California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest budget proposal would delay $100 million designated for downtown Fresno.
Newsom presented his budget proposal on Wednesday, saying the state is facing a $37.9 billion deficit. The Legislative Analyst’s Office previously estimated the deficit would be as great as $68 billion over the next two years.
The backstory: Last June the state approved $250 million to Fresno for downtown infrastructure projects as part of the state budget.
- Per the budget, Fresno would receive the first $50 million with the 2023 budget, followed by $100 million in 2024-2025 and another $100 million in 2025-2026.
- Mayor Jerry Dyer announced his plans to spend the money at the time, which included parking structures, stormwater infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure, sidewalk landscaping, green space and other projects.
The big picture: Under Newsom’s proposal, the $100 million that Fresno was supposed to receive in the 2024-2025 fiscal year would be postponed to 2026-2027.
- Newsom’s proposal states that the city would retain the $50 million in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, and would receive $100 million in 2025-2026 and another $100 million in 2026-2027.
What they’re saying: Dyer said he received a call from Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary Ann Patterson on Tuesday night informing him of the intention to defer the funding.
- Newsom wanted Dyer to know that he is not backing away from his commitment to downtown Fresno and is still committed to providing the full $250 million.
- “As a Mayor, I recognize the financial challenges facing the State of California and the need to make cuts and defer prior budgetary commitments in order to balance the State budget,” Dyer said. “We will continue to be relentless in the pursuit of these dollars and to ensure Fresno receives what was previously committed by the Governor and the Legislature.”
- Dyer said he does not anticipate any significant disruptions in the downtown and Chinatown revitalization plans.
- “We are monitoring the state budget process closely, especially the upcoming tax revenues,” Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias said. “It is imperative our city staff focus on the process we control, developing this project on time and with all stakeholder buy-in. Anything else will weaken our shovel ready position for this record state investment.”