CSAC Bulletin Article

Legislature Unveils Budget Package

June 2, 2022

On Wednesday, the Senate and Assembly unveiled a joint 2022-23 budget package. Titled Delivering Prosperity & Strengthening the Future By Putting California’s Wealth to Work, the Legislature’s version of the budget represents an agreement between the between the leaders and budget chairs of both houses. This budget agreement will be amended into AB 154 and SB 154 over the coming days. The Legislature will then move to adopt this budget prior to the June 15 constitutional deadline.

In what has become a common practice over the past couple of years, the Legislature has reached a unified budget deal that they will take into final negotiations with the Governor. The differences between this legislative budget package and the May Revision will need to be hammered out over the coming weeks. If not resolved prior to June 15, the Legislature would then have to adopt an amended budget to reflect the final agreement with the Governor.

While the legislative budget package includes many of the Governor’s proposed investments and shares some of the same approaches as the May Revision, such as allocating the vast majority of the surplus to one-time investments, there are notable differences. The Legislature plans to move forward with several actions to help the state get further under the Gann Limit in the current and upcoming years. These actions include changing the statutory definition of local subventions, classifying more Prop 98 funding as excluded, and approving more capital outlay spending. For economic relief from high gas prices and inflation, the Legislature intends to provide a rebate for individuals and families based on income, taking a different course of action than the Governor’s proposed rebate based on registered vehicles. 

Legislative Investments Significant to Counties

The Legislature’s planned investments and actions differ from the Governor’s in several program areas that are important to counties. Some of these key differences are highlighted below. CSAC will continue to engage with the Administration and the Legislature to ensure that county priorities from both the May Revision and legislative budget package make it into the final agreement.

Administration of Justice

Overall, the Legislature’s budget agreement approves most of the key investments of the Governor’s proposal under Public Safety and the Judiciary Branch, with the following exceptions where details are still being negotiated or the Legislature is taking a different action from the Administration:

  • Approves the $100 million one-time funding for juvenile facility improvements to serve the DJJ realigned youth, but critical details on the allocation method are pending. 
  • Approves funding for the Felony Incompetent to Stand Trial workgroup solutions and the Governor’s proposed Felony IST Solutions package, with modified trailer bill language that is to be determined. 
  • Replaces the $20 million for Mobile Probation Service Centers included in the May Revise – which is modeled after a Placer County Probation program geared towards better serving their supervised population – to instead invest in the Medication Assisted Treatment Grant Program to provide local support and services to address substance use disorder amongst those in custody or in the community.  
  • Approves increased support for law enforcement mutual aid, but only provides funding for three years as opposed to the Governor’s proposed on-going funding for local law enforcement aid. 

Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources

The Legislature proposes to adopt the Governor’s $21 billion funding amount for drought, climate and energy but has not released details on how the money would be spent. The plan is expected to include items related to the following issues: water-drought resilience, wildfire resilience, firefighter staffing levels, sea level rise, extreme heat, biodiversity and outdoor access, energy, zero-emission vehicles, and other climate-related actions. The legislative agreement would provide additional investments in AENR, including a number of CSAC priorities, from Williamson Act contracts to dam safety and flood infrastructure. Specific allocations include:

  • Provides $25 million, one-time, for Williamson Act Contracts.
  • Provides $100 million for dam safety.
  • Extends the Proposition 1E flood project extension of liquidation to ensure projects in progress may continue.
  • Provides $40 million in 2022-23 and $300 million ongoing for AB 617 local air quality programs.
  • Provides $2 million for UC Extension fire advisors through CalFIRE program funding.
  • Provides $330 million for CalRecycle circular economy (organic waste, bottle and can recycling programs) but details to be worked out in a 3-party agreement.

Government, Finance and Administration

  • Rejects Administration proposal related to VLF backfills and excess ERAF.
  • Reduces the Governor’s proposed $450 million for the Local Government Sustainability Program to $100 million over three years beginning in 2023-23.
  • Adopts language allowing up to $1.1 billion additional funds to be used for broadband middle-mile, including federal funds.
  • Adopts placeholder language to recharacterize several funding streams to local agencies for purposes of the state’s appropriations limit calculation.

Health and Human Services

The legislative budget agreement differs from the Governor’s plan on several items within the HHS policy area, including some proposed investments that CSAC has actively supported.

  • For CARE Court, sets aside funds for future appropriation depending upon an agreement on the statutory changes for this proposal.
  • Includes $195.5 million over four years for county-led Public Health Equity and Readiness Opportunity (HERO) Initiative to support and retain the local public health workforce.
  • Provides increases for county administration of CalFresh ($60 million) and CalWORKs ($55 million).
  • Includes an additional ongoing $50 million for resource family approvals.
  • Increases child care reimbursement rates with $1.3 billion General Fund and $494 million Prop 98 funding.

Homelessness

  • Includes $300 million for the Encampment Resolution Grant program. This is a decrease from the Governor’s proposed $500 million investment.
  • Provides an additional $500 million in flexible homelessness and housing funding for the next two years.

Housing, Land Use & Transportation

  • Approves a multi-year $10.9 billion General Fund allocation to transportation projects, subject to agreement on an overall transportation funding package. Includes placeholder trailer and budget bill language related to the appropriation of Proposition 1A bond funds for the state’s high-speed rail project. Specific funding allocations between transit, freight, active transportation, climate adaptation, and other purposes are yet to be determined. CSAC will continue to advocate for the inclusion of county priorities, including local bridge and safety funding.

View the Legislature’s proposal here. 

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