By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director
The California State Budget Process
January and February mark the beginning of the budget adoption process in California for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The following is a summary of the process that drives budgets for school districts across California for the next fiscal year.
Governor Newsom introduced the proposed budget for California in January, and now both the Senate and Assembly get to analyze, comment, and amend the budget. The legislative review of the budget starts in January and usually wraps up in June. The budget must be passed on June 15 at midnight. The California State Constitution constrains a large portion of the budget. For example, in the education portion of the budget, Proposition 98 sets funding levels for pre-kindergarten to community college.
After an initial evaluation by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, the proposed budget is divided into broad subject matters such as Education, Health, and State Administration. Then the subcommittees in these subject areas hold public hearings, debate, and modify the original budget.
On May 14, the governor will release the “May Revise” budget. This budget version will reflect the changes in state revenues since January. At that point, subcommittees have about a week to consider the proposed changes.
Ultimately negotiations between the Senate, Assembly, and Governor’s Office will result in an agreed-upon budget plan that will be voted on by both branches of the legislature and signed by the Governor.
Below are the items included in the current legislative cycle that could impact agricultural education in California.
Proposed California Education Budget Changes for 2022-23
K-12 School Facilities
To offset the sun setting of Proposition 51 funding (bond for school facility construction), the January proposed budget includes $1.3 billion in 2022-23 and $925 million in 2023-24 for school facilities.
Agricultural Incentive Grant (AIG) Augmentation
The proposed January budget allocates $2 million in ongoing funding for the AIG. If implemented, this would put the AIG allocation at its highest level since the establishment of the program. In the 2013-14 budget, the AIG was reduced from $5.157 million to $4.134 million (2013-14 CA Budget).
California Community Colleges (CCC)
It is proposed to give CCC an increase of $409.4 million in ongoing Prop 98 funding to provide a 5.33 % cost of living increase and a $24.9 million augmentation for enrollment growth.
University of California (UC) System
The UC system is set to receive an increase of $200.5 million in ongoing general funding for operating costs. Additionally, an increase of $67.8 million to support California resident undergraduate student enrollment.
California State University (CSU) System
The CSU system is slated for an increase of $211.1 million in ongoing funding for CSU operating costs. Additionally, there is a proposed one-time allocation of $50 million for equipment and infrastructure at CSU university farms.
Developments in Legislation and Regulations Affecting Agricultural Education
SB 871 (Pan) – Keep Schools Open and Safe Act. If enacted, this bill would add COVID-19 to the list of mandatory vaccines necessary to attend school. Currently, students are required to be vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza, measles, mumps, whooping cough, Poliomyelitis, Rubella, Tetanus, and Varicella.
Proposition 12 – The Sacramento County Superior Court recently ruled on Proposition 12 enforcement on the sales of whole-pork meat in California. The court ruling delays the implementation of Prop 12 regulations on pork until 180 days after the final regulations are enacted (Ostendorf, 2022). Currently, the California Department of Food and Agriculture is revising the Prop 12 regulations. The revised regulations are set to be released in April or July of 2022.