Sacramento Scene, May 2020

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

The California State Assembly reconvened at the capitol on May 4. The Senate came back on May 11. It is anything but business as usual at the capitol. The building is closed for public tours and there is limited seating in hearings and committee meetings, because of social distancing. It is encouraged that all public comment on legislation is done via web portal or by phone. Legislators have been asked to dramatically pare back the number of bills that they are pursuing this year. Although committees are conducting hearings and bills are being debated, what everyone is waiting for is the May revision of the budget which is scheduled to be released on May 14. 

The outlook for that budget is desolate. In a report issued on May 7, the Department of Finance (DOF) predicts a decline in revenues of $9.7 billion for the 19/20 fiscal year and $32.2 billion during the 20/21 fiscal year. Adding to the decreased funding, the State has spent $13.1 billion on unanticipated COVID-19 related services this year. The combination of these events could result in a $54.3 billion deficit for the State. The reduction in General Funds will reduce Prop. 98 funds by $18.3 billion. (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2020). Proposition 98, funds K-12 and Community Colleges in California. 

In a recent report, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LOA) has predicted two California budgetary scenarios resulting from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The first scenario, dubbed somewhat optimistic shows a “U-shaped” recession and the second more pessimistic scenario is represented by a “L-shaped” recession. Both of these scenarios will result in multiple years of budget deficits in California. The LOA predicts that these shortfalls will persist until at least the 2023-24 budget cycle. In all, the U-shaped recession could cause deficit sums in excess of $64 billion and the L-shaped recession could cause deficits totaling upwards of $126 billion (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2020).

Federal Funding 

At the beginning of May, the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education received approval for a grant from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. The grant is part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This emergency relief is designed to help LEA’s deal with the financial impact of COVID-19. California will receive approximately $1.6 billion that will be administered by the California Department of Education. 


The CATA Summer Conference scheduled for June 22-26, will be virtual. A live interactive business session will take place on June 25th. The focus of the conference will be professional development, awards and recognition, and conducting the business of the organization. Details for the conference will be published as they become available.

There will be a virtual idea show this year taking on-line submissions starting May 18. The deadline to submit ideas is June 18. More details will be forthcoming. Thanks to the crew from the North Coast for helping make this activity possible. 

CDEs and LDEs

A special thanks goes out to those coaches that have been meeting and working to determine if and how to proceed with 2020 Career Development Events. Your time and effort to determine how to best serve students is greatly appreciated. The CATA Governing Board supports all committee decisions and knows that they were made with the best interest of all stakeholders. Additional appreciation goes out to state staff and teachers for all their work in conducting LDE’s for our students.

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Matt Patton, Executive Director, California Agricultural Teachers’ Assn.mpatton@calagteachers.org209 744-1605

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit

One thought on “Sacramento Scene, May 2020

  1. Thanks for the Quality report, Matt. I did not have a chance to watch the governor’s press conference yesterday. This morning, the paper mentioned that education was going to take a big hit in the budget revise but did not offer significant details. Have you heard how ag education (K-12, community colleges, four-year institutions) will fare?


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