On the June ballot, we really had just one measure to be really excited about — Prop 15 and the fight for fair elections. While that went down, it clearly was in a tough fight in a low Dem turnout election. November, that will be a different situation. In November, the governorship will be up for grabs, and there will be several turnout operations. The marijuana measure is already on the ballot, but now add the state parks measure to that:
Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced today that proponents of the “State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act” were projected to have submitted enough valid voter signatures to qualify.
The measure, backed by the California State Parks Foundation, would enact a $18 vehicle registration fee to fund state parks. In return, California motorists subject to the fee would get free admission to the parks. Proponents turned in more than 760,000 signatures in hopes of hitting the roughly 434,000 needed to make it on the ballot. (SacBee)
John Laird had proposed a similar measure back in 2008, but in this Legislature, anything mentioning additional revenue is pretty much DOA. However, this measure could bring some broad appeal from interesting communities. Sportsman and fisherman would probably be interested, and it could offer something tangible for the voters.
I actually already pay for this service. I bought the Golden Poppy Pass for $90 a while back, and it lets me park at most state parks in the state. Quite a deal.
But ultimately, we need sustainable sources of revenue, and this will be one way to bring the parks a measure of security.
Of course there are always issues with tying our revenues to specific budget items, but considering the sad shape of the parks, with closures and reduced hours, this is what it has come to. At the very least, it is a good thing to let voters voice support for revenue.