The new governor of California on Tuesday proposed spending $105 million more annually on wildfire safety as a result of the devastating fires that have cost billions of dollars in damage, Fox News informed.
The funding increase would be intended for buying more helicopters, remote infrared cameras that can help detect fires, better alert systems and new technologies for tapping satellite images.
“Broad strokes, we are stepping up our game. I hear you, I get it, we have to do more,” Democrat Gavin Newsom, 51, said during his first full day in office alongside emergency service officials at a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) station.
The increase in funding would be a plus to those $200 million the state congress already intended for the forestry management, which totals to $305 million, Newsom stated.
One part of the proposed increase budget would be intended for overhauling the state’s 911 system. Around $10 million this year and $50 million next year would be spent, and all this would go through a modest increase in the phone bills of Californians.
Newsom also hinted his intention of leaving behind the relative fiscal restraint that marked the most recent mandate of his predecessor, Jerry Brown. Brown sometimes rebuked progressive efforts to spend big on various social programs.
“For eight years, California has built a foundation of rock,” Newsom said during his inaugural remarks. “Our job now is not to rest on that foundation. It is to build our house upon it.”
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, served as lieutenant governor under Brown.