The Legislature passed Fiscal Year 2019-20 State Budget on Thursday, June 13 and Governor Newsom signed the budget on June 27.
The total budget is almost $215 billion coming from $148 billion in general fund, $61 billion in special funds and $6 billion in bonds. The budget includes a $21.5 billion surplus and reflects fiscal conservancy and Governor Gavin Newsom's, "California For All" vision.
Park funding included investments in deferred maintenance to continue to protect and sustain our public land, as wells as new funding to begin to address equitable access.
This year’s budget includes a much-needed one-time increase in funding to protect and preserve California’s incredible state park system through an allocation of $24.5 million for state park deferred maintenance. While the funding is crucial to continue the work of addressing the more than $1 billion in deferred park maintenance costs, it unfortunately represents a decrease from the resources previously allocated in the May revise.
The State Budget included an investment for California’s state parks from the November 2016 voter approved Proposition 64, legalization of the adult recreational use of marijuana - and putting into place regulations and a 15% excise tax. The initiative requires that 20% of the excise tax be set aside to create the Environmental Restoration and Protection Account which will benefit California Departments of Parks and Recreation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Priority in the early years is on cleanup, remediation and restoration of the damage sustained from years of illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands and watersheds. After the fund mitigates the impacts of illegal marijuana grown on public lands, the funding may be applied to stewardship of state parks and state-owned wildlife habitat lands.
Of the available funding from Proposition 64, allocated for state parks includes,
- $5.3 million to California Natural Resources Agency to support youth community access grants. These grants will fund programs to support youth access to natural or cultural resources, with a focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities. This includes but is not limited to community education and recreational amenities to support youth substance use prevention and early intervention efforts.
- $15.9 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation, $7.1 million will be used to survey the impacts and identify unknown areas of cannabis cultivation to assist with prioritizing resources for effective enforcement, $5.6 million for remediation and restoration of illegal cultivation activities on state park land, and $3.2 million to make roads and trails accessible for peace officer patrol and program assessment and development.