Rumors are starting to trickle out of Sacramento that a potential budget agreement might be coming to the table before the weekend. The LA Times has a report stating the new budget would let 27,000 prisoners out early, but doesn’t mention anything about the State Parks situation.
Right now, according to an email from the California State Parks Foundation, it looks like the California State Parks general fund will take a hit to the tune of $70 million, but that funding from other sources would cover $62 million of the budgets through the next fiscal year. This leaves an $8 million deficit, which the CSPF expects will result in some park closures – but definitely less than the 80% of parks that would have to close their gates on one of the older plans.
This is all rumor right now, and even if the facts and numbers are accurate, the budget still has to be approved by 2/3 of the Legislature (the usual huge speed bump in this process), and signed by the Governor.
Personally, I’d still rather see a permanent source of income for the parks, like the $15 vehicle fee slash annual parks pass proposed by the CSPF. But since Schwarzenegger seems set on grandstanding with his “no new fees or taxes” slogan, it looks like we’ll have to make do with this … at least until next year, when it all falls apart again.
Image by Thomas Hawk.