Monday, August 11, 2008
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.