Legislative Tracking Report

As of January 1, 2013 the California State Legislature is in the first year of a two-year session. CSPF will update this page with information on legislation impacting state parks as it becomes available. For information about CSPF's legislative agenda, contact our Sacramento office at (916) 442-2119.

2013 PRIORITY BILLS

Assembly Bill 150 by Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto)
Free Military Access to State Parks

  • Authorizes DPR to allow active military and veterans free day use access to state parks on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. This bill will help increase state park access for Californians and recognize the contributions of military personnel and families.

Position: Support

Status: Signed into Law by Governor Brown




Assembly Bill 594 by Assemblymember Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista)
Continued Authority for Nonprofit Operation of State Parks

This bill (originally introduced by Assemblymember Hueso, but taken over by the Committee on Water, Parks & Wildlife when he left the Assembly for the Senate) ensures that the prohibition to close or propose to close a state park (enacted through AB 1478 of 2012) does not limit or affect the Department of Parks & Recreation’s authority to enter into operating agreements with nonprofit organizations to operate a state park. This bill also modifies the existing law related to the process required for any future proposed state park closures, such as requiring DPR to follow a public process.

  • Ensures that the prohibition to close or propose to close a state park (enacted through AB 1478 of 2012) does not limit or affect the Department of Parks & Recreation’s authority to enter into operating agreements with nonprofit organizations to operate a state park. 
  • Effectively, allows DPR to continue to negotiate with nonprofit organizations from now until June 30, 2014, for the purpose of entering into new operating agreements, without concern that the existing park moratorium voids such authority to enter those agreements.
  • The authority for DPR to enter into operating agreements would then continue, unaffected, after the close of the moratorium (i.e. July 1, 2014) through the existing statutory authority of January 1, 2019. 

Position: Support

Status: Signed into Law by Governor Brown




Senate Bill 241 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
Dedicated Funding for State Parks Through Oil Severance Fund

The bill, which was amended in early May to reduce the state parks funding allocation from 7% to 5% of revenues, but provide a new allocation of 5% to the state for a reserve account for disasters, was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee. We will continue to follow this bill to see if it moves again in 2014.

  • Imposes a new 9.9% tax on each barrel of oil extracted from the earth or water within California's jurisdiction. 
  • Per author’s office, would generate an estimated $2 billlion, annually. 
  • Dedicates 93% of revenues that would be generated to the UC system, CSU system and California Community Colleges for general support.
  • Dedicates 7% of revenues to the Department of Parks & Recreation for maintenance and improvement of state parks.

Position: Support in Concept

Status: Potential Two-Year Bill




Senate Bill 783 by Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
California Clean Water, Safe Urban Parks, and Environmental Health Investment Act of 2014

This bill did not move through the committee process and no amendments were made. It is considered to be a 2-year bill.

  • Declares legislative findings that reflect Californians’ value of parks, economic impact of outdoor recreation in California, global warming benefits of investing in park and resource infrastructure in California, need for addressing deferred maintenance backlog in state parks, increasing obesity epidemic in California, and more.
  • Declares legislative intent to enact a new bond for the 2014 ballot that will include funding for water, parks and environmental health purposes. 

Position: Support in Concept

Status: Potential Two-Year Bill




Senate Bill 599 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)

  • SB 599 will authorize and enhance the oversight role of the State Park and Recreation Commission by providing transparency, accountability and public accessibility regarding state park management.
  • Requires the State Park and Recreation Commission to evaluate the DPR’s capital outlay and infrastructure expenditures.
  • Requires the commission’s annual report to identify any budgetary requests of the commission for consideration by the Department of Finance and the legislature.
  • If the DPR proposes to close a state park on or after the 2014-2015 Fiscal year, this bill would require DPR to first provide notice to the commission 6 months in advance.



2012 PRIORITY BILLS

AB 1589 State parks: sustainability and protection

Assembly Bill 1589 (Huffman) helps move state parks toward sustainability by providing a comprehensive and creative approach to searching for additional funding streams for state parks. This bill seeks to identify new, mission-centric opportunities for revenue generation in state parks, while at the same time seeking to make state parks more relevant, attractive, and welcoming to current and potential visitors.

Its main provisions are:

  • Urges the creation of a master plan for California’s state park system (a variation of the compact idea CSPF has suggested)
  • Urges the formation of a multi-disciplinary advisory council to provide recommendations for sustainable funding for state parks
  • Requires DPR to produce an action plan by July 1, 2013 to increase revenues
  • Exempts non-profits that are operating parks from possessory interest (i.e. property tax) on state property they are operating
  • Creates a tax check off to buy an annual day-use pass for state parks

Position: Support

Singed into Law by Governor Brown





AB 1478 (State Parks Budget Trailer Bill)

In August 2012, lawmakers introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1478 to appropriate the recently-identified $20.5 million in State Park and Recreation Fund funding back to state parks in order to keep parks open.

In addition to allocating this funding, AB 1478 also includes several other important provisions.

  • Prohibits the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) from closing or proposing the closure of a state park in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 fiscal years.
  • Strengthens the State Park and Recreation Commission to improve their ability and capacity to provide oversight and a more meaningful connection between the public, park stakeholders, and the parks department.
  • Provides a one-time appropriation to help pay for ongoing internal and external investigations into the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Position: Support

Signed into Law by Governor Brown




See the 2011 Legislative Tracking Report