(SACRAMENTO) – In further efforts to bring California tax dollars for Orange County, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva (Orange County) is pleased to announce that $19.8 million has officially been approved by the State Assembly in the 2018-19 California budget. The funds will be appropriated to a conservation program with the State. According to the bill language, the money will be used “to enhance public access and for other public purposes concerning the West Coyote Hills area in the County of Orange.” This has been the result of long-lasting efforts by Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva, dating back to her position as Mayor of the City of Fullerton, and the residents’ desire to open up West Coyote Hills for use as a natural preserve.
“It is vital that West Coyote Hills be saved as a park and educational resource for residents and children. Its unique ecology and community history provide the perfect setting for an outdoor classroom. Children and college students will have a nearby place for field trips and field studies to learn about our local environment,” said Quirk-Silva. “Securing the Open Space will benefit all local residents, and will be widely regarded as a source of pride for the Fullerton community.”
Of the $19.8 million, $15 million has been secured in the Budget Act of 2018 to be used for the purchase of specified property in West Coyote Hills, with legislative oversight. The funding, under the bill language, will be to maintain and preserve West Coyote Hills, and to enhance public access and to keep the land as open space. The other $4.8 million dollars was secured with the voter-approved (June 5, 2018), Proposition 68 State Park Bond.
The California State Budget currently includes $15 million due to the efforts of Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva, and former Senator Josh Newman, for the purpose of acquiring, operating, and maintaining West Coyote Hills Open Space. Currently, the land is owned by Chevron’s subsidiary, Pacific Coast Homes. The budget bill (Senate Bill 862) will next be heard on the floor of the California State Senate.