With demand for parks at an all-time high, Governor and legislature negotiate a budget with critical funding to sustain state parks and support equitable access for all Californians

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Newsom signed California’s 2020-2021 state budget maintaining critical funding for California’s state parks. As social distancing drives increased demand for state parks and outdoor recreation, the budget signed by the Governor preserves necessary funding to support state park operations and expand access for communities hit hardest by COVID-19. 

The final budget represents a shift from the May Revise, which outlined reductions in funding for the state park system. Responding to public demand and support for parks, legislative champions stepped up to deliver necessary funding for parks, passing a budget the Governor supports.

Rachel Norton, Executive Director of California State Parks Foundation, offers a statement on the signing of the California State Budget 2020-2021 by the Governor:

“We commend state legislators and Governor Newsom for enacting a 2020-2021 state budget that recognizes the critical public health value our state parks provide. In these challenging times, Californians are turning to the outdoors for relief and comfort in record numbers. With these critical investments in our state parks, lawmakers are supporting greater access for all Californians, at a time when it is needed most.”

“Our parks are tremendous public health, economic, and natural resources and we must continue to adequately invest in them to ensure they are welcoming and safe spaces for all Californians. As we move toward another budget revision in August, we must stay vigilant and continue to defend our parks for the benefit of all.”

The budget signed by the Governor includes investments to keep state parks whole and ensure they can continue to meet demand throughout the pandemic:

  • Rejects the $30M General Fund ongoing baseline cut to the Department of Parks and Recreation that is scheduled to begin 2021-22.
  • Approves $20M General Fund for the Outdoor Environmental Education Grant Program (AB 209).
  • Approves $8.915M Proposition 68 for program delivery and projects.
  • Approves $150M General Fund to backfill the loss of revenue from parks fees and fuel tax as a result of COVID-19.
  • Approves $44.343M Proposition 68 for deferred maintenance.
  • Approves $197.333M Proposition 68 for local assistance grants.
  • Approves $8.8M Proposition 84 for local assistance grants.
  • Approves $4.875M Special Fund for non-profit operated park units deferred maintenance.
  • Approves $2M for the state beaches and parks smoking ban implementation (SB 8).
  • Approves the withdrawal of $1.6M General Fund for public safety dispatch radio console replacement.
  • Approves the withdrawal of $2.66M Special Fund for the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area: build out of park.
  • Approves $285K for statewide bond costs and website management.
  • Approves $178K Special Fund for low cost accommodations study at Silver Strand State Beach.
  • Approves $4.6M Special Fund for the State Park System Acquisition Program.
  • Approves $572K Special Fund for the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Visitor Center.
  • Approves $225K Special Fund for the Humboldt Redwoods State Park to replace Founders Grove restroom.
  • Approves $414K Special Fund for the Lake Perris State Recreation Area to replace the lifeguard headquarters.
  • Approves $583K Special Fund for the river front improvements at the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.