Statement: Gov. Newsom prioritizes January’s budgeted climate funding despite steeper deficit

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Facing an even steeper deficit than projected in January, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday revised his 2023-2024 California state budget. The new version proposes to maintain the same level of climate and clean air investments proposed four months ago, despite a drop of $9 billion in revenue.  

The governor also proposed creating a new program to ensure California can compete better for grants for federal funding. In addition, he underscored the need to issue bonds to shore up longer-term investments in climate change readiness. 

In response, Environment California State Director Laura Deehan issued the following statement:

“Oh, how the tides have turned. Whereas years ago, it was tough to get sufficient funding for clean air and  climate change mitigation projects, even when there was a surplus, now it’s an unstrikable priority in a budget pared-down by a deficit.

“Some of Gov. Newsom’s solutions — like redirecting old highway funds to invest in clean transportation options and opening discussion about issuing a climate bond — could bring about welcome improvements to our environment, health and quality of life. We urge the legislature and governor to continue working together to expand clean air and clean energy investments wherever possible. The money is there if we have the political courage to end tax breaks for the industries that pollute California’s air.”