- California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, proposed cuts to zero-emission transportation and building decarbonization programs as part of a proposed 2024-25 state budget presented Jan. 10.
- Though California has to address a $37.9 billion revenue shortfall, the governor proposed preserving funds for public transit in the state.
- Newsom’s proposed budget represents almost a $20 billion cut from the 2023-24 fiscal year budget passed last year.
According to the nonprofit state news service CalMatters, the governor’s proposed 2024-25 budget will cut climate funding by about 7% compared to last year’s budget, which saw a 3% cut in climate programs. Funding of $600 million for the state’s electric vehicle rebate program, Clean Cars 4 All and EV charging stations would be delayed by three years. The proposal also cuts $283 million from building decarbonization programs.
Environmental groups were not happy with the proposed spending cuts. “It is our leaders’ job to figure out how we fund the transition to clean energy and resilience now,” said California Environmental Voters CEO Mary Creasman in a statement. “We can’t backslide or slow down while the climate crisis speeds up.”
But according to Lauren Sanchez, the governor’s senior climate advisor, the proposed budget protects 89% of the $54 billion climate budget Newsom had earlier committed to spend over five years.
The budget maintains $5.1 billion in funding for transit agencies, according to the California Transit Association, but Newsom plans to delay $1 billion of those funds for one year. “Last year’s budget provided transit with the significant funding support and flexibility to start California on a path to averting the fiscal cliff and restoring transit ridership,” said TransForm’s Policy Director Zack Deutsch-Gross in a statement. The San Francisco Bay Area organization advocates for smarter transportation and housing policy.
"In an especially tough budget year, we applaud Governor Newsom for recognizing the importance of public transportation to everyday Californians and the role our agencies play in expanding access to jobs and opportunity, improving air quality, and combating climate change,” said Michael Pimentel, executive director for the California Transit Association, in a statement.
The budget process will see a revision to the current proposal in May, based upon updated economic forecasts, and a final budget is expected to be passed in the summer.
“This balanced budget plan keeps California on firm economic footing while continuing our work to tackle homelessness, keep communities safe, expand access to high-quality education, overhaul behavioral health care and fight climate change,” Newsom said in a statement.