- Adam Capper
- (916) 319-2035
(Sacramento) – Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano) announced today that she has secured millions of dollars in the state budget for direct investments to improve public safety and the quality of life for her constituents in Kern County.
Dr. Bains secured $21 million to improve public safety in the 35th Assembly District. The investments include $5 million each for the construction of new police stations in the cities of Wasco and McFarland. Wasco is in the process of establishing and building out its first police force with officers dedicated to serving the city they will be sworn to protect.
“We ask our police officers to do so much for our communities, but too often the police stations they work out of are outdated and insufficient to do the job,” said Dr. Bains. “I am proud to give something back for their service. The officers in McFarland deserve this. As the City of Wasco recruits and hires its new police force, I hope the promise of a new police station will help attract the best and brightest to serve the city.”
Dr. Bains also announced an $11 million investment that will help Kern County address the fentanyl and addiction crisis. $10.5 million will be dedicated to a local task force designed to provide resources for law enforcement and healthcare providers who are on the front lines of the fentanyl crisis. An additional $500,000 will support Kern County’s Fentanyl Awareness Campaign to communicate the dangers of fentanyl to the public.
“As a doctor, I never expected I would run for office, but after watching my community struggle through major public health challenges like COVID-19 and the fentanyl crisis, I knew I had to step up,” continued Dr. Bains. “Fentanyl poisoning has become the leading cause of death for younger people, killing nearly 200 Americans every single day. The situation is even worse in rural communities where drug trafficking is less monitored and where people often lack access to critical support services. This is a major investment that will allow Kern County to disrupt drug cartels, track fentanyl contaminated drugs, and support additional addiction service providers. I am incredibly proud to deliver on this promise during my first year in office.”
With a strong emphasis on enhancing the quality of life for adults and children alike, Dr. Bains announced four major community investments including:
- $2 million for the rehabilitation of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Southeast Bakersfield. Once a thriving community park, years of neglect have resulted in aging equipment, gang activity, and unsafe conditions. Southeast Bakersfield is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the state, with high levels of poverty, unemployment, linguistic isolation, and poorer health outcomes than average. State funds will boost local efforts to rejuvenate and rehabilitate the park including new multi-use sports fields, basketball courts, picnic areas, a swimming pool, and a community garden.
- $500,000 for parks rejuvenation throughout the City of Delano. The city has needs at multiple parks including the removal of graffiti, restoration of vegetation, repairing of surfaces and parking lots, and upgrading amenities. This funding includes significant flexibility to allow the city to target upgrades throughout the community.
- $300,000 for the Buttonwillow Recreation and Park District. Historically overlooked Buttonwillow will receive multiple park upgrades including lighting, field and parking lot repairs at Babe Ruth Park, repairs to Scouts Hall, and playground restorations.
- $250,000 for the Richland School District’s Family Resources Center (Shafter Healthy Start). Faced with the possibility of closing due to lost funding, the Family Resource Center provides a one-stop shop for families to access critical safety net services like transportation to medical appointments, a food pantry, homeless services, foster youth assistance, guardianship assistance, First Five, dental screenings, the Shafter Christmas Store, and unemployment benefits amongst many others. If closed, Shafter residents would have no physical location to access the majority of offered services. This state investment will allow the center to continue serving all Shafter residents.
Dr. Bains also announced securing the following investments in the 35th Assembly District:
- $1 million for an Economic Mobility Lab at the Kern Community College District. The Lab will focus on providing career technical education that will prepare students to immediately enter professions in business services, advanced manufacturing, and IT/cyber security.
- $1 million for the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater. In April, Dr. Bains spoke at the Community Collaborative Against Fentanyl which was hosted at the Fox Theater. Renovation of the historic theater is already well underway, and this targeted investment will help fully restore the theater as an important and historic place for community gatherings.
“With the state facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, these dedicated investments in Kern County are incredibly significant,” continued Dr. Bains. “Not every part of the state received the same kind of attention. The stories and the challenges faced by the residents of the 35th Assembly District made the difference and allowed me to fight to deliver these funds even in a challenging financial year.”
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Dr. Jasmeet Bains represents the 35th Assembly District in Kern County which includes the cities of Bakersfield, Delano, Wasco, Arvin, Shafter, and McFarland.