Over the course of the past several years, Merced County has approved permits for two factory farm gas pipelines — one cutting through Stanislaus County into Merced County, and another cutting through Merced County into Madera County. There are also two factory farm gas clusters in the County.
On Friday, May 14, 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom released the “May Revise.” It’s his proposal for how to spend a record-setting budget and budget surplus. Leadership Counsel analyzed the revision and continues to do so. We found good, not so good, and much that’s still to be determined.
Here is our breakdown:
- $ to implement a pesticide notification system.
- $420 million to fund Transformative Climate Communities for the next 3 years. We hope to see a commitment to invest TCC funds in disadvantaged, unincorporated communities.
- $2 billion represents a significant investment in eliminating water and utility debt relief, though the need may require and even larger investment.
- $1.3 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure investments in disadvantaged communities.
- $ for drought to protect access to drinking water. We look forward to ensuring that these investments will prevent any Californians from running out of drinking water in the near or long term.
- We are pleased to see an investment in community resilience centers and look forward to ensuring that the program has sufficient funding and reaches the neighborhoods that need it most.
- $60 million dollars from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for dairy methane management and $50 million in a catalyst fund could support dairy digesters. Dairy digesters perpetuate environmental injustice, groundwater contamination and air pollution. They do not produce clean energy.
To Be Determined
- There is no funding specifically allocated for relocation of Oasis MHP residents and it is unclear whether any of the funds proposed to address housing/homelessness will target the humanitarian crisis in Oasis.
- We appreciate the investment in sustainable pest management, and look forward to working with the administration, senate, and assembly to ensure investments in community protections to protect workers and communities from pesticide exposure.
- We support funding for implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, but need to see a substantial set aside for projects that protect access to drinking water in disadvantaged communities and technical assistance for community engagement.
- We look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure that funding for rental assistance reaches all the people who need it most, and that tenant protections extend long enough to ensure an equitable recovery for all.
- While we appreciate the nod to additional funding for legal services, a bigger investment in tenant outreach and representation is necessary to protect against unfair evictions.
- Investment in the Fresno Merced Future of Food Innovation Initiative provides an opportunity to develop a just, collaborative, community-led process to implement economic, environmental and racial justice-focused programs for the region’s food and agricultural economy. We look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure that accompanying statutory language supports those goals.
- In order to ensure that the AB 617 investments actually improve air quality, the program must require direct emission reductions, transparent governance, and community-led decision-making.