Pork Barrel projects are a usual occurrence in the state budget, but California hasn’t see pork added on like this in years. To understand how government spending sprees occur every fiscal year, this is how spending takes place.
Pork barrel is the expression used to explain the appropriation of government spending for pet projects by lawmakers (some good, some not), secured solely to bring money to a lawmaker’s district.
California’s largest state budget ever — $214 billion — is larded with a record number of local pork-barrel projects injected by individual legislators, often in exchange for “horse trading” votes on passage of certain pieces of legislation.
The Legislature has already passed the bulk of the budget, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. But it is filled with more pork than ever — those pet projects that lawmakers love — costing California taxpayers billions. The following lists show many projects in individual legislators’ districtsm approved by the Conference Committee on the Budget.
There is pork in every aspect of this budget: General Government Augmentations in 2019-20 Budget, Education, Resources and Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Public Safety.
This article will address the General Government Pork in 2019-20 Budget – nearly $150 million of extras:
- Approve: $40,000 for the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation.
- $2 million for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (creating green jobs in the City of Los Angeles).
- $2.1 million for the Claremont Pomona Locally Grown Power (solar power).
- $10 million for the Destination Crenshaw Project (a 1.3 mile long outdoor art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles)
- $1.5 million for the Pacific Beach Boulevard Promenade in the City of Pacifica
- $360,000 for the San Fernando Police Department.
- $21 million for Park Boulevard At-Grade Crossing Project in the City of San Diego (Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s D-San Diego, district)
- $2 million for the India Basin remediation project in the City and County of San Francisco
- $1.2 million for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) fiber optic network.
- $5 million for grants to limit barriers for homeless individuals with pets
- $5 million to support housing navigators to help young adults aged 18 to 21 secure and maintain housing, with priority given to foster youth
- $1 million to fund Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Vista with $250,000 each for homelessness prevention and intervention services in partnership with the Community Resource Center
- $5.6 million for the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority’s work in Service Project Area 3 (homeless funding).
- $8 million General Fund annually with a suspension on December 31, 2021, and placeholder trailer bill language to expand the Transitional Housing Program-Plus program to serve additional foster youth (California Department of Social Services).
- $1.5 million to fund a veterans housing project in Cathedral City.
- $3.5 million for the Mission Heritage Plaza Affordable Housing and Civil Rights Institute (downtown Riverside, Fair Housing Council of Riverside County (FHCRC).
- $400,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Los Angeles Harbor (L.A. Area) to pay for loan interest forgiveness
- $1 million to be deposited in the Orange County Housing Finance Trust and utilized for the development of permanent supportive housing (AB 448 by Assembly members Daly and Quirk-Silva, co-authored by Senators Moorlach, Bates, and Nguyen, created a JPA that acts as a financial and funding vehicle for homelessness solutions).
- $3 million to assist the City of San Bernardino to develop General Plan amendments
- $5 million to City of Ontario for a Downtown Ontario Revitalization project featuring 65 units of low-to-moderate income housing, coupled with Business Technology Incubator with a centrally located Workforce Development Center
- $300,000 for the City and County of San Francisco for a planning grant to build capacity for Community Development on the West side of San Francisco.
- $10.7 million General Fund, $354,000 Service Revolving Fund, to acquire, design, and construct the R Street parking lot in downtown Sacramento.
- $40,000 for the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation.
- $250,000 for the YouthWORKS/RichmondBUILD program.
- $80,000 for Stiles Hall program at Experience Berkeley High School (a free 6-month program that provides Black, Latino, & Native American rising seniors with mentors, tools, and resources to complete a competitive UC college application and the opportunity to get a close, personal look at UC Berkeley).
- $500,000 for the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts (LGBTQ-specific art and performance will open in the next few years in San Francisco’s Castro district).
- $1 million for the Italian-American Museum (Los Angeles).
- $2 million for the Latino Theater Company (Los Angeles).
- $4 million for the Korean American National Museum (Los Angeles).
- $9 million for the Navy Training Center Foundation for renovations to the Performing Arts Center (San Diego).
- $2.9 million to house Orange County’s homeless veterans through the United to End Homelessness’ Welcome Home OC program (Orange County United Way).
- $20 million to fund a veteran cemetery in Orange County (Orange County Supervisors).
- $15 million General Fund for disaster-impacted counties.
- $1.5 million for flood relief in the City of Sebastopol.
- $800,000 for Town of Paradise for environmental document preparation.
- $2 million for Butte County Fire Department.
TOTAL $149,270,000,000 million
Part ll: Education budget pork.