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in the KNOWN

In the Know Newsletter

January 12, 2018


Ag Council Applauds Gov. Brown’s Commitment to Safe Drinking Water in Proposed State Budget

Gov Brown 11.12

Gov. Brown announces the 2018-2019 state budget during a press conference. Photo by Paul Chinn of The SF Chronicle.

Governor Jerry Brown released his 2018-2019 budget plan on January 10, and Ag Council applauds the governor’s commitment of $4.7 million within his budget to take initial steps to provide clean and safe drinking water to all Californians. As Ag Council and others seek a permanent solution to this important issue through the passage of SB 623 (Monning), we appreciate the governor’s support to address drinking water challenges with a substantial commitment of resources in his proposed budget.

Governor Brown’s budget commitment demonstrates support for agriculture’s historic agreement with environmental justice advocates to establish a comprehensive drinking water fund for communities desperately in need of safe drinking water along with a path for farmers to achieve regulatory compliance with the State Water Resources Control Board, while in the short-term protecting farmers from certain nitrate-related enforcement actions.

Ag Council thanks the governor for putting the weight of his office behind our efforts and urges legislators to take a stand for drinking water and join together to guarantee safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians this year.

The 2018-2019 budget proposal is pending consideration and approval by the Legislature. The California Constitution requires the Legislature to pass a state budget by June 15 each year.

Among the additional funds in the proposed budget are allocations to the following agricultural programs:
Upon approval of SB 5 on the June 2018 ballot, $27.4 million is provided to two of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) climate programs, specifically: 1) $17.8 million to continue funding grants via the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) and 2) $8.6 million for grants from the Healthy Soils Program.

The governor allocates $5 million in his proposal for citrus pest disease and prevention efforts to suppress the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing. Over $1.8 million is in the budget plan to develop a Bee Safe Program at CDFA to promote and safeguard a healthy food supply through the protection of bees.

Further, $2.6 million in CDFA funding is in the budget plan for full implementation of the program–established by law under SB 27 by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)–to create stewardship practices to lower antimicrobial resistance and limit the use of antibiotics in livestock.
Click HERE to read a CDFA overview of the budget proposal.