March 12, 2012

State Parks Getting Own Fund

Legislature moving to return control of revenues

state parks spot State Parks

The Arizona Senate Natural Resources and Transportation Committee passed a bill Monday to give control of revenues generated by the state parks system back to the parks.

In 2009, lawmakers stopped giving the park system money from the general fund. At the time, legislators told the park system to operate like a business. It did, and the Legislature swept the money generated from entrance fees and gift shops.

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Many of the most popular parks sit on property given to the state by the Federal Bureau of Land Management.

Jay Zimmerman, who sits on the Arizona Parks Board, told lawmakers that to stay in compliance with the BLM agreements the parks must do what they can to ensure that any money they make goes back into the parks.

That is why Zimmerman argued for passing HB 2362.

The bill now heads to Senate Appropriations. It earlier was passed by the House.

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