in the KNOW

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.