Discover Pass Won’t Pay Parks’ Bills–Now What, Legislature?
Here’s something you can ask your candidates for state office: “Why is the Legislature Trying to Kill Washington State Parks?” If you care about the parks system, now is a good time to get people on record, because charging admission via the Discover Pass ($30 annually, or $10 per day) isn’t working out. The Wenatchee World reports:
Discover Pass revenues were about $4.7 million short of expectations for the months of June through September, said Parks spokeswoman Virginia Painter. That means instead of asking for $18 million from the general fund for the 2013-2015 biennium, the Commission will consider asking for $27.2 million, she said.
No one can make you buy a Discover Pass, of course. No one can make you visit a state park. If June through mid-July is colder than average, maybe you’d prefer not to camp out. But that’s just one argument against making a year-round parks system dependent entirely upon user fees. The revenue flow has peaks and valleys, but the bills need to be paid regardless.
There was no public demand to radically change funding for the parks. But in looking for budgets to cut, the legislature apparently decided that something so loved was obviously worth something, and why not extort that from the people they’re supposed to represent? Further, why not ask Parks & Recreation to defund themselves completely within in an incredibly short time-frame?
These are the names of the representatives and senators who voted to defund the Washington State Parks system entirely, the whole 117 parks, 33 heritage sites and interpretive centers, and more than 700 historic buildings on more than 120,000 acres. Yes, the list includes such stalwart Seattle liberals as Jamie Pedersen, Frank Chopp, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Ed Murray:
House Representatives Appleton, Billig, Blake, Carlyle, Clibborn, Cody, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Eddy, Finn, Fitzgibbon, Frockt, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Hurst, Jinkins, Kagi, Kelley, Kenney, Kirby, Ladenburg, Liias, Lytton, Maxwell, McCoy, Miloscia, Moeller, Morris, Moscoso, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Reykdal, Roberts, Rolfes, Ryu, Santos, Seaquist, Sells, Springer, Stanford, Sullivan, Takko, Tharinger, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Wylie, and Mr. Speaker
Senators Becker, Brown, Carrell, Chase, Conway, Eide, Fain, Fraser, Hargrove, Harper, Hatfield, Haugen, Hewitt, Hill, Keiser, Kilmer, Kline, Kohl-Welles, Litzow, McAuliffe, Murray, Nelson, Prentice, Pridemore, Ranker, Regala, Rockefeller, Schoesler, Shin, Stevens, Swecker, Tom, and White