State Parks Bill Clears House Committee
On Wednesday morning, the State House Committee on Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections convened to take up several bills including SB 260, which calls for a vote on a constitutional amendment to protect state parks’ funding. The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville), spoke in support of SB 260, saying that he had never seen an issue resonate with so many people from all walks of life. “I’m sure you all received gobs and gobs of messages about our parks,” Scofield told the committee.
Committee Chair Rep. Randy Davis (R-Daphne) told Scofield the committee was well-acquainted with the bill and quickly called for a vote. All of the committee members present voted in support of the bill, and in less than a minute, SB 260 was passed by the committee.
As Sen. Scofield noted, voters’ support of state parks has been unwavering since budget talks began in 2015 and 15 of our 22 state parks were slated to be closed. In total, more than 11,000 messages have been sent to elected officials in support of state parks since March 2015. Almost 4,000 of those messages were sent during the 2016 legislative session, which began February 2.
This committee vote brings Alabama one step closer to protecting the funding that state parks earn. By preventing the administrative transfers that have decimated the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ budget for the last five years, the constitutional amendment proposed by SB 260 will give our parks the ability to stay open and operational.
With just ten legislative days left in the 2016 regular session, it’s vital that the House pass SB 260 so that voters can have the opportunity to go to the polls and once again show our support for Alabama’s state parks. Click here to send a message to your state representative and ask them to vote YES on SB 260.