|Budget Issue:||Reappropriations of Propositions 40 and 84 bond funds|
|Program:||Wildlife Conservation Board|
|Finding or Recommendation:||As an updated recommendation regarding the Governor's January budget proposal: (1) Deny reappropriations of $11 million Proposition 84 and $3 million from Proposition 40 for restoration of the San Joaquin River Parkway because WCB has informally withdrawn their request for these reappropriations; (2) Approve reappropriation of $25 million from Proposition 84 for Natural Communities Conservation Planning because WCB has provided a detailed and specific action plan for expenditure of the funds.|
In the Governor’s January budget proposal, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) requested reappropriation of $39 million in unexpended bond funds for San Joaquin River Restoration (SJRR) activities and Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP). We had initially recommended that the Legislature withhold its approval of these reappropriations pending demonstartion by the board that the reappropriated funding would result in physical projects. The Legislature subsequently took action to deny the request without prejudice.
The WCB has since informally withdrawn its request for the SJRR reappropriation ($11 million from Proposition 84 and $3 million from Proposition 40), and we accordingly recommend that the Legislature deny the reappropriation of those funds.
In response to the Legislature’s denial without prejudice of the remaining $25 million reappropriation request for NCCP activities, WCB has completed an action plan that indicates WCB’s intention to spend $27.5 million on NCCP in 2011-12, including the number of acres to be acquired in specific counties, and the number of NCCPs that these expenditures will support. In light of this action plan and WCB’s success at expending reappropriations requested in 2010-11, we now recommend approval of the request to reappropriate $25 million from Proposition 84 for NCCP.
Finally, we note that postponing the expenditure of some portion or all of the reappropiation request that we recommend be approved could serve as a one-time budget solution. The postponement serves this purpose by restraining the growth of the associated debt service costs (which are funded from the General Fund). As with all budget requests for bond expenditures, the Legislature may wish to evaluate whether these bond expenditures, while justified, are of sufficiently high priority to warrant incurring the associated debt service costs at this time.