CSDA seeks to be a partner in advancing the innovative climate mitigation and adaptation efforts special districts are engaged in to make our communities resilient so that California’s critical services and infrastructure remain reliable and dependable. Toward that end, there are efforts underway at the Capitol this year on both a Climate Bond and a proposed program to streamline regulatory burdens for restoration projects. CSDA is actively monitoring these issues and will move forward according to member feedback.
With the release of the Governor’s January 10 Proposed 2020-21 Budget and the legislature back in session, it is clear there will be significant action taken on legislative climate bond proposals this year with a likely November 2020 initiative placed on the ballot. Additionally, the Governor has included in his budget proposal a “Cutting Green Tape” approach to bring together regulatory agency staff, local government, environmental conservation groups, and stakeholders to improve permitting and finding efficiencies for ecological restoration and stewardship projects.
Climate Bond Proposals Summarized
The Governor’s 2020-21 January Proposed Budget Summary references a $4.75 Billion Climate Bond proposal for the November 2020 ballot to support investments over the next five years to reduce specific climate risks across California through long-term investment and natural and built infrastructure, especially in the state’s most climate-vulnerable communities. Approximately 80% of the funds are allocated to address immediate, near-term risks (floods, drought, and wildfires), while the remaining funds lay the groundwork for addressing long-term climate risk (sea level rise and extreme heat).
SB 45 (Allen) in the Senate is similar, with a current $5.51 Billion proposed general obligation climate focused bond to be on the November 2020 ballot. As currently proposed, at least 35 percent of the funds available are to be allocated for projects providing “meaningful and direct benefit” to disadvantaged communities, vulnerable populations, or economically distressed areas. At least 15 percent of the funds available will be allocated for projects providing benefit to severely disadvantaged communities or extremely low income households.
The Assembly is still organizing, but reportedly will have a new measure most likely to be authored by Assembly member E. Garcia that more closely mirrors the Administration’s proposal than bills AB 352 (E. Garcia) and AB 1298 (Mullin), the two assembly climate bond versions that were introduced last year.
Governor Newsom’s Proposal:
As currently proposed, the $4.75 Billion in bond proceeds will be allocated as follows:
Chapter 1: General Provisions. Declarations, appropriation priorities, project eligibility, implementation principles, and definitions (See Section 80200).
Chapter 2: Supporting Safe Drinking Water and Resilience to Flood and Drought: $2,925,000,000 for providing safe and clean drinking water and resilience to flood and drought (See Section 80220). This allocation is broken down as follows:
Chapter 3: Wildfire Resilience Through Forest Health and Community Preparedness: $750,000,000
- $1,000,000,000 to the Department of Water Resources and Water Board for grants or loans to support regional and inter-regional water resilience programs and projects – this funding is intended to support the regional approach identified in the Water Resilience Portfolio (See Section 80221).
- $395,000,000 to the Department of Water Resources for competitive grants to projects that support sustainable groundwater management implementation (See Section 80222).
- $360,000,000 to the Water Board for competitive grants or loans to help provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water to all Californians, pursuant to the same purposes of the Clean, Safe and Reliable Drinking Water fund (See Section 80223).
- $340,000,000 to the Department of Water Resources for flood Infrastructure projects (See Section 80224).
- $270,000,000 to the Department of Water Resources for Central Valley and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta multi-benefit flood control projects (See Section 80225).
- $220,000,000 to the Natural Resources Agency for restoration activities identified in the Salton Sea Management Program (See Section 80226).
- $200,000,000 to the Department of Food and Agriculture for projects and competitive grants to support environmental farming projects. (See Section 80227)
- $140,000,000 to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for project and competitive grants that enhance or restore native fish species habitat (See Section 80228).
for wildfire resilience (See Section 80230). This allocation is broken down as follows:
Chapter 4: Minimizing Threats Posed to Coastal Resources and Communities from Sea Level Rise and Changing Ocean Conditions: $500,000,000
- $250,000,000 to the Department of Forestry and fire Protection for competitive grants for projects that reduce the risk of wildfire and provide long-term forest health benefits (See Section 80231).
- $500,000,000 to the Office of Emergency Services, managed in coordination with the Natural Resources Agency and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, for competitive grants for hardening critical community infrastructure (See Section 80232).
for competitive grants to the Ocean Protection Council (See Section 80240). This allocation is broken down as follows:
Chapter 5: Mitigating Extreme Heat: $325,000,000
- $320,000,000 for projects and competitive grants that restore coastal wetlands (See Section 80241).
- $130,000,000 for competitive grants that use nature-based solutions to address climate change impacts to California’s ocean ecosystems (See Section 80242).
- $50,000,000 for competitive grants for demonstration projects protecting critical infrastructure that is vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding (See Section 80243).
for mitigating extreme heat impacts (See Section 80250). This allocation is broken down as follows:
Chapter 6: Supporting Community Resilience: $250,000,000
- $200,000,000 to the Natural Resources Agency for competitive grants for urban greening and forestry projects (See Section 80251).
- $125,000,000 to the Strategic Growth Council, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, for competitive grants to support projects that provide for cool surface materials (See Section 80252).
to the Strategic Growth Council for community resilience (See Section 80260). This allocation is broken down as follows:
- $225,000,000 for the development of community resilience centers (See Section 80261).
- $25,000,000 for competitive grants that support community resilience planning efforts (See Section 80262).
Chapter 7: Fiscal Provisions: $4,750,000,000 bond issuance procedures and mechanisms necessary for the State Treasurer and the Department of Finance to implement the bond act (See Section 80280).
SB 45 (Allen) as currently proposed (amended 1/23/20):
- General Provisions: including definitions, how the funds may be used, grant eligibility, and applicant eligibility. See Chapter 1 (beginning at Section 80200)
- Wildfire Prevention and Community Resilience from Climate Impacts: $2,200,000,000 for wildfire prevention, drought, or other natural disaster prevention and community resilience from climate change impacts. See Chapter 2 (beginning at Section 80220). Note: “Fire hardening” is defined in Chapter 1, Section 80203 (f)
- Ensuring Safe Drinking Water and Protecting Water Supply and Water Quality from Climate Risks: $1,470,000,000 for providing safe drinking water and protecting water supply and water quality from climate risks. See Chapter 3 (beginning at Section 80230).
- Protecting Fish and Wildlife from Climate Risks: $620,000,000 for protecting fish and wildlife from climate risks. See Chapter 4 (beginning at Section 80240).
- Protecting Agricultural Lands from Climate Risks: $190,000,000 for protecting agricultural land from climate risks. See Chapter 5 (beginning at Section 80250).
- Protecting Coastal Lands, Bays, and Oceans from Climate Risks: $970,000,000 for protecting coastal lands, oceans, bays, waters, natural resources, and wildlife from climate risks. See Chapter 6 (beginning at Section 80260).
- Climate Resilience, Workforce Development, and Education: 60,000,000 for climate resilience, workforce development, and education. See Chapter 7 (beginning at Section 80270). Note: This section includes grant funding for career pathways for fire prevention and park and open space operations, among others, as well as funding for community colleges and the CSU and UC systems for fire education purposes.
- Fiscal Provisions: issuance procedures and mechanisms necessary for the State Treasurer and the Department of Finance to implement the bond act. See Chapter 8 (beginning at Section 80400).