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A New Budget Proposal Would Make Visiting State Parks Free


Aired 4/19/09


State park lovers are pushing hard to have a proposal included in the budget that would allow Californians to visit the parks for free.


Democratic Assemblyman John Laird introduced the idea. The program would add a $10 surcharge to car registration fees.


The money would help clear up the more than $1 billion maintenance backlog at the state's parks. In return, Californians with a valid license plate would get free day-use and parking at state parks.


Elizabeth Goldstein is with the California State Parks Foundation . She says the fee would raise about $280 million a year.


GOLDSTEIN: We believe that the amount of money currently coming to the department is somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of what's actually needed to adequately maintain the system.


Typical day-use fees are between six and ten dollars.


Visitors would still have to pay for camping and museums.


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