Proposed California state budget revisions bring millions for state parks, fish restoration and wildlife programs

Sacramento, CA —

In early May 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger introduced his suggested revisions to the proposed California state budget. Due to higher than anticipated revenues, the budget proposes increasing expenditures across a number of programs, including conservation programs. The Governor's May revisions provide $40 million in one-time funding for important resource activities that could support conservation in the Sierra, including:

$10 million for salmon and steelhead restoration.

$10 million for non-game fish and wildlife programs.

$5 million for wetlands and riparian habitat conservation.

$10 million for state park deferred maintenance.

Last week Senate and Assembly budget committees considered these revisions, and proposed augmenting the amount allocated for state park deferred maintenance to $250 million. This is about 25% of the total amount state park has calculated that is needed to repair and restore park facilities.

State parks have indicated that they will distribute these funds throughout the state, and that some will certainly used for parks in the Sierra Nevada region.

Next steps for the budget include working out any difference between their two versions through the “conference committee” process before taking the full budget to the Senate and Assembly for adoption. The Governor must then sign, veto or “blue pencil” (delete) line items from the budget. The state is required by its constitution to adopt a budget by June 30 each year.