With the exception of a veto of the promised expansion of the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, energy agencies did well this year with the state budget. In the final analysis of the budget, signed July 11, funding for the California Public Utilities Commission is slightly down?but in telecommunications, not energy. The California Energy Commission is up, and the Electricity Oversight Board remains on the books. The governor deleted $1 million from the legislative move to augment ORA with an additional 10 positions. Those new positions were supposed to beef up the office's Communications Division. The CPUC's transportation budget was reduced by nearly $300,000 by cuts in its rail safety program. The governor deleted $500,000 from the California Climate Action Registry, noting that the California Energy Commission already provides the organization $200,000 for the same purpose. But before the governor had a chance to blue-pencil these line items, lawmakers dinged his pet program?allowing only $6.5 million for Schwarzenegger's hydrogen highway plan, although the administration recommended $10.7 million a year. Agency budgets are as follows: <b>CPUC:<\/b> $1.22 billion. The total is down $19.5 million from last year, primarily because of the decrease in universal telecommunications program budgets, according to CPUC spokesperson Terrie Prosper. However, she said, the commission's support budget?salaries and operating expenses?increased by $3.8 million. The regulatory agency received 22.5 new positions, and an additional 8 positions were authorized to account for limited-term Consumer Affairs Branch positions that were to expire last month. <b>CEC:<\/b> $316.7 million. The commission's operating budget is $67.5 million, up from $63.9 million last year. Its pass-through funding for loans and grants is down 20 percent to $256.7 million from $322 million. Funding sources are down 16 percent, from $385.9 million last year to $324.3 million this year. The commission's renewables program funds faced a 31 percent cut?from $217.7 million to $150 million. CEC spokesperson Claudia Chandler said that reflects "the rapid deployment of this program's funds." Although ORA didn't get its 10 new positions, the CEC got 20?an increase from 479 to 499, according to Chandler. The new openings are mainly for the new Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) natural gas program and for its existing electricity program. The bill language added that PIER natural gas and electricity funds now can be spent on transportation research and development projects. Fifty percent of the PIER natural gas funds are to be allocated in consultation with the California Air Resources Board, she added. <b>Electricity Oversight Board:<\/b> $3.65 million. Although the administration keeps trying to get rid of the board or subsume it within another agency, it will be funded for another year.