It's been an emotional week for all of us witnessing the insurrection in our nation's capital. Such violence and vitriol adds to the ongoing stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic distress that so many are feeling. I want to remind you the Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) services are available to you and urge you to utilize them as needed.
Watching this recent attack on our democracy, combined with the decreasing support for science and public institutions that we have experienced for several years now, I am reminded just how critically important ANR's work is to support our democratic society. In addition to development of new knowledge through our research and getting it into local hands through Cooperative Extension and our programs, we often bring together people who disagree to discuss the facts respectfully and to find ways everyone can benefit. The work that each and every one of you does contributes to making California more prosperous, keeping our ecosystems healthy and our communities more equitable.
Although we continue to struggle with tight budgets, we received some very positive news today in Governor Newsom's proposed budget for FY 2021-22. The Governor proposed a 3% increase in UC's base General Fund budget, which is a partial restoration of last year's reduction. Additionally, the proposal includes $2 million in one-time General Fund support to fund UC ANR fire advisors as well as opportunities for UC Cooperative Extension to contract with CDFA to help small-scale and underserved farmers with business planning, navigating regulatory compliance, and accessing and leveraging state and federal funds. Other funding identified as best utilized by UCCE is work on Integrated Pest Management. It is very encouraging that the governor recognizes ANR can help address issues such as wildfire, climate change and economic sustainability; more details on the budget and other funding opportunities within it will be forthcoming soon.
As we head into the weekend, I'm proud of the work we do and hope you remember that together we can make things better. Please take care of yourselves and those around you. We have a new year and many opportunities to make a positive difference for California!