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5 Inland Empire projects paid for by California’s $262.6 billion budget

Source: Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise

So far, California’s finances are immune to the coronavirus pandemic.

While COVID-19 has killed more than 63,000 Californians and wrecked the lives of countless others, the $262.6 billion budget signed into law late last month uses a record surplus to give rebates of up to $1,100 to 15 million households, send every 4-year-old to kindergarten and give health insurance to low-income undocumented immigrants 50 and older, among other priorities.

The budget also funds projects specific to the Inland Empire. Here’s a look at five of them.

UC Riverside

The budget spends $15 million on the first phase of a new clean technology center that will link UC Riverside’s engineering college with the California Air Resources Board’s Southern California headquarters that’s being built in Riverside

“This will help California meet its clean energy and environmental targets while transforming the future of our region by creating high-skill, high-wage jobs in the clean energy and environmental sectors,” read a news release from state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside.

Also in the budget is $25 million for “expanded enrollment and operational costs” at UCR’s medical school, according to the office of Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside. The school, which is in a region with a chronic shortage of physicians, welcomed its first class of students in the fall of 2013.