by David Safier
“I promise you I will do everything I can … to keep it up and running,” Melvin told a small cadre of some of the park’s most loyal volunteers, many of whom live near Melvin in SaddleBrooke.
“Is that the best way to value a park?” asked Jim Walsh, the Pinal County attorney.
Even Sen. Melvin calls it an “arbitrary” approach.
Republican legislators on Tuesday moved to keep state parks open by taking money from a special fund for land conservation, rejecting criticism that the proposed diversion could violate a constitutional protection for voter-approved laws.
The House Government Committee voted 6-3 to postpone for one year a $20 million annual payment to the Land Conservation Fund and use the money to undo parks-related spending cuts and fund transfers included in a recent midyear budget-balancing package.
Rep. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, said there's no loss for conservation because the money is only being delayed one year. "This is a temporary offset that will be repaid," he said. "We're at least thinking outside the box."
A temporary offset to be repaid? Isn't that the borrowing that Republicans refused to do when they were going after the budget with a blunt hatchet???