Monday, May 21, 2012
A bipartisan group of California Assembly members is proposing legislation they say will help save the state parks system.
Last year, the State Parks Department named 70 sites that it said would be closed due to budget cuts.
About a dozen parks have since come off that list thanks to partnerships with non-profits or other government agencies. Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman says this proposal could keep all of them open. “State parks are an essential part of our heritage. They are an essential part of our legacy as Californians. And they are part of what makes this state great. They’re also worth saving," said Huffman.
The legislation calls for several potential funding streams, such as state park license plates and allowing taxpayers to send some of their refunds to a special fund in exchange for year-long state parks passes.
It would also take $25 million from leftover park and water bonds approved by voters in 2006 and use that money to modernize parks’ fee collection systems.