Friday, March 1, 2024

California park passes to libraries may be canceled due to state budget cuts

There is concern that a popular feature of libraries across California could be canceled due to state budget cuts.

Park passes give people a free ticket to some of the state’s most popular outdoor areas and have become one of the most sought-after items to check out.

“It has a bar code like any other book,” said Todd Deck, with the Sacramento Public Library.

Deck said state park passes were checked more than 6,500 times last year.

“I would consider it popularity-wise the same as James Patterson; I mean, people love it,” Deck said.

The passes are good for three weeks and allow people free entry and parking at over 200 California State Parks.
This can save people $12 a day at places like Folsom Lake or $195 a year to buy an annual state park pass.

“Access to this amazing state park system that we have in California is an essential service,” said Rachel Norton, executive director for the California State Parks Foundation.

But now California is facing a $68 billion deficit, and this popular program could be on the block in state budget cuts.

“We are concerned that there is no funding in the current budget proposal,” Norton said.

Norton said money to continue the library pass program was not included in the budget that Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled last week.
His organization is now launching outreach efforts to get the money back.

“There’s a petition you can sign today to tell the governor and legislative leadership that this program is great and you want the funding to continue,” Norton said.

Park advocates say it’s important for everyone to have access to outdoor recreational opportunities, regardless of cost.

“Every statistic shows that communities are happier and healthier when they actively use the natural world,” Deck said.

CBS13 reached out to the governor’s office this afternoon for comment but has not heard back from them.

The park pass petition can be viewed online.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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