Contact: Richard Stapler – 916 549 9630
Senator John Laird Secures State Budget Funds for Atascadero, City and County of Santa Cruz, and Point Sur Lighthouse
SACRAMENTO – Senator John Laird announced today nearly $22 million will be provided to address critical needs along California’s Central Coast.
“This year’s budget will include necessary funds to support communities across California as we Build Back Boldly following the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Laird. “For my district, we successfully advocated for nearly $22 million. Working with Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz) we secured $14.5 million for the City and County of Santa Cruz to improve and expand the city’s response to house and provide services to those experiencing homelessness. In addition, I secured $3 million for the City of Atascadero to improve and further develop critical downtown infrastructure, and $4.5 million for infrastructure renovations to Point Sur State Historic Park.”
Senator John Laird played a key role in formulating a budget that works for all Californians, serving as Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Education and a member of the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee. Beyond this critical one-time funding for district projects, Senator Laird advocated for budget allocations with statewide implications, such as money for food banks and as Education Budget Subcommittee Chair funding for student aid reform and fully funding a Cost of Living Adjustment for education funding.
“These funds will not only provide emergency funding to the City and County of Santa Cruz for much-needed infrastructure and support to resolve current unsanctioned encampments on CalTrans and city public land while improving State, County and City coordination,” noted Laird, “but will also ensure additional funding for the City of Atascadero for more sustainable infrastructure projects that move us closer to California’s climate goals and a swift economic recovery for a small, rural California town.
Also due to Laird’s success, Point Sur Lighthouse, a California State Historic Park on the National Register of Historic Places, and an iconic landmark, will be protected and preserved, safeguarding the park as a prime tourist attraction for all Californians.
The budget has been approved by the standing Budget committees and must gain passage from the Senate and Assembly Floor to be signed for final approval by Governor Newsom. Further details regarding disbursement will be determined following the Governor’s signature.
These historic investments will strengthen the economic footing of those living in and around California’s Central Coast for years to come.
Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo counties, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. His lifetime of public service and social justice advocacy saw him become one of the first openly gay mayors to serve in the United States. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.