SACRAMENTO – As part of the State’s continued progress toward a California for All, Governor Newsom last month signed Assembly Bill 156 and Assembly Bill 211 supporting advanced payment as a strategy to increase access to funding for lower-resourced organizations and communities. The legislation expands advance payment to six state grant programs prioritizing recipients and projects serving disadvantaged, low-income, under-resourced, and California Native American Tribal communities. The legislation enables grant applicants to receive payment for grant-related activities in advance rather than taking on the costs associated with the work up front themselves.
“We are grateful for the Administration’s leadership in helping us build capacity in our most under-resourced communities, boosting what we’ve found to be a best practice in state government” said Wade Crowfoot, Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency and member of the California Strategic Growth Council. “Expanding the State’s ability to provide advance pay and other technical assistance tools is an essential strategy in ensuring these communities can access critical funding opportunities.” The adoption of AB 156 comes on the heels of the Strategic Growth Council’s resolution committing represented agencies, including the California Natural Resources Agency, to remove state administrative barriers and advance capacity building as a key equity strategy earlier this year.
Strategic Growth Council analysis shows that grant applicants who don’t already have technical assistance and capacity-building support don’t compete for funding as well as applicants with these types of resources. The new law helps California Native American Tribal and under-resourced communities by reducing administrative barriers and providing support targeted structures to increase access to state funding.
"To realize California’s commitment to low-income communities and communities of color that have faced systemic disinvestment, under-resourced groups must have equitable access to State funding,” said Emi Wang, Associate Director of Capacity Building at the Greenlining Institute. “Advanced payment enables grassroots and community-based groups to access critical funding opportunities, ensuring they do not continue to be left behind due to legacies of redlining and systemic racism.”
“Removing administrative barriers to state resources by providing additional support like advanced payment is critical to support historically disinvested communities and priority populations in California,” said Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council, “we’re excited to prioritize and codify equitable strategies as we continue to advance climate and environmental justice statewide.”
“Thanks to the Governor and actions like this from the Legislature, California is rooting out historic inequities embedded in our government processes and institutions. This new law ensures that residents working to clean up the air, water, and soil in the most polluted and burdened communities in our state can compete on more equal footing for the state assistance they desperately need,” said Yana Garcia, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection.
“As Federal and State funding resources, including Governor Newsom’s historic $54.1 billion California Climate Commitment, are made available to communities and local governments to help deliver on critical housing, transportation, and climate goals, now more than ever before equitable access to these resources is a policy imperative,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Strategic Growth Council Member. The signing of AB 156 also follows Governor Newsom’s Executive Order directing state agencies and departments to take action to embed and operationalize equity considerations in their mission, policies, and programs.
Under AB 156 and AB 211, eligible state programs are as follows:
- Department of Housing & Community Development: Community Development Block Grants (AB 156, Sec. 37)
- Department of Housing & Community Development: California Emergency Solutions Grants Program (AB 156, Sec. 38)
- Strategic Growth Council: Transformative Climate Communities Program (Sec 52)
- Governor’s Office of Planning & Research: Community Economic Resiliency Fund (AB 156, Sec. 56)
- Department of Toxic Substances Control: Toxic Clean-Up (“Equitable Community Revitalization Grant”) (AB 156, Sec. 58)
- Strategic Growth Council: Community Resilience Center Program (AB 211, Sec. 28)
Emily Breslin, Deputy Director of Communications and External Affairs
About the California Strategic Growth Council
The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is a 10-member council comprised of seven state agencies and three public members with the mission to build healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all. Funded through California’s Cap and Trade system and the California General Fund, SGC’s grant programs, strategic initiatives, and interagency coordination focus on multi-benefit and community-centric solutions at the nexus of climate and equity. Since 2008, SGC has invested over $2.8 billion in projects that strengthen communities and address climate change.