Save Our Capitol Urges $500 Million Rehabilitation, not $1.2 Billion New Capitol Annex as California Tax Revenues Drop

(Sacramento, CA) – Save Our Capitol! issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent vetoes and concerns from state agencies regarding California’s financial footing:

“As Governor Newsom uses the state’s poor fiscal outlook to veto programs and initiatives that would expand education, health care, and more to Californians in need, Save Our Capitol! is urging state leadership to save hundreds of millions of dollars by halting the more than $1.2 billion Capitol Annex Project and rehabilitating the historic Capitol Annex for less than $500 million instead.

“With California tax revenues falling $4.2 billion short of projections since June, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office predicting the shortfall could grow to more than $5 billion, Governor Newsom has used the same line, verbatim, for recent vetoes: ‘With our state facing lower-than-expected revenues over the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined when it comes to spending.’ It is, therefore, commonsense to halt the current Capitol Annex Project and instead move forward with a cost-effective solution that will modernize the historic Annex without wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

“By freeing up $700 million from the current Capitol Annex Project, the Legislature and Governor Newsom can better balance the state’s budget and ensure critical projects are funded. Rehabilitation—which would fix all safety and security deficiencies—will cost taxpayers less than $500 million.

“As currently planned, the unnecessarily wasteful vanity project aims to demolish the nationally recognized Capitol Annex and replace it with an all-glass building that overpowers the stately original Capitol building, which was designed after the United State Capitol. In addition to the illegal demolition of an historic building, the Project will eradicate the iconic west side, including the West Lawn, Plaza, and Steps. It will also uproot hundreds of trees to make way for a garish visitor center and a redundant parking garage. Aside from the cost and destructive nature, these tactics fly in the face of current measures driven by the California Legislature and Governor Newsom to address climate change and grow natural carbon sequestration.

“Particularly at a time when the City of Sacramento continues to recover from COVID, the last thing residents need is a new decades-long infrastructure project that disrupts an already struggling downtown environment. With the support of a strong majority of California voters (76.6%), taxpayers, small businesses, preservationists, and environmentalists, we will continue to fight to save the historic Annex, Capitol Park, and the entire west side of the Capitol.”