SACRAMENTO, CA- Today Governor Newsom released his budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. We urge that the Governor and state leaders stay committed to equitable and sustainable climate and transportation investments.
Governor Newsom’s budget proposal accounts for the state’s $22.5 billion deficit by making cuts to climate, transportation, and community resiliency. While the budget does maintain funding for some climate programs, we are concerned about the proposed cuts. The proposal unfortunately includes reductions and delays to important investments in California’s multimodal transportation system, electrifying medium-heavy duty vehicles, and infrastructure, and essential community resiliency programs. And it does not include new investment for essential public transit operations.
Some of the delays proposed include:
- A reduction of $1 billion to the Transit Intercity Rail Capital Program in 2023-24 and $500 million in the next two fiscal years (2024-25 to 2025-26).
- A $200 million reduction from the Active Transportation Program.
- A delay in $350 million to the Safety Grade Separation program, which improves safety for people walking and biking.
- A reduction of $125 million for the Regional Climate Resilience Program.
- A reduction of $65 million General Fund in 2022-23 and $40 million in 2023-24 funds for the Transformative Climate Communities Program.
- A reduction of $30 million from the Urban Forestry program.
“Reducing funding to programs that clean our air, connect our communities, and increase long term resiliency should not be at the whim of the budget, they should be fundamental priorities. Even when there is a budget deficit, we must find a way to continue our commitment to healthy, equitable, thriving communities.”
-Nailah Pope-Harden, Executive Director of ClimatePlan.
For many years, California has set ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reduction and fallen short. By reducing and delaying investment in essential programs, we are reducing and delaying our ability to meet our climate targets. We urge Gov. Newsom to honor the full investments into zero emission infrastructure, transit, and active transportation programs. We also urge Gov. Newsom to reconsider the reductions to urban forestry and community resiliency programs.
We look forward to working with the state leadership to improve the budget proposal in the coming months.