[Source: Jay Reynolds, Channel 15 News] — There’s an Arizona budget battle brewing in an unlikely place. Eighty-two-year-old Asta Forrest loved Arizona. So, when she died in 2001, she left a legacy by donating to the Arizona State Parks. “Asta was a true lady,” said trustee and family friend Roger Essenburg.
According to her will, a 2003 donation of nearly $250,000 was given to the Arizona Department of Parks on behalf of Asta Forrest. “She wanted to give this money so that other people could enjoy the state parks and all they have to offer,” said Essenburg.
While parks officials considered what to do with her donation, Arizona’s budget deficit climbed. But last month, when the state Legislature met to cut cash from the budget, $213,000 was taken away from the Arizona State Parks donation fund. “The state Legislature came in and took this money,” said Essenburg. [Note: To view the TV news segment, visit Woman’s $250,000 donation to Arizona parks gets poached.]