L.A. City Panel Recommends To Not Support State Parks Ballot Initiative
A resolution to support a ballot initiative that would fully fund state parks, thus protecting them from budget raids that prompt closures, failed to garner support from a L.A. City Council committee (.pdf) yesterday afternoon. At issue for Councilmembers Dennis Zine and Tony Cardenas were the fees associated with the proposal.
If passed by voters next November, annual vehicle license fees would go up $18 statewide. "So if somebody has a 1980 dodge that they're barely keeping together and their fees right now are maybe 50, 60 bucks, all told, this would be $18 on top of that?" questioned a wary Cardenas. Yes, he was told by a city analyst, who read a staff report that recommended the resolution's approval. Exempt from fees would be larger commercial vehicles, mobile homes and permanent trailers.
Over the past two years, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has threatened to close state parks--last year saying he was ready to shut 80% of them down--as a budget-saving move. Seeking a "stable, reliable, and adequate funding source," advocates wrote a ballot initiative called the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010.