SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, urged California’s acting governor, Gavin Newsom to stop the stalling on school facility bond sales and respect the will of the voters. Last fall voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 51, a $9 billion dollar bond to finance school facility construction projects. Schools in the 21st Senate District have over $106 million dollars of facility construction or modernization projects in the queue for funding but the May Revision to the 2017-18 Budget delays the bond sale. Below is the text of Senator Wilk’s letter:
June 6, 2017
Governor Gavin Newsom
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Newsom:
On November 8th, 2016 California voters approved Proposition 51, the Public School Facility Bond, with the expectation that $9 billion in general obligation bonds would be sold to build and modernize our school facilities. Unfortunately, the May Revision to the 2017-18 Budget delays the sale of these bonds.
As you'll see in the attached letter* from the "Coalition for Adequate School Housing" (CASH), this delay will seriously impact schools throughout California. There appears to be over $106 million in school construction and modernization funds being withheld from schools in my district alone.
Voters approved Proposition 51 because they believed our aging school facilities no longer address the needs of a growing population; they did so with the expectation these dollars would be used on the many shovel ready projects across the state.
As it looks now, it could take a decade until the school construction funding is out the door. These bond funds are not only are critical to schools, they are beneficial to the economy and will generate thousands of construction-related jobs in our local communities. New construction and the modernization of our school facilities will ensure our next generation learns in an environment which will position them to compete in the global economy.
Please respect the decision of California’s hard working families. Thank you for your consideration.
Senator, 21st District