NewsLocal News


Local schools and fire departments to get money from Newsom’s proposed state budget

Posted at 6:15 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 21:34:07-04

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday revealed his more than $200 billion budget plan for the state.

On the list of priorities are wildfire prevention, education and homelessness.

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties could see some of that money put into local homeless shelters, schools and fire departments.

Approximately $150 million in grants will go to local governments to deal with homelessness.

Another $40 million covers wildfires and natural disasters.

Assistant CAL FIRE SLO Chief Dennis Carreiro says it will expand the local response team.

“That will give us two additional fire crews readily available for fires in San Luis Obispo County,” Carrerio said.

He says we could also see the opening of another fire center.

“We are ecstatic that the governor is expanding the depth of fire crews,” Carrerio said. “This is a whole new resource for putting firefighting crews in a statewide system.”

Schools could also get more money than expected.

Newsom looks to allocate $60.5 million for K-12 education.

Local educators hope it will give them the flexibility to spend money where needed.

“We are focused on trying to lower class sizes, doing some again maintenance of facility,” said Ryan Pinkerton, San Luis Coastal Unified School District Assistant Superintendent. “So any money we can save when it comes to retirement and personnel costs it will definitely help us, and kids and teachers will see the impact of that.”

He says the budget surplus allows more spending on education statewide and is glad Newsom is giving attention to classrooms.

“[Newsom] has focused on putting more money on special education funding which is something that has increased a lot over the years in the school districts,” Pinkerton said. “Having assistance in that area helps our overall budget.”

However, the state might not be getting as much money from cannabis sales as forecasted.

The Newsom administration is scaling back those anticipated funds due to slower sales.

The proposal is $4.5 billion more than his original plan in January, but he is wary of potential recessions and set aside nearly $15 billion in reserve.

Newsom’s proposal includes a nearly $22 billion surplus, the biggest surplus in at least 20 years.

The proposal is now in the hands of state lawmakers who must pass a budget by June 15 or lose pay.