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A New Budget Proposal Would Make Visiting State Parks Free

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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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