As of January 1, 2013 the California State Legislature is currently 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.
Assembly Bill 150 by Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto)
Free Military Access to State Parks
- Requires active duty military personnel or veterans who are Californians to be provided a pass for free use of a state park on Memorial Day or Veterans Day
Assembly Bill 594 by Assemblymember Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista)
Continued Authority for Nonprofit Operation of State Parks
- 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.
Senate Bill 241 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
Dedicated Funding for State Parks Through Oil Severance Fund
- 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
Senate Bill 783 by Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) – SUPPORT IN CONCEPT
California Clean Water, Safe Urban Parks, and Environmental Health Investment Act of 2014
- 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
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
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.