Sacramento, CA — January 10, 2007
Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled his proposed 2007 – 2008 budget for the state of California in Sacramento, including billions of dollars of spending authorized under the bonds passed by voters in November 2006. This spending plan has good news for the Sierra.
Introduced in the Assembly as AB 102 (Laird) and in the Senate as SB 54 (Ducheny) the proposed budget includes $17.4 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (from Proposition 84) to create a grant program for the protection and restoration of rivers, lakes and streams, their watersheds and associated land, water, and other natural resources in the Conservancy service region. The budget also includes $3.5 million for staff and operation of the Conservancy. The budget also proposes giving the Department of Conservation $10.9 million from Proposition 84 to create a Sustainable Communities grant program, as well as $1.4 million from Proposition 50 for watershed coordinators. There is $14.3 million from Proposition 84 to the Wildlife Conservation Board for oak woodlands protection and another $14.3 million for rangeland, grazing land and grassland protection.
“We are pleased with the Governor's proposals for funding work in the Sierra Nevada and other important conservation efforts,” notes Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, CEO and lobbyist for the Sierra Fund. “Unfortunately, the budget proposal also includes a provision that takes away $160 million that had previously been approved for California's state parks in the 2007-07 budget. Newly authorized bond funding in next year's budget will certainly help with the documented $1 billion in infrastructure improvements and expansion needed by California's parks, but does not negate the need for the full amount authorized for the current budget year.
The budget will be debated by the Senate and Assembly over the next several months. Under the state's constitution, this budget should be adopted by the legislature and signed by the Governor by June 30, 2007.
For more information on the budget check out this link: http://govbud.dof.ca.gov/home.htm