by David Safier
Please help stop this very bad bill by emailing or calling your legislators today:
HB2088 NOW: public conservation monies; transfer; parks (Nichols) diverts $20 million from the Public Conservation Account in the Land Conservation Fund established by the voters in 1998 when they approved the Growing Smarter Act referred to the ballot by the Arizona Legislature. The dollars are diverted to a variety of purposes – everything from water banking to parks to workshops. This amendment is clearly unconstitutional as it in no way furthers the purposes of the Growing Smarter measure that went before the voters in 1998. By diverting dollars from this fund, the Legislature hurts both conservation efforts and education – dollars from the Land Conservation Fund go into the Trust to benefit the Trust beneficiaries. The primary beneficiary is public education. Providing adequate funding for parks and other programs is important, but this is not the appropriate way to do so. The best avenue is to restore those funds directly and to establish a more stable funding source for our state parks. The voters approved the Voter Protection Act, because they were fed up with the Legislature undercutting, repealing, and diverting dollars from voter-approved measures. This bill demonstrates why it is needed more than ever.