SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- California Church IMPACT (CCI), representing 21 different denominations and more than 1.5 million members, has announced its endorsement of Prop. 21 citing state parks' benefits for California families. Prop. 21, which will appear on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot, provides a stable and adequate funding source to keep state parks and beaches open, and ensure they are properly maintained.
"As a faith organization, we know how vital state parks are in strengthening and connecting California families," said Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser CCI executive director. "State parks offer low-cost destinations for families to spend time together in nearly every region of our state. Under Prop. 21 not only will state parks receive adequate funding, but California families will be able to enjoy even more affordable year-round access."
Prop. 21 will give California families affordable access to state parks and beaches throughout California. Currently, many state parks cost as much as $15 for one-time day-use, and an annual pass costs $125. For families on a budget, state parks' recreational educational and cultural opportunities will be more affordable 365 days a year. Under Prop. 21, California vehicles will receive free, year-round day-use access to state parks and beaches for only $18 a year.
Chronic underfunding of state parks has caused them to accumulate a $1.3 billion backlog in needed maintenance and repairs. Twice in the past two years, state parks were on the brink of being shut down. Last year, nearly 150 state parks were shut down part-time or suffered deep service reductions because of budget cuts, and more park closure proposals and budget cuts are expected this year. Thousands of scenic acres are closed to the public because of reductions in park rangers, and crime has nearly tripled.
Approval of Prop. 21 will provide California vehicles with free, year-round day-use access to state parks and beaches, in exchange for a new $18 surcharge. This new surcharge will be assessed as part of California's annual vehicle registration. All California vehicles will be subject to the surcharge, except larger commercial vehicles, mobile homes and permanent trailers. Funds from the surcharge will be placed in a trust fund dedicated specifically to state parks and wildlife conservation, which cannot legally be used for other purposes.
CCI joins a wide-ranging coalition of interests supporting Prop. 21, including the California Travel Industry Association, The Nature Conservancy, Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California, California Teachers Association, California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), California Action for Healthy Kids and the California State Parks Foundation. For a full list of supporters, please click here.
SOURCE California Church IMPACT