SACRAMENTO – A bipartisan supermajority in the California Senate today approved Senate Bill 5 (de León), which would put before state voters in November 2018 a $3.5 billion bond measure for flood protection, water supply reliability, and new parks and open space.
“California’s aging infrastructure is in dire need of new investment, from our parks to our dams and reservoirs” California Senate Leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said. “SB 5 is part of a larger strategy to lift people up with good jobs and livable, healthy communities.”
SB 5 (De León): The CA Clean Drinking Water & Natural Resources Protection Act of 2016
If approved by the Assembly and signed by the Governor, SB 5 will give voters the opportunity to make badly needed investments in California’s water infrastructure, parks, recreation facilities, and protection of the state’s natural resources.
The 2008 economic downturn and five years of historic drought conditions have contributed to the deterioration of local and regional water and parks infrastructure, resulting in substantial unmet demand for new water and natural resource investment statewide.
While California experienced a wet winter season in 2016-17, long-term water quality, water supply, and flood protection needs are still a major concern. Heavy rains during the fall and winter seasons, which wreaked havoc across the state from Oroville to Temecula, also exposed the need for investment in strengthening, maintaining and expanding California’s aging and complex system of dams, reservoirs and other flood control infrastructure.
According to the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Plan of 2015, 38 percent of Californians live in areas with less than 3 acres of parkland per 1,000 population – a recognized standard for adequate parks – and 9 million people do not have a park within a half mile of their home.
This measure would authorize the issuance of $3.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the following:
- $2.25 billion for Parks:
- $800 million for disadvantaged communities
- $100 million for local and regional outdoor spaces/climate resiliency
- $200 million for state parks
- $50 million for CNRA for trails and waterfront greenway investment
- $20 million for rural recreation and tourism
- $200 million for rivers and recreation
- $500 million for Drought/Water:
- $125 million for safe drinking water
- $125 million for integrated regional water management
- $125 million for water recycling
- $125 million for groundwater sustainability
- $750 million for flood protection and prevention for projects across the state