The state Legislature has gone one step further in assuring Fresno $250 million for downtown infrastructure by putting in writing its commitment to the full amount.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom had $300 million in discretionary funds to dedicate to infrastructure projects throughout the state. Of that, the governor earmarked $250 million for Fresno.
Until recently, the Assembly’s version of the budget had only guaranteed in writing $50 million to Fresno, with the following $200 million outlined in Newsom’s May budget revise. The Senate budget bill had in writing the additional money. Now, the unified budget has the full amount promised by Newsom to the city.
The Legislature’s action comes after social justice groups questioned the funding for new parking structures in the plan and lobbied to have some of the funding diverted to south Fresno.
$250 Million Now in Writing
New language in the budget bill states the Legislature’s intention to distribute $100 million in each of the next two budgets.
Funding Will Accelerate Housing, Mixed-Use Projects: Mayor
The funding will go toward parking, green space, transportation, as well as water and sewer infrastructure in downtown Fresno.
Replacing the nearly century-old pipes will accelerate residential and mixed-use projects, according to a news release from Mayor Jerry Dyer’s office.
“I cannot say it enough – this $250 million will be transformative,” Dyer said. “I am extremely grateful to Governor Newsom, for fighting for Fresno and securing the $250 million. … This funding will support infrastructure upgrades essential to accelerate new housing and supporting businesses that are at the forefront of our downtown core’s rebirth.”
Dyer also thanked state Sen. Anna Caballero, Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula and Esmeralda Soria, and the Fresno City Council “for their unanimous and steadfast support.”
Newsom and lawmakers must agree on the 2023-24 budget before the fiscal year begins on July 1.