SACRAMENTO- Assemblywoman Diane Harkey joined her colleagues today in unveiling a bipartisan solution for California's state parks that are slated for closure.
Harkey has co-authored AB 1589 by Jared Huffman (D-Marin) which authorizes a variety of park funding mechanisms including allowing taxpayers to deduct from their state tax refund the amount paid for a California state parks annual pass, and offering State Parks license plates for purchase. All funds would be restricted to use for maintenance and operation of our State parks, many of which are facing closures due to the continuing State budget deficits.
"I am excited we have found a bipartisan set of comprehensive solutions to keep our parks open. As you can imagine, it's not often that Assemblymember Huffman, a former Natural Resources Defense Council attorney and I agree. But on this issue we stand united. The funding will be separate from the State's general fund and will allow our heritage and treasure of State parks to remain open for Californians and tourists alike. Not only do our parks provide enjoyment for millions of annual visitors, they generate economic activity for our communities."
The 73rd Assembly district is home to three state parks: Doheny State Beach, San Clemente State Beach and San Onofre State Beach. Camp grounds, hiking trails, popular surf breaks and clean picnic areas keep visitors coming back to Orange and San Diego County and stimulate the beach cities economies.
"People come to south Orange County for the sun, sand and breathtaking views that our parks offer. Our state beaches in the 73rd district are why so many people call this area home and tourists make this their vacation destination. We won't be able to enjoy California's natural resources if they are not maintained. Identifying funding sources for our state parks is crucial to all Californians and visitors."
The complete text of the bill can be found here.