The State Parks system has been subject to periodic legislative fund sweeps dating back to 2003. Since 2007, staffing has decreased by 40% and operating funds have shrunk by half, to $19.5 million dollars this year. Even some of the funds generated by the system itself ($15.5 million in park generated revenues since 2009) have been swept into the general fund.
HB 2362 is designed to protect the funds which are generated in the operation of the parks. It establishes a State Parks Revenue Fund for operation, maintenance, improvement and park expansion. It provides:
That monies received from the following sources will be deposited in the fund: designated gifts and donations, gift shop sales, legislative appropriations, park user, concession and reservation fees and other generated revenues;
Continuous appropriation to the Parks Board;
On notice from the State Parks Board the State Treasurer shall invest the fund and interest will be credited to the fund;
Unspent monies will remain in the fund and not lapse to the general fund.