Vidak: State should use portion of budget surplus to fund school construction and Temperance Flat

Friday, May 11, 2018

SACRAMENTO - State Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) on Friday called on the legislature to commit $3 billion for school construction needs across California and $1 billion for the Temperance Flat project in the Central Valley. Vidak's request is in response to the Governor's revised budget that was released today, which has an $8.8 billion surplus.

Voters in November 2016 approved Proposition 51, a statewide $9 billion school bond measure to help complete school construction projects across the state. These projects range from small modernization projects such as plumbing, lighting, and electrical systems to large-scale new construction projects like constructing new roofs or even classrooms and entire buildings.

“The Governor has been painfully slow in releasing Proposition 51 funds that school districts need today to fix leaky roofs, cracked walls, broken air conditioners, and dilapidated buildings,” Vidak said. “Our children and teachers have suffered far too long in poor facilities and Governor Brown continues to sit on billions and billions of dollars that the voters approved for school construction projects in 2016. Since Governor Brown doesn't want to release these funds, the legislature should take immediate action through the budget process to award this money to school districts across the state."

The California Water Commission voted last week to uphold its staff recommendation on several parts of the Temperance Flat project, meaning it may only be eligible for $171 million in funding, well short of the $1 billion that was requested. Vidak blasted the process last week and highlighted the fact that the political deck was stacked against the Central Valley from the start.

“It was a another example of Sacramento elites taking money away from the Central Valley and giving it to other parts of California,” Vidak said. “Temperance Flat is a once in a generation kind of project and would have greatly helped the residents in central California. I’m calling on my colleagues in the legislature to help us out in the Central Valley and do what the Governor and his appointees refuse to do."