In a press conference outside the Senate Chamber today, Senator William T. Stachowski (D-C, Lake View), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, voiced his strong opposition to the devastating cuts to State Parks in Governor David A. Paterson's Executive Budget proposal.
"Closing treasured state parks and cutting the jobs of the hardworking people who staff them would be a serious error in my opinion,” said Senator William T. Stachowski (D-C, Lake View). “The parks positively impact local economies. The long term costs of lost jobs and lost local revenues to area businesses and in local tourism dollars far exceed any short term savings typically gained by reducing staffing and access to state parks. In addition, as much as this is a financial issue, it’s also a quality of life issue. State parks are invaluable cultural, historic and recreational resources. I believe we can find other ways to save money and spare our local parks from closure and will continue to fight for their funding as we move into this final stage of budget negotiations.”
The budget proposal seeks to cut $65 million, closing 91 State Parks and 14 historic sites, and reducing services to 23 parks and 1 historic site.