Update: (11:45 am, June 27, 2012): Minutes after posting this article we received updated information; see http://theyodeler.org/?p=5046.
Yesterday, June 27, the state legislature passed and sent to the governor a budget trailer bill (SB 1018) that contains some good things for the environment. One is the potential for the California Department of Parks and Recreation to receive one-time funding that amounts to as much as $40 million. About $21 million of that money appears to have no strings attached. That is, it could be used to replace money cut from the parks budget over the last two years and ensure that none of the parks in the state parks system closes on July 1. (Because of a $22 million budget cut, the governor had planned to close 70 of the 278 state parks on July 1 (see May 15 article). At least 40 of those have been temporarily saved from closure by community groups, local agencies, and public and private donors.)
The governor is expected to sign SB 1018 within the next two days. The law allows him to go through the trailer bill and pencil out (i.e. selectively veto) parts he doesn’t like. It’s up to us to remind him that he can and must save the parks.
Please take a minute today (June 28) to e-mail or call the governor and urge him to sign SB 1018 with the parks funding intact. Ask him to use that parks money to keep all the state parks open on July 1.
Thanks for speaking up for California’s state parks!
Kathryn Phillips, director, Sierra Club California