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Parks Bond Measure Co-Authored by Santa Monica Lawmaker Wins Senate Approval
By Lookout Staff
September 18, 2017 -- A $4 billion water and parks bond co-authored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Bloom won Senate Approval last week and is headed for the Governor's signature.
SB 5, which authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds for a variety of water and parks projects subject to voter approval, was passed on a 54-19 vote Friday, the final day of the 2017 legislative session.
If signed by the Governor, the bill, which was written by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would be placed on the 2018 ballot.
“Our parks add vibrancy to this state and to all of our lives,” Bloom said. “From the forests that sequester carbon to the neighborhood parks that provide children with safe spaces to play, restoring and protecting our parks was made a priority today.
"Water is also a critical resource to our state and SB 5 will help ensure that it is properly managed, treated, and protected,” said Bloom, a former Santa Monica mayor.
The bond measure will help fund the creation of local parks in park-poor neighborhoods, investments in trails and greenways and improvements in existing state park facilities "to address a $1.2 billion backlog in deferred maintenance," Bloom's office said.
It also will fund water projects that include ocean protection, clean drinking water, drought preparedness and flood protection.
The bill guarantee's Bloom’s District $37.5 million for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and makes it eligible for up to $1.6 million in per capita funding, $30 million for trails and greenways, $40 million in local bond initiative funding and $175 million for ocean, bay, and coastal protection projects.
In addition to Santa Monica, the 50th Assembly District represented by Bloom includes Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Topanga, West Hollywood and West Los Angeles.
Bloom, who chairs the Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, has made protecting water and expanding wildlife corridors top priorities, his office said.
“As an avid park user, I’ve witnessed the magnificence of our state parks and water resources firsthand, as well as the problems and challenges they currently face," Bloom said in a statement.
"Many of these challenges -- droughts, floods, and wildfires -- will be exacerbated by climate change. SB 5 will give us the tools to address existing needs and prepare for future challenges.”
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