Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a series of budget and infrastructure bills aimed at accelerating major projects across California, with a particular emphasis on the state’s climate and clean energy goals. The laws aim to speed up construction timelines on key projects by streamlining permitting, cutting red tape, and introducing new project delivery methods.
The infrastructure package is part of a wider push to use an estimated $180 billion in combined state, local, and federal funds earmarked for infrastructure over the next decade. Newsom expects this spending to generate up to 400,000 jobs while helping California move toward a 100% clean electric grid, bolster its water supply, and modernize its transportation system.
Alongside this, Newsom has signed off on the 2023-24 state budget, which includes $37.8 billion in total budgetary reserves – the largest in the state’s history. It allocates $22.3 billion to the Rainy Day Fund to combat potential future economic uncertainties. Despite closing a more than $30 billion shortfall, the budget maintains a significant investment in public education, health care, and climate action, among other areas.
The package will expedite the construction of water capture and storage projects and the development of clean energy resources such as wind, solar, and battery storage. Legal challenges that often delay projects, even after they have passed environmental reviews, will now be dealt with more swiftly. The legislation also streamlines California’s often cumbersome Environmental Quality Act processes and establishes a Green Bank Financing Program to maximize federal funding for climate projects.