The Morning Report
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About this time last year, I wrote this story about an influx of cash rolling to state beaches to pay for a suitable level of lifeguard staffing in San Diego and elsewhere on California’s coast. The boost in funds was in contrast to previous years when lifeguards had complained about low staffing and lifeguards warned people not to visit state beaches.
As I wrote in the story, the boost in funds to pay for the state lifeguards was thanks in part to the efforts of state Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, who pushed for the extra cash to be included in the state budget last year.
I just spoke to Kehoe. I wanted to check in with her to see how funding for state lifeguards is faring this year.
Kehoe said that, at least for the moment, funding for lifeguards on state beaches is at the same level as last year. But she cautioned that could change at any time since the state budget has not yet been finalized and won’t be for some time.
“Until it’s finalized, there’s always room for some concern, because we don’t have a final action,” Kehoe said.
Kehoe said she will push for lifeguard funding to stay constant, especially if San Diego continues to see crowds like it saw over last weekend.
She said there is still plenty of discussion of issues related to the budget for state parks in the state senate and the state assembly, and that this is a particularly tricky budget season. While there’s no guarantee the funding will stay intact, she said the whole state, not just coastal communities, knows how valuable the lifeguard service is.
“I think everybody wants lifeguards on the beaches,” she said.