Click above to view video of Senator Serrano's remarks on the Senate floor.
$92.5 Million is Restored in New York State Parks Capital Funding in the 2014-2015 State Budget
(Albany, NY)- Today Senator José M. Serrano expressed his gratitude that $92.5 Million in New York State Parks capital funding was restored in the 2014-2015 state budget. Senator Serrano has fought for the restoration of these funds, which were cut from the Senate Majority's budget resolution. Serrano wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders expressing the dire need for this capital funding, given the nearly $1 Billion backlog in repairs and upgrades that our state parks require. Sixteen Senators joined Senator Serrano in signing this letter.
"I am thrilled that this critical funding has been restored in the final budget. Our state parks provide much more than the obvious cultural and recreation benefits, they also provide a tremendous economic engine for communities across our state. I am pleased to see that our Governor and Legislative Leaders recognize that funding for our parks represents a vital investment in the health and economic future of communities throughout New York State," said Senator Serrano.
Recent data shows that parks create $1.9 Billion in economic activity, while supporting 20,000 jobs across our state. Additionally, parks have seen a tremendous increase in attendance, with more than 60 million visitors enjoying New York State Parks in 2013. Meanwhile, our parks' aging infrastructure remains in great need for repair and upgrades in order to keep pace with increased usage.
Senator Serrano has been a vocal and active supporter of our beloved state parks and historic sites, and serves as the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee that oversees state parks.