Proposition 68 would authorize $4.1 billion to be spent on investments in adequate supplies of clean water, parks and outdoor recreation, habitat restoration, climate resilience and flood protection throughout our state. Approximately $1.3 billion would be spent on parks and recreation, $1.3 billion on water-related projects and $1.5 billion on habitat conservation, ecosystem improvement and environmental resilience. (None of it will pay for new dams or the controversial Delta tunnels.)
Our State and local parks would be big beneficiaries. As California faces the growing threat of severe droughts, mudslides, wildfires and other impacts of a changing climate, Prop 68 would bring critically needed funds to help address these challenges. Here is a link to detailed information on the Proposition https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_68,_Parks,_Environment,_and_Water_Bond_(June_2018)
Proposition 68 was placed on the ballot by a bipartisan majority of the California State Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Brown. California State Parks Foundation, California Chamber of Commerce, The Trust for Public Land, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, California Audobon, Sierra Club California as well as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the Mercury News and many other individuals and organizations strongly support this Proposition. Learn more at: https://yes68ca.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwre_XBRDVARIsAPf7zZghfsdQYT-Tds_wo9ZgWxS43nspUUrYf-ub3stnWCXUGne9J7zXOuAaAshhEALw_wcB
Just six years ago, many of our State Parks were on a park closure list due to a state fiscal crisis including our own Gray Whale Cove SB in Montara. In response, Governor Brown appointed the Parks Forward Commission to recommend reforms. A transformation team was set up to implement those reforms. Under Lisa Mangat, the new director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, significant progress has been made in creating new leadership paradigms, improving accountability with measurable outcomes and priority based budgets, and focusing more on providing an accessible and outstanding experience for the diverse public representative of California.
Prop 68 will support State Parks directly with $218 million to repair and improve State Parks and additional competitive funding is a possibility. This should enable significant momentum to address a serious backlog of deferred maintenance and modernization. The Governor’s proposed budget also includes an $80 million increase for State Parks, some of which depends on voters approving Prop. 68 which will be the first significant increase in the state parks budget in many years. Prop 68 funds also have the potential to fund not just small projects but to provide pivotal support to major projects such as the fundraising for the Pigeon Point Lighthouse restoration, now forecasted at a daunting $17 million.
Now it’s up to us, the voters of California, to decide whether we, too, support this effort.
Thank you for considering Proposition 68 and, above all, don’t forget to vote on June 5!