The proposed budget for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy has had its second hearing in both the Senate and Assembly, and each house has adopted a different version of the budget. This will likely result in the Sierra Nevada Conservancy budget being sent to the “Budget Conference Committee” to work out the differences between the two versions.
The Assembly Budget Subcommittee of Natural Resources affirmed the Governor's full proposed budget of $21.6 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, including $17.5 million (from Proposition 84) to create a grant program for the protection and restoration of rivers, lakes and streams, their watersheds along with associated land, water, and other natural resources in the Conservancy service region. The Senate Budget Subcommittee on Natural Resources, on a vote of 2 – 1, cut in half the proposed $17.5 million grant program for the Conservancy, leaving only $ 8.75 million for the program. Both the Senate and Assembly adopted budgets include $4.1 million for staff and operation of the Conservancy.
“We feel that providing only $8.75 million in bond funds to the state's largest Conservancy serving 22 counties and comprising almost a third of the state's mass — as well as the vast majority of its water resources — is like priming the engine with not enough gas to get the motor going,” notes
“We need leaders from the Sierra and throughout the state to join us at the Sierra Day in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 5, and let the people in the Capitol know how important the Conservancy, and the Sierra Nevada, are to the state” notes Martin. Sierra Day in the Capitol is sponsored by The Sierra Fund and the Sierra Nevada Alliance.
Next step for the budget will be for each houses' full budget committee to adopt a budget, and then each “floor” must vote for the budget. It takes a 2/3 majority vote each time to pass the budget forward. If there are differences between the Senate and Assembly versions, like the difference in the Sierra Nevada Conservancy budgets, those differences are ironed out in the Budget Conference Committee. The Conference Committee is comprised of 3 Senators and 3 Assemblymembers. This year the Conference Committee will be chaired by Assemblyman John Laird, one of the two authors of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy enabling legislation.
Sierra Day in the Capitol Event Details
Where: The Club Room of the
10:30 Welcome & Orientation
Information packets distributed
10:45 Update on Sierra Resource Issues
11:15 Talking to the Legislature about the Sierra
11:45 Form Into Teams, Role Playing
12:15 Lunch ($15 donation requested)
1:00 Visits with Legislators, Staff & Administration officials
4:00 Reconvene at Church
share results, return evaluations
5:00 Reception at Cal-EPA 1001 I Street, second floor
Light refreshments & beverages
To register for the Lobby Day, please call or email Kathy Haberman at the Sierra Nevada Alliance by Tuesday May 29.