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
Luke Koushmaro
(916) 319-8355
Mass Transportation, Traffic Enforcement, Statewide Planning and Infrastructure
Sarah Cornett
(916) 319-8329
Air Quality, Energy, and Climate Change
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation


Environment and Natural Resources

To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.


The 2023-24 Budget: Crafting Climate, Resources, and Environmental Budget Solutions

February 22, 2023 - This report describes the Governor’s proposed budget solutions within climate, resources, and environmental programs, and provides the Legislature with a framework and suggestions for how it might modify those proposals to better reflect its priorities and prepare to address a potentially larger budget problem.
Correction (4/27/23): The amounts in Figure 1 for Wildfire and Forest Resilience and Nature-Based Activities and Extreme Heat have been corrected.


The 2023-24 Budget: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Major Capital Outlay Proposals

February 21, 2023 - In this brief, we analyze the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s 2023-24 budget proposals related to two major capital outlay issues: a new training center and rebuilding an existing conservation camp.


The 2023-24 Budget: Overview of the Governor's Budget

January 13, 2023 - On January 10, 2023, 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.


Summary of Major 2022 Climate and Energy Legislation

January 6, 2023 - This post provides an overview of newly enacted legislation addressing the state's greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy goals, energy sources, and oil and gas extraction policies.


Assessing California's Climate Policies—The 2022 Scoping Plan Update

January 4, 2023 - This brief evaluates the California Air Resources Board's plan for achieving statewide 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals.


Living Under Smoky Skies—Understanding the Challenges Posed by Wildfire Smoke in California

November 14, 2022 - In this report, we (1) summarize trends in wildfires and associated smoke; (2) review research on the health and other effects of wildfire smoke, including on vulnerable groups; (3) discuss local, state, and federal roles and responsibilities related to smoke, as well as actions that the state currently is undertaking to address it; and (4) provide some guidance to the Legislature as it formulates its approach to addressing smoke in the coming years.


Tribal Nature-Based Solutions Funding

October 27, 2022 - Presented to: Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs


The 2022-23 California Spending Plan: Resources and Environmental Protection

October 10, 2022 - The 2022-23 budget package provides a total of $23.7 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, and a number of special funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies.

Update (11/17/22): Estimated federal allotments to SWRCB have been updated to $760 million.


The 2022-23 Budget: California Spending Plan Series

September 29, 2022 - Each year, our office publishes California Spending Plan, a series of publications that summarize the annual state budget. The Overview of the California Spending Plan is presented here along with short online posts that focus on major areas and features of the 2022-23 budget package. As more of these posts become available, we will add them below.


Overview of California's Ports

August 23, 2022 - This post describes how ports across the state operate and are funded, discusses related air quality and port congestion issues, and reviews recent state and federal actions regarding ports.


Proposition 30: Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Air Pollution and Prevent Wildfires by Increasing Tax on Personal Income Over $2 Million. Initiative Statute.

August 10, 2022 - Presented to: Senate Governance and Finance Committee Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water


Initiative Statute: Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Increasing Tax on Personal Income Over $2 Million

May 31, 2022 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Transportation Assembly Committee on Natural Resources Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy


The 2022-23 Budget: Fuel Price and Other Fiscal Relief Options

May 12, 2022 - In response to increasing prices across the economy—particularly fuel prices—the Legislature is contemplating a number of policies for providing fiscal relief to Californians. In this post, we identify key questions for the Legislature to consider when analyzing the merits of the options proposed by the Governor and in designing its own relief package.


The 2022-23 Budget: Pesticide Enforcement

May 5, 2022 - In this post, we assess the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposals to (1) provide additional administrative penalty authority to the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) for pesticide use and residue violations, (2) increase several existing pesticide-related penalties, and (3) provide funding to DPR to investigate and pursue pesticide use and residue enforcement cases.


The 2022-23 Budget: Cap-and-Trade Revenue Update

April 29, 2022 - This budget post provides an update on cap-and-trade revenue and resources available for discretionary spending.