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April 22, 2024

Gov. Newsom proposes millions in new spending for litter, encampments

The state could allocate millions of dollars in next year’s budget to fund continuous efforts to clean up California’s streets and address homeless encampments, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

Speaking from the site of a Clean California project, Newsom said his January budget proposal would include at least $100 million for community-based projects to remove trash and beautify parks and roadways. Those funds would be in addition to $300 million in local grant funds available for projects across the state, which come as part of Newsom’s $1.1 billion multi-year Clean California initiative to promote litter abatement and beautification projects.

Newsom also hinted Wednesday that additional funding is coming to help local entities address encampments in the upcoming year. Already, the state has allocated about $50 million in grant funds for encampment resolution as part of Newsom’s $12 billion investment to address homelessness statewide.

“That $50 million is a downpayment on what the state’s going to be doing in the upcoming year to significantly increase our efforts on resolution grants to address the issues of the encampments,” Newsom said.

Through Newsom’s multi-year Clean California program, state officials estimate 21 tons of additional trash will be removed from state highways – the equivalent of filling up the Rose Bowl stadium three times.

Officials are also hopeful the program will create thousands of jobs, including for those who were formerly incarcerated and exiting homelessness. Thus far, Caltrans has hired about 350 workers to aid in this cleanup effort, Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin announced Wednesday.

“Clean California, at the end of the day, it’s not just a cleanup effort,” Omishakin said. “It’s not just a project or an initiative. Clean California is a movement to transform the public spaces in the state.”

Thus far, the state has 18 different Clean California projects underway. Newsom visited two of those project sites in Los Angeles on Wednesday, working alongside Caltrans officials to pick up litter and trash.

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