News Release 11-028
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Virginia Painter (360) 902-8562
Sandy Mealing (360) 902-8559
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388
State Parks Commission has special meeting to authorize staff to implement 2011-13 budgets
Jun. 16, 2011 –
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have a special meeting next week to consider granting authority to implement State Parks’ 2011-13 budgets.
The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 21, in the Robert B. Moran Room at Washington State Parks Headquarters, 1111 Israel Road S.W., Olympia. Some commissioners will attend by conference call.
The state Operating and Capital budgets were passed on the last day of the special legislative session, reducing the timeframe state agencies have to assess cuts and implement new budgets by July 1. The Commission will consider authorizing the agency director or designee to take the actions necessary to implement the new budgets. The operating general fund for 2011-13 totals $17 million, down from $67 million general fund in 2009-11. The remaining $130 million is in spending authority if the agency earns the revenue from a combination of fees, the new Discover Pass and donations. The agency’s 2011-13 capital budget totals $16 million, down from $23.7 million in 2009-11 and $57.6 million in 2007-09, as a result of the struggling economy and state budget crisis.
Also at the meeting, the Commission will adopt implementation guidance to allow staff to move nimbly through the many issues associated with the new Discover Pass, which goes into effect July 1. The Discover Pass provides access to recreation lands managed by State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. Revenue from the pass is intended to replace general fund tax dollars no longer available to manage state recreation lands. It represents a dramatic shift in funding, away from general fund tax support to a user-pay model to cover the costs to operate state parks and other recreation lands.
The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 98-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
Washington State Parks is now on Twitter at WaStatePks_NEWS and YouTube at WashingtonStateParks.