Late last Thursday, the Legislature passed two important state park bills, AB 1589 and AB 1478, which we were very happy to see.
AB 1589 (Huffman) helps move state parks toward sustainability by providing a comprehensive and creative approach to searching for additional funding streams.
AB 1478 (Blumenfield) is a budget trailer bill that will direct a portion of the hidden funds to state parks and establishes a two-year moratorium on closing state parks.
Both bills have moved to Governor Brown’s desk. He has 30 days to sign or veto them. In the case of the budget trailer bill, he can “blue pencil” portions that contain appropriations, which would be akin to vetoing or reducing parts of the appropriations.
The long road to stopping park closures. Photo by Michael Keel @ Mt. Tam
With the park closure deadline quickly approaching (July 1 for those of you who forgot), there is plenty of attention being paid to state parks in our Capitol. Our legislators are looking for ways to find extra funding for parks, and some things are moving along successfully. Here’s a recap of recent action for easy tracking:
In late May the Legislature largely agreed on a funding proposal to help keep our state parks open. Dubbed the “Ongoing Sustainable Parks Proposal,” this plan includes some temporary transfers of funding from other programs to state parks and a direction for more innovation and efficiencies in parks management. This will now be part of ongoing budget deliberations.
Legislation Assembly Bill (AB) 1589 (Huffman) passed 78-0 out of the Assembly and will now be heard in the Senate. AB 1589 is an omnibus state parks bill that establishes a variety of mechanisms to move state parks toward sustainability. Senate Bill 974 and Senate Bill 1078 (Evans) were also passed out of the Senate and will be heard in the Assembly.
Stayed tuned for more updates as this legislation (hopefully) moves along!