The biggest lightning rod on my beat in the new proposed budget 2: electric boogaloo is the idea to take back $140 million in General Fund dough from State Parks and replace it with revenues from drilling on Tranquillon Ridge.
From the 54-page brief summary:
The little things add up, though. Here are a few I noticed.
1. Fish and Game is allocating $2 million for additional warden positions. It's also cutting hunting and fishing support by $5 million. Somewhat sensibly, I see they're not hiking any more licensing fees. Sport fishermen, recreational anglers and possibly my dad might have been, uh, rageful about a license hike or a fee-on-the-license-hike: California's already got the highest in the country.
2. The California Science Center could lose $12 million from the General Fund, to be replaced by a fee charged on admission. I'm confused by that: the fee for permanent exhibitions is already zero. What's the fee on zero? I guess it could be a fee on parking or the IMAX films, which are pretty good bargains, but still presently $8.25 per adult.
3. This maybe isn't as small: in the Forestry and Fire Protection department, the emergency response initiative continues. So does the idea of a 4.8% fee on residential and commercial insurance everywhere in the state to pay for wildland fire fighting and emergency response. I wonder how that will work; I wonder how that will go over. The idea of a 2.8% fee didn't get very far last year.
Plenty more where these came from - look to Frank Stoltze and Julie Small for more this afternoon, through the weekend, and next week.