You did it!
Your emails, calls, and personal contacts with your Legislators made a difference. Thanks to your involvement, the Passport to the Parks is in the bi-partisan 2018-19 budget that was just passed overwhelmingly by your General Assembly. Hooray!
What does this mean for you?
Starting in January, 2018, two things will be different for you:
- No more parking fees for you to get into any State Park (this year, the parking fee was $13 for just one weekend visit to a shoreline Park like Hammonasset Beach State Park and $9 at many other Parks); and
- You will have a $10 charge added to your DMV vehicle registration (paid every other year) which generates funding for the operation, maintenance, and enhancement of your State Parks.
Your hard work as an advocate has made your State Parks more sustainable (no longer totally reliant on the General Fund) and more people will get to enjoy Parks and campgrounds because of your efforts. Please pat yourself on the back and thank you!
What does this mean for your State Parks?
Although there are a few elements of the Passport to the Parks that will likely need to be tweaked over time, the result is a LARGE step in the right direction for your State Parks:
- ~$13.9 million in new revenues estimated in the FY 2019 Budget for the Passport to the Parks fund;
- A new dedicated, non-lapsing Passport to the Parks Fund with better protection against sweeps or diversions; and
- No more parking fees at State Parks for all Connecticut residents starting in January, 2018 (this may result in increased visits to State Parks).
This new, more sustainable funding source for your State Parks is essential to provide a solid foundation for the future of your State Parks and campgrounds. This is progress!
Please thank your Legislators
Getting the “Passport to the Parks” is fantastic news in a very tough budget environment, so please take a few minutes to contact your Legislators to let them know that you appreciate their efforts on behalf of your State Parks. Thanks to them, and thanks to you for your action and support of CFPA!