March 29, 2011

Budget coming soon, so we need to start series of calls to action

We expect to see the first legislative version of the 2011-2013 Operating Budget later this week. So we need to start reminding legislators to put people first on a number of your key issues. First up: Natural resources.


In the Operating Budget:

  • We need funding to replace general funds for parks, Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources. Parks alone stands to lose $60 million – and about 100 state parks could be closed without replacement funds. (This proposal is in SSB 5622 and HB 1796 to have user fees – the Discover Pass – generate the needed revenue).
  • Increase revenue to the State Wildlife Account (seen in HB 1387 and SB 5385 to boost license-fee rates to raise needed revenue).
  • To preserve the hydraulic project approval (HPA) process and charge fees to users (seen in SB 5862 and HB 2008). (The HPA process requires approval for any project that will use, divert, obstruct or change the natural flow or bed of any salt or fresh waters in the state.)
EASY CALL TO ACTION: Call 1-800-562-6000 and urge your legislators in the budget to support user fees necessary to retain critical natural resource agencies and services.

  • The House version of the Corrections safety bill comes up for a hearing at noon, tomorrow, March 30, in the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Call your two House members at 1-800-562-6000 and urge them to include Community Corrections officers in HB 2036, the DOC Safety Bill.
  • ESHB 1041, the bill allowing Community Corrections officers to carry firearms off duty for their protection, is now awaiting a vote of the full Senate. Call 1-800-562-6000 and urge your senator to support ESHB 1041.

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