Source: Press Enterprise (PE)
It’s all over but the spending.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, June 30, signed a record $300 billion state budget for the fiscal year that started Friday, July 1. The spending plan includes refunds to most Californians to offset high gas prices, more money for abortion services and expanded health care for undocumented immigrants.
The budget also funds a number of projects and efforts in the Inland Empire. Here’s a look at a few of those.
In a win for Inland lawmakers, the budget includes $201 million in new money for UC Riverside.
The region’s Sacramento delegation, led by Assembly Member Jose Medina, D-Riverside, sought $1.46 billion through the Inland Rising bill for UCR and UC Merced to make up for what they called a chronic and unjust funding disparity compared to other UC schools that’s led to crumbling classrooms, a lack of classroom space and not enough staff and faculty to serve students.
They blamed state funding formulas for worsening that gap. In a February 2021 letter to the UC system’s president, UCR faculty said the inequity is especially unfair given that UCR’s student body is 85% people of color, and more than 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college.
A UCR spokesperson lauded the new dollars.
“The (Inland Rising) bill has started important conversations about the role of UC Riverside as the University of California continues to grow, and in the emergence of the Inland Empire as a hub for social inclusion and sustainability,” John Warren said via email.
Another Inland priority is met with the budget’s inclusion of $33 million to buy land in Jurupa Valley for the Inland Empire Technical Trade Center, which would serve Riverside Community College District students.
Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside, and others lobbied for the money, the first step in building a school offering instruction in carpentry, retail, automotive and cybersecurity, among other areas.
Thirty million dollars are set aside to “physically recreate historical elements of the citrus industry” at California Citrus State Historic Park in Riverside, Cervantes said.
The improvements will educate park visitors about the history of citrus in the Inland Empire and “(uplift) the voices of our Mexican and indigenous communities as well as Chinese and Japanese immigrants” who have worked in the industry, the assembly member added.
The budget includes $2 million to renovate Griffin Park in Corona. Money will pay for a new playground, benches and shade structures and restore a nature trail, Cervantes said.
A $7 million infusion will help build a new fire station in San Bernardino County, Assembly Member James Ramos, D-Highland, announced.
The station will serve Lytle Creek and Rosena Ranch and “is positioned to aid” Fontana, San Bernardino and Rialto, according to Ramos’ office.
Loma Linda hospital
Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital is getting $4 million “to fund a pilot program serving child victims of physical, sexual or mental abuse,” according to Ramos’ office.
The budget allocates $2 million for a plaza and walkway at the University of Redlands rail station where the Arrow Line ends in San Bernardino County, according to Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, R-Yucaipa.
University of Redlands Village
Another $5.5 million is set aside for a project south of the University of Redlands known as University Village, which includes 1,000 housing units, according to Ramos’ office.
The city of Colton will receive $19 million to improve the Colton Sports Park Complex and Luque Resource Center, Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, D-Colton announced.
The new budget has $15 million for a partnership between the San Bernardino Community College District and KVCR, Reyes’ office said.
San Bernardino County is getting $4.5 million to build a new animal shelter in Bloomington, according to Reyes’ office.
San Bernardino Community Services Center is getting $1.5 million for immigration services, Reyes’ office said.
The budget has $2.7 million to build a western entrance to the Clara Oaks wilderness park in Claremont, according to Assembly Member Chris Holden, D-Pasadena.
The Rancho Cucamonga Wildfire Detection Initiative will get $1.9 million to install “a newly available rapid wildfire detection system on the power line structures along the city’s northern boundary,” Holden’s office said.