California state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown approved a new measure to provide $4.1 billion in new funding for parks and water projects.
The funding will cover everything from building Bay Area hiking trails to expanding Lake Tahoe beaches.
If Gov. Brown signs the Bill, called SB5, it would be placed on the June 5 statewide ballot.
“Over one million Californians still lack access to safe drinking water, and too many children lack access to healthy outdoor spaces,” said Senate leader Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, who wrote the bill.
$2.83 billion would go to parks, and $1.27 billion to water projects.
Water projects include flood protection, levee upgrades on rivers and in the Delta, water recycling, and groundwater pollution cleanups.
“There is no doubt that Los Angeles and Southern California desperately need more parks, and need more access. Those are highly, highly important investments,” said Deb Callahan, executive director of the Bay Area Open Space Council, in Berkeley.
”We want to see this pass,” she said. “There’s good money in there and we need it. This is not the last park bond that will ever be.”
This is likely to be the first statewide parks and water bond to appear on a state ballot in 12 years, since Proposition 84 in 2006, which won approval of 54 percent of voters and provided $5.4 billion.
Image courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.