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California State Budget Update

This year, the Governor and California State Legislature have negotiated a budget agreement that includes severe budget cuts directed at 30x30 conservation programs. Between reductions proposed in January and May, the State’s proposed budget reduced funding for nature-based solutions by $1.62 billion in total, with the largest reductions directed at the Wildlife Conservation Board ($497.4 million) and the State Coastal Conservancy ($392 million).

Due to uncertainty about the State Budget and funding availability, WCB paused its rolling application process for 60 days. Screenshot from WCB website.
Due to uncertainty about the State Budget and funding availability, WCB paused its rolling application process for 60 days. Screenshot from WCB website.

The budget also included a proposal to remove $45 million already allocated to the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF), and language that would eliminate the existing requirement to appropriate $30 million per year to the HCF through 2030 — meaning an additional $120 million of funding critical for meeting the State’s 30x30, nature-based solutions, climate and wildlife connectivity goals were at stake.


The Power in Nature Coalition sprang into action with strategic action alerts and social media posts, effectively encouraging the Legislature and Governor to reverse the $45 million cut to HCF by Assembly Bill 107 in May. The latest budget deal, Senate Bill 108, was published on June 22 and includes a provision (Sec. 110) that protects the HCF’s funding. Thank you for your efforts through contacting your legislators, and amplifying on social media. We succeeded in protecting the HCF from budget cuts this legislative session.

Section 110 of SB 108: Budget Act of 2024 reversing budget cuts to the HCF. Source: leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
Section 110 of SB 108: Budget Act of 2024 reversing budget cuts to the HCF. Source: leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

We also want to thank Governor Newsom and our supporters in the Legislature who made this decision possible. Senator Catherine Blakespear and Senator Brian Dahle really made the case. Vital support also came from Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, Senate Leader pro tem Mike McGuire, Senator Scott Wiener, Senator Josh Becker, and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel.


We also hopefully await news coming by July 3 about whether we will get a much-needed climate bond on the November ballot. Stay tuned!

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