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Senator secures over $60 million for Central Coast priorities 

john laird

Senator John Laird.

Improvement projects include Creston Road active transportation, bike and school access

State Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) announced over $60 million will be provided to address critical needs along California’s Central Coast.

Laird’s 2022 budget priorities include funds that will benefit constituents in Senate District 17 by ensuring access to healthcare services for the communities served by Watsonville Community Hospital, support for those in need of substance abuse and mental health counseling services, in addition to much-needed investments to improve accessibility to California’s world-renowned coastal landscape.

  • Creston Road Active Transportation and Bike and School Access Improvements – $3 million was appropriated to the City of Paso Robles to make Creston Road safer for pedestrians and cyclists, beautify the corridor with streetscape enhancements, and improve conditions for transit, motorists, and businesses.
  • Cayucos Veterans Hall – $1 million was appropriated to assist in badly needed renovations for a historic community center, in order to maintain operations of the facility for community use.
  • Toro Coast Preserve Project – $1.5 million appropriated to the Cayucos Land Conservancy to acquire 2,250 acres of coastal land threatened by estate development between Cayucos and Morro Bay and create a new open space preserve for hiking and other recreation, with low-impact, low-cost camping and trail connection to the beach.
  • Watsonville Community Hospital – $15 million to finalize the purchase of the hospital and retain it as a not-for-profit, community-centered healthcare facility in a medically underserved region with vulnerable populations.
  • Community Human Services’ Shuman Heart House – $2.5 million was appropriated to the City of Monterey for building renovations, furnishings and equipment for the Community Human Services’ Shuman Heart House.
  • Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement project – $2 million appropriated to Big Sur Land Trust for a multi-benefit, green infrastructure project to reduce flood risks and restore habitat where natural and built environments intersect at the mouth of Carmel Valley.
  • Camatta Ranch – $2.5 million appropriated to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County to preserve permanently the Camatta Ranch.
  • SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit – $2.5 million was appropriated to the Monterey-Salinas Transit District for the construction of a busway.

 

In addition, over $10 million was allocated for vital Monterey Peninsula water infrastructure upgrade projects:

  • Monterey Peninsula Water Management District – $4.8 million for the Pure Water Monterey Deep Injection Well No. 6 project.
  • Monterey County Water Resources Agency – $6.163 million for the Nacimiento Dam Maintenance projects.

 

Additionally, as Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, Laird played an instrumental role in securing $20.3 million to support infrastructure and rebuilding efforts at Swanton Pacific Ranch, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The budget has been approved by both houses of the Legislature and awaits the signature of Governor Newsom for final approval. Further details regarding disbursement will be determined following the Governor’s signature.

Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. He was one of the first openly gay mayors to serve in the United States. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.