Sacramento – Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration applauds Governor Brown for signing the state budget, which includes funding that Cooper spearheaded. These funds deliver resources to the City of Lodi, Cal Expo, and efforts to combat crimes against children.
“I am very encouraged by this year’s budget and am proud of the investments the Legislature and the Governor passed to support our region,” said Assemblymember Jim Cooper. “Essential funding for erosion control at Lodi Lake, deferred maintenance at Cal Expo and lastly, funding for California’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce will benefit our region and the residents of the 9th Assembly District.”
Lodi Lake, known as the “Jewel of Lodi” is a popular recreation area for Lodians and is a destination for residents across Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. Since 1999, Lodi Lake has suffered severe erosion from the Mokelumne River, threatening Lodi’s community amphitheater and Rotary Picnic Shelter at Lodi Lake Park.
“We’ve taken small measures to prevent the river from slowly eroding away Lodi Lake Park, but in the end it takes significant funding to make a difference,” said Mayor Alan Nakanishi. “We’re thankful Assemblyman Cooper recognizes Lodi Lake’s significance to our community, as well as our financial challenges and that he took the steps needed to protect the jewel of our park system,” added Nakanishi.
The 2018-2019 state budget includes $1 million in funding for the City of Lodi to combat erosion at Lodi Lake.
In addition to securing funding for the City of Lodi, Assemblymember Cooper also led an effort to provide funding to Cal Expo for restoration and infrastructure improvements.
Cal Expo, a major regional site for several large community events, has hosted the California State Fair since 1968. During this time, Cal Expo has maintained and enhanced their nearly 800-acre land with no funding from the State, relying completely upon revenues generated from events to cover its annual operations and maintenance of facilities. However, time is taking its toll on Cal Expo’s facilities while much-needed capital expenditures are outpacing revenues available for maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.
In addition to its many programs and functions, Cal Expo serves as a significant emergency response and support facility for the State and Federal government, and has been designated as the Emergency Seat of State Government, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile for Northern California, and a Tsunami Recovery Facility for the San Francisco Bay Area.
For these reasons, the Legislature and Governor have agreed to allocate $15 million in grants for deferred maintenance at Cal Expo.
“Thank you to Governor Brown, Assemblyman Cooper, and the California Legislature for their much needed General Fund assistance which will further address Cal Expo’s 50-year-old aging infrastructure, as well as our goal of being sustainable for future generations,” said Rima Barkett Chair of the California Exposition & State Fair.
Furthermore, Assemblymember Cooper led an effort to fund California’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce Program (ICAC). ICAC’s mission is to help state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children.
“I know first-hand how valuable ICAC is to providing training to parents and protecting our young ones,” said Assemblymember Cooper. “At increasing rates, children are using the internet and social media at very young ages and are more and more susceptible to online predators and victimization,” added Cooper.
This marks the second year in a row that Cooper secured a significant amount of funding for California’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.