Senator continues effort to find alternatives to Governor’s threat to close parks
Taking a bold stand in support of Parks, Senator Sam Blakeslee recently challenged his Senate colleagues to rally to save the state’s 70 parks from the Governor’s continued threat of closure. Seeking to override the Governor’s veto of SB 356, a bill that would have allowed local governments to step in and temporarily operate parks slated for closure, Blakeslee noted that the legislation had received unanimous support in the Senate and argued that the Governor should not have rejected bipartisan solutions addressing the state’s budget shortfall.
“I have a large proportion of these state parks in my district,” Blakeslee said as he explained why he was suggesting this unusual vote. “The way I see it, the state is trying to save money. This bill costs the state nothing, it keeps tourism dollars flowing to local businesses, and it received near unanimous support from both houses. For all these reasons I thought that saving these parks should be a common sense issue rather than a political one.”
Unfortunately, despite last year’s overwhelming support for protecting Parks, the veto override effort failed on a party line vote. While Senator Blakeslee expressed his disappointment that some of his colleagues backed away from the fight to save parks from closure, he reiterated his commitment to create flexible options that keep state parks open.