State Capitol News
8:55 am
Fri April 2, 2010

State parks won't get cash infusion from motorists

Phoenix, AZ – Rep. Kyrsten Sinema proposed to let the parks board impose a
surcharge every time drivers register their vehicles. The amount
wasn't specified in her plan, with the idea to let board members
figure out how much they need. But she figured something less
than $12 a year would not only reopen shuttered parks and keep
others from closing but leave enough left over to once again
operate all the rest areas throughout the state. But most
lawmakers refused to go along, opting instead to let motorists
voluntarily contribute $10 at the time of vehicle registration.
That plan drew derision from Rep. Daniel Patterson.

(By passing this bill today, we try to fool the people of Arizona
into thinking that somehow this voluntary check-off box, while
that is not a bad idea, but we're trying to fool the people into
somehow thinking this is going to save state parks. And it won't.
We know it won't.)

In the end, the defeat of what Sinema wanted left only the
voluntary donations -- and left lawmakers like Rep. Tom Chabin
with a hard choice.

(Despite the fact the Riordan Mansion folks, the volunteers
there, are against this bill. And park advocates are against this
bill. In order to hasten some money sooner, I change my vote from
nay to aye.)

For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.