In signing his latest budget, Governor Newsom gave his seal of approval to record spending, including hundreds of millions of dollars in pork projects.
Some of the most egregious earmarks included:
- $3.5 million for dog parks in San Diego and Rancho Cucamonga
- $2.3 million for playgrounds in Grand Terrace, Colton, San Francisco and Dublin
- $4 million to relocate a food bank in Elk Grove
- $9.1 million for libraries in Whittier, Fillmore, Isla Vista, Laguna Woods and Fullerton
- $5.7 million for a cycling/pedestrian bridge in Fremont
Clearly, frugality wasn’t a priority in the Governor’s spending plan.
Still, he did find one project to scrimp on, vetoing badly-needed funding to replace El Dorado County’s aging courthouse.
Replacing the courthouse is a “critical need” and one of the judicial system’s highest priorities.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the 106-year old building is so small that inmates are kept in public hallways before trial, there is no jury assembly space and attorneys don’t have conference rooms to meet privately with clients, victims and witnesses.
So what’s the difference between the courthouse and the pork projects? The courthouse is in an area represented by Republicans.
Nobody can say with a straight face that a luxury dog park is more important than replacing a dangerous courthouse. It’s time for Governor Newsom to stop playing politics with public safety.