Late last week Governor Gavin Newsom met with new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell at Folsom Lake to show the massive impacts of climate change, including drought, heat waves and wildfires.
The Governor also signed budget trailer bill AB 148 to expedite the state’s response to severe drought conditions, outline guidelines for the state’s program to pay down past-due water and wastewater bills, increase oversight of the state’s critical infrastructure, protect the environment from oil spills and increase access to California State Parks and reduce park fees for disadvantaged groups.
“As California and the West contend with the ravages of this global climate emergency – from catastrophic wildfires to severe drought to record high temperatures – our state is leading the nation with bold solutions to protect people and the environment,” said Governor Newsom. “As our federal partners consider climate change impacts across the country, I want to thank FEMA Administrator Criswell for taking the opportunity to see first-hand just how dire this crisis is in the western states and how we’re responding to the new climate reality.”
AB 148 includes provisions that:
- Provide flexibility to state agencies to expedite funding for areas experiencing drought conditions.
- Establish guidelines for the implementation of the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program.
- Establish the Climate Smart Agriculture Account to accept federal, state, industry, philanthropic and private funds to support climate smart agriculture program funding, such as the Healthy Soils program.