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Reason Foundation

[Op-Ed] Donít Close State Parks; Lease Them

Harris Kenny
May 16, 2011, 2:20pm

Last Friday the New York Times reported that California’s impending $11 billion budget cuts will lead to the closure of 70 state parks across the Golden State, including the Governor’s Mansion.

State Assembly speaker John A. Pérez defends the move in a written press release saying, “(The legislature has) made some very difficult decisions to close the deficit. (They are) hopeful that with the release of the May revise, (they) can close out the remainder of the deficit with a balanced approach without resorting to further cuts.” In other words: tax increases.

Fortunately, this is not a decision that comes down to spending cuts or tax increases. In my latest op-ed, published in yesterday’s edition of The Orange County Register, I explain how long-term lease agreements could be used to keep state parks open. This offers the opportunity to minimize, or potentially eliminate, taxpayer subsidies to the parks, while keeping them open for public enjoyment.

The full piece is available online here.

For more on saving California’s state parks, see my previous blog posts here, here, here and here.


Harris Kenny is Policy Analyst


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