State park funding under threat

Desoto State Park

Desoto State Park

As the budgets continue to be tight, state legislators are taking aim at state park funding.

During the legislative spring break last week, several stories and editorials were published about plans to cut $7.8 million from the state park program, which represents a 4.5 percent reduction. State Parks Director Greg Lien has written a letter to community leaders warning of the loss in tax revenue to local businesses surrounding state parks.

At the same time, Governor Robert Bentley has intimated that state parks would have enough funding if the legislature would approve a bill allowing a private developer to build a convention center at Gulf State Park. As the Gulf State Park bill and the budget work their way through the legislature, Conservation Alabama will be advocating for more state park funding.

Before spring break, the House voted 84-8 to send the hazardous waste bill onto the Senate. After more extended debate than anticipated, the bill received overwhelming support despite the fact that it could bring hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic waste to the landfill in Emelle. The bill hasn’t been assigned to a Senate committee yet.

You can follow legislation related to the environment each week on Conservation Alabama’s Hot List at conservationalabama.org.

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