Opposing the Closing of California State Parks

Resolution Number BRGL09.01

Opposing the Closing of California State Parks

WHEREAS, the governor has proposed cutting funding for 220 California state parks, resulting in the relatively small savings of $149 million from the state’s tax-based General Fund, which represents slightly more than one-tenth of one percent of the state’s total General Fund budget, and eliminating the Department of Parks and Recreation and closing all 279 state parks would fill less than one percent of the budget shortfall; and

WHEREAS, state parks are a critical piece of California’s travel and tourism industry serving more than 75 million visitors every year, generating more than $6.5 billion (based on a 2002 study) in total output and new sales for private businesses from visitor spending, the tax revenue from that spending generates $2.34 in General Fund revenue for the state for every dollar of General Fund monies received by state parks to operate, will cost the General Fund more than $350 million in lost revenue, and have dire and devastating effects on local economies dependent on tourism around state parks; and 

WHEREAS, the governor then proposes to reopen the parks after three years, meaning that the state would have to hire and train new rangers, maintenance staff, environmental scientists, etc., and then carry the enormous costs associated with the repair of broken water lines, windows, holes in roofs, fallen trees, overgrown roads and trails, etc., and the costs become astronomical;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party opposes closing California state parks and strongly urges California legislators and the governor of California to pursue increasing revenues rather than cutting funding to the California state parks; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party will forward this resolution to Speaker Karen Bass, Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and all California Democratic state legislators.

Submitted by Sonoma County Democratic Party, Stephen Gale, Chair
 
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Adopted by the Executive Board
Of the California Democratic Party
At its Executive Board Meeting
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Burlingame
July 19, 2009

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