Thursday, July 30, 2009

State Parks to Have Corporate Sponsors?

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 5:40 AM

California state parks officials and nonprofit groups are considering corporate sponsorships of state parks in the wake of the governor's decision to slash another $6.2 million from the state parks' budget, according to the Los Angeles Times. The governor's last-minute cuts could result in the closure of up to 100 state parks — unless officials can find another revenue source to keep them open. "For example, if Budweiser came forward with money for Malibu Beach State Park, we wouldn't change the name to Budweiser Beach," state parks spokesman Roy Stearns told the Times. "But why not put up a banner saying, 'This park is kept open by Budweiser' for as long as they continue helping us?"

The state plans to release a list of the parks that will be closed for one to two years in September. In the Bay Area, parks on the preliminary closure list include: Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, Mount Diablo, Fremont Peak State Historic Park, Tomales Bay State Park, and Portola Redwoods State Park.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the legality of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute cuts could end up in court. Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto powers to slash an additional $489 million from the state budget, but some Democratic leaders contend that he did so illegally. The issue is whether the governor has the power to cut from the budget items in which the Legislature has already reduced funding or whether he can only cut new appropriations. If it's the latter, then the governor's actions may have violated state law because the additional cuts he made were on items that the Legislature had already slashed funding.

Also, the Associated Press reports that California will continue to issue IOUs until at least next week, as the state controllers' office attempts to determine if the budget compromise gives the state enough money to pay its bills. The state has already issued more than $1 billion in IOUs, which banks are still refusing to honor.


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