May 16, 2022
Weideman Group Weekly

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Newsom’s May Revise

Governor Newsom unveiled his updated budget, known as the May Revise, totaling $300.7 billion. The budget accounts for a projected $97.5 billion surplus of which $49.2 billion are discretionary funds (non discretionary funds largely go to education). Some notable items the Governor highlighted during today’s press conference were a $57 million package for reproductive health services and an $18.1 billion inflation package, which includes rental assistance, relief for past due utility bills, $1,500 hero pay checks for workers in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, $400 gas rebates for vehicle owners, and more.

The updated plan adds an additional $17 billion to the January proposal bringing infrastructure investment to $37 billion, pays down long term debt obligations by $6.2 billion, increases housing spending to $2.5 billion, commits $1.1 billion for COVID-19, raises spending for homelessness to a total of $2.7 billion, and invests $1.1 billion on broadband infrastructure. 

The Governor is proposing a $47.1 billion package devoted to mitigating climate change. The funding represents an increase of $32 billion for various climate resiliency efforts, response to drought and wildfire, enhanced energy reliability and accelerating clean energy. Among other things, the Governor is proposing $8 billion for system reliability and rate relief, including $5.2 billion for a Strategic Electric Reserve that can be called upon when the grid is stressed. A detailed budget summary can be found here.

Carbon Neutrality Plan Released 

The California Air Resources Board unveiled the draft Scoping Plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. The draft plan outlines an array of strategies to significantly reduce emissions and fossil fuel use from all sectors, while also deploying strategies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to balance out any remaining greenhouse gas emissions. CARB will discuss the draft plan in June before considering a final plan in the fall.

Day of Action

Late last week, the Native American Caucus and Women’s Caucus were joined by tribal leaders in a day of action to bring awareness to the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous people. Tribal leaders, including the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, and legislators held a press conference bringing light to the issue which was followed by a hearing of the Select Committee on Native American Affairs. Legislators committed to collaborating with the Tribal Community to champion a number of ideas that were discussed in the hearing.

COVID on the Rise

California is once again seeing increased rates of COVID-19. The positivity rate has risen to 4% in just a week with hospitalizations also ticking upwards. While cases are on the rise, they are rising at a slower rate than in previous surges. However, some experts are attributing this slower rise in cases to a slowing down in testing for COVID-19 as the country is looking to move on from the pandemic. Health officials recommend continuing precautions, including masking indoors. This comes as the U.S. has reached the grim milestone of 1,000,000 deaths from COVID-19.