The two measures that would place a bond on the June 2018 statewide ballot are AB 18
(E. Garcia) and SB 5
(de León). Ultimately, the authors, leadership, and the Administration will have to agree to pass just one of the measures.
There has been a flurry of activity throughout the week. On Wednesday, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), and several other lawmakers, joined forces with parks advocates to rally for the need for parks. Many speakers acknowledged the importance of local and urban parks. On Thursday, both measures passed their second house policy committees and were sent to the appropriations committees, where they are expected to be heard next week.
While there is a lot to like in both park bond measures moving through the Legislature, the League continues to advocate for a high level of funding to be distributed to local governments on a per capita basis. The League urges cities to contact their legislators and let them know the importance of maintaining the $425 million per capita allocation to local governments, which is currently in AB 18.
Two citizen’s initiatives have also been filed that would place bonds on the ballot.
The last true park bond, Proposition 40, passed 15 years ago. Since then parks have suffered through the Great Recession as cities struggled to shore up shrinking budgets. Many parks departments have not recovered and are still weighed down by deferred maintenance. As all cities would benefit from this level of funding, cities that support parks funding are encouraged to reach out to legislators. Park bond funding is critical for struggling city parks.