Home » CAPITOL UPDATE #21 – May 23, 2024

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CAPITOL UPDATE #21 – May 23, 2024

 May 23, 2024

Golden State Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the GSRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Valerie Evans,
Lou Ann Flaherty and Elaine Freeman, 


Governor Newsom released his May revised budget this past week. 

An initial budget is required to be released in January with the May revision requiring Legislative approval in June.  If the legislature does not pass the budget on time, they will not be paid.  Therefore, a final budget is always on time!

The budget proposal is $288 billion.

The Legislative Analyst Office says the current deficit is $55 billion but the Governor says it is $45 billion

The Governor’s proposed cuts include:

  • $3.6 billion from programs fighting climate change
  • $2 billion over two years from programs to expand internet connectivity to underserved communities
  • $19.1 billion in one-time spending and
  • $13.7 billion for on-going spending over the next two fiscal years.

These cuts will be further defined in future articles. 

Two years ago, there was a $100 billion surplus.  In two years, that money was spent and an additional deficit of $45 billion was added for a total of $145 billion.  Amazing really. 

Makes you wonder if anyone was paying attention to spending.

At this time, a focus will be put on school funding.

Proposition 98 was approved by the voters guaranteeing a certain percent of the general fund goes to education based on an estimate of revenue.  For the 2023-24 school year, thar amount was over estimated by $8.8 billion.  The Governor is proposing to reduce the next two fiscal year payments by this amount without interest rather than asking schools to repay this amount.  The Teachers’ Union is objecting and strongly.  There have been threats of a law suit by them saying this proposal violates Prop 98. 

This is something that will be interesting to watch. The Governor’s budget also reflects withdrawals of more than $3 billion in 2023-34 and more than $2.6 billion in 2024-25 from the Public School System Stabilization Account (PSSSA), the state budget reserve for K-12 schools and community colleges

School funding is a complicated process and, maybe by design, is hard to follow.

In terms of spending, higher education will be budgeted $ 22,551,874 which represents a cut of 1.68%.  K-12 will actually see an increase of 0.19% or $76,501,638 to $76,650,717.

The budget reduces K-12 school facilities funding by $500 million; provides $500 million in one-time funding for green school buses; increases ongoing funding for universal school meals by $122.2 million; provides $65 million to fund COLA; provides $25 million in ongoing funding for literacy screening training and provides $20 million in one-time funding to train math coaches.  There is also some funding for the Pre-K program but not enough to expand the program as initially proposed.

More to come on the budget in future weeks.

SB 1497, as amended, Menjivar. Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Act of 2024

Introduced by Senator Menjivar, February 16, 2024

Existing law, the California Climate Crisis Act, declares that it is the policy of the state both to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, but no later than 2045, and achieve and maintain net-negative greenhouse gas emissions thereafter, and to ensure that by 2045, statewide anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to at least 85% below the 1990 levels.

This bill would enact the Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Act of 2024 and would establish the Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Program to be administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency to require fossil fuel polluters to pay their fair share of the damage caused by the sale of their products during the covered period, which the bill would define as the time period between the 2000 and 2020 calendar years, inclusive, to relieve a portion of the burden from climate harms that is borne by California taxpayers.

The bill would require the agency, within 90 days of the effective date of the act, to determine and publish a list of responsible parties, which the bill would define as an entity with a majority ownership interest in a business engaged in extracting or refining fossil fuel that, during the covered period, did business in the state or otherwise had sufficient contact with the state and is determined by the agency to be responsible for more than 1,000,000,000 metric tons of covered fossil fuel emissions, as defined, in aggregate, globally during the covered period.

This bill would require the agency, within one year of the effective date of the act, to conduct a climate cost study to, at a minimum, quantify the total damage amount, which the bill would define as all past and future climate harms and damages to the state through December 31, 2045. The bill would require the agency to update the climate cost study, not less frequently than every 2 years, through January 1, 2046.

The bill would require the agency, within 60 days of the completion of the climate cost study, to determine and assess, as provided, a cost recovery demand for each responsible party listed, which represents the responsible party’s proportionate share of the total damage amount that is fairly and reasonably attributable to the covered fossil fuel emissions of the responsible party.

The bill would require responsible parties to pay their cost recovery demand, as provided. The bill would require the collected cost recovery demands to be deposited in the Polluters Pay Climate Fund, which the bill would create in the State Treasury.

Upcoming dates that legislators must adhere to are:

By May 24 each house has to pass or reject bills in the other house

June 21, the last day for each house to pass bills introduced in the second house

August 6, all policy Committees are to be heard and report to fiscal committees on bills introduced in their house This is where “trailer bills” which are bills not heard by committees in either house but are supposed to deal with only spending issues tied to the budget.  However, it has become common for these “trailer bills” to include policy issues.

August 31, the last day for each house to pass bills and the Governor has until September 30 to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature.

We will be closely watching the manic activity over the next month.

Legislative Portal links – Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RW or GSRW) click here, or the bill’s author – click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”.

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