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State park bills await Brown’s signature

Thursday, September 6th, 2012 | Posted by

While the investigation into some $50 million in “undisclosed” state park funds continues, Gov. Jerry Brown has been sent two bills in the hope that his signature will ensure funding for state parks.

Stewards chief Michelle Luna

Jared Huffman’s AB 1589  would provide for 
the creation of a master plan for California’s state park system, urge the formation of an advisory council to provide recommendations for sustainable funding for state parks and requires the DPR to produce an action plan by July 1, 2013 to increase revenues.

The bill, if signed, would also exempt non-profits which are operating parks from paying property tax) on state property they are operating. Additionally, it would create a tax check-off to buy an annual day-use pass for state parks.
This bill was co-authored by a number of legislators from both sides of the aisle passed both houses unanimously and is now on the governor’s desk

Also, AB 1478, authored by 40th district Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, would provide for $20.6 million of the undisclosed funds and $10 million of Prop. 84 funds to be used to match $10 million, dollar for dollar in donations the next two fiscal years,  which have been designated to keep parks open. $10 million would also be used by DPR to help parks at risk of closure, to remain open. Funds would also help with ongoing investigations into possible misappropriations and create a moratorium on park closures until June 2014.

Kayaking Austin Creek.

Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods director Michelle Luna encourages those who support this legislation to let the governor know your feelings, make a donation (which may be matched) and volunteer to help keep Austin Creek trails well maintained and continue habitat-restoration efforts.

Writer Spotlight

Stephen Gross, The River correspondent

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