Jamestown, CA — A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers is joining forces trying to save parks like Railtown 1897.
AB 1589 is designed to create additional revenue to help parks on the closure list. The legislation would improve the collection of entrance fees and allow residents to buy special license plates to increase park funding. Also, taxpayers could direct part of their refund to the California State Parks Protection Fund to purchase an annual pass.
One of the Assembly members co-authoring the legislation is Kristin Olsen, a Republican who represents District 25. “I am thrilled to see my colleagues in the Assembly engaging in bi-partisan problem-solving to preserve the state parks within my district and the rest of the state,” says Olsen. “We have already been able to take one park in my district off the closure list (Mono Lake), and we will continue fighting to prevent the closure of the historic parks like Railtown 1897 State Park and the Mariposa Mining and Mineral Museum.”
The legislation was introduced at a press conference in Sacramento. Joining the group of legislators was Robert Hanna, a direct descendant of naturalist John Muir. Hanna emphasized the cultural and economic significance of state parks.
Democratic Assembly member Jared Huffman of San Rafael is another co-author. “The bill we’re supporting gives the state additional tools it needs to help keep state parks open and provide for more sustainable management of parks in the future,” says Huffman.
It is noted that even if the legislation is approved, the funding would not materialize for about a year. Additional funding sources would be needed to keep the parks open during the interim period.