals.

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Assessing California’s Climate Policies—Agriculture

December 15, 2021 - Chapter 135 of 2017 (AB 398, E. Garcia) requires our office to annually report on the economic impacts and benefits of California’s statutory greenhouse gas emission targets. This report provides our assessment of the effects of major programs in the agricultural sector that are aimed at reducing emissions and sequestering carbon, as well as identifies key issues for the Legislature to consider as it makes future policy and budget decisions.

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An Initial Review of the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program

December 13, 2021 - In recent years, as wildfires have increased in severity and damage, the Legislature has shown growing interest in state support of wildfire prevention efforts, including regional planning for forest health activities. The Regional Forest and Fire Capacity program (RFFC)—created in 2018—provides non‑competitive block grants to state conservancies, resource conservation districts, and other entities to facilitate regional coordination for forest health and wildfire resilience. These grants are intended to support regional planning, project development, demonstration projects, and community outreach. To implement these activities, grant recipients coordinate with and distribute funds to partnering entities within their regions. We prepared this report to provide an early review of RFFC’s implementation.

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Cap-And-Trade Auction Update and GGRF Projections

December 6, 2021 - Revenue from quarterly cap‑and‑trade auctions is deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), and the funds are allocated to various climate‑related programs. In this post, we (1) summarize the results from the recent November 2021 cap‑and‑trade auction, (2) estimate future GGRF revenue and the amount available for discretionary spending under three different scenarios, and (3) identify issues for legislative consideration as it begins its 2022‑23 budget deliberations.

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The 2021-22 Spending Plan: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

October 18, 2021 - The 2021‑22 budget package provides a total of $21.7 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, and various special funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. This is a net increase of $4.8 billion (22 percent) compared to 2020‑21 estimated expenditures.

Correction 10/22/21: Funding amount for CDFW has been corrected.

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Reducing the Destructiveness of Wildfires: Promoting Defensible Space in California

September 30, 2021 - A key strategy for reducing home losses during wildfires is for homeowners to maintain an area free of excess or dead vegetation around their homes, known as defensible space. This report identifies the challenges to improving the number of homeowners in compliance with existing state and local defensible space requirements and provides recommendations to address these challenges in order to reduce the destructiveness of future wildfires.

Executive Summary (PDF)

Handout

Wildfire Prevention and Forest Resiliency

August 31, 2021 - This handout provides background information on recent wildfire resilience-related budget actions. It also provides an update on the administration’s progress thus far towards committing the funding provided in the April 2021 Wildfire and Forest Resilience Early Action Package to specific projects and activities.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Initial Comments on the Governor’s May Revision

May 17, 2021 - On May 14, 2021, Governor Newsom presented a revised state budget proposal to the Legislature. (This annual proposed revised budget is called the “May Revision.”) In this post, we provide a summary of the Governor’s revised budget, focusing on the overall condition and structure of the state General Fund—the budget’s main operating account. In the coming days, we will analyze the plan in more detail and provide additional comments in hearing testimony and online.

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What Can We Learn From How the State Responded to the Last Major Drought?

May 13, 2021 - For the second consecutive year, the state is experiencing extremely low rates of precipitation. As we prepare for what could be an extended period of dry conditions, it is helpful to review how the state responded to the last major drought. Such information can inform—and thereby potentially improve—the state’s current and ongoing response to developing conditions. In this report, we summarize the major activities, spending, and policy actions undertaken by the state to respond to the severe drought that occurred from 2012 through 2016. We also describe current conditions, and highlight some key lessons the Legislature can learn from previous efforts to help guide its response to the emerging drought.

Handout

How Did the State Respond to the Last Major Drought?

May 5, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife Hon. Eduardo Garcia, Chair

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Adoption of April 2021 Wildfire and Forest Resilience Early Action Package

April 16, 2021 - On April 13, 2021, the Governor signed SB 85 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), which amends the 2020-21 Budget Act to provide additional funding for various wildfire and forest resilience activities. This post provides a brief summary of this funding package.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Department of Toxic Substances Control

March 19, 2021 - Discusses the Governor's proposal to implement fiscal and governance reforms for the Department of Toxic Substances Control, as well as the proposal to provide $300 million in one-time General Fund to clean up brownfields across the state.

Environment and Natural Resources Staff

Ross Brown
(916) 319-8345
Air Quality, Energy, and Climate Change
 
Helen Kerstein
(916) 319-8364
Forestry, Parks, and High Speed Rail
 
Sonja Petek
(916) 319-8340
Water, Coastal Development, and Fish and Wildlife
 
Frank Jimenez
(916) 319-8324
Highways and Roads, Recycling, Agriculture, and Toxics
 
Eunice Roh
(916) 319-8327
Mass Transportation, Traffic Enforcement, Statewide Infrastructure
 
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation