FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 16, 2020
Sacramento, CA – Yesterday, the legislature voted to approve the 2020-21 state budget making critical funding for California’s state parks. The budget passed by lawmakers adequately sustains state parks through turbulent economic times, while ensuring all Californians can realize the health and wellness benefits of parks at a time when access to the outdoors is needed most.
Rachel Norton, Executive Director of California State Parks Foundation, offers a statement on the state budget passed by the legislature:
“We are grateful to the members of the legislature who heard our call and are championing parks. During these challenging times, Californians desperately need access to the outdoors and the mental and physical health benefits nature provides. As budget negotiations continue, we must stay vigilant and defend invests in programs that expand access and equity within state parks.
“As millions of Californians face economic challenges created by COVID-19, advancing policies and resources for equitable access to parks has never been more critical. Our parks are tremendous public health, economic, and natural resources, but we must continue to adequately invest in them to ensure they are welcoming and safe spaces for all Californians.”
The budget approved by the legislature supports critical investments for a thriving state parks system and helps to keep state parks whole:
- Rejects the $30 million General Fund ongoing baseline cut to the Department of Parks and Recreation that is scheduled to begin 2021-22.
- Approves $20 million General Fund for the Outdoor Environmental Education Grant Program (AB 209).
- $4.875 million Proposition 68 for special repair and deferred maintenance projects in park units managed by non-profit organizations.
- $55.8 million Proposition 68 for deferred maintenance projects.
- $572,000 Proposition 68 for Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Visitor Center.
- Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Low-Cost Alternative Coastal Lodging for $178,000 State Park Contingent Fund to develop working drawings for an ongoing project to provide additional low-cost coastal accommodations within this park.
- Silver Strand State Beach Low Cost Accommodations Study of $375,000 to fund the study phase of the project to provide increased lower-cost coastal accommodations at Silver Strand State Beach.