Arizona Legislature Approves Senate Bill 1241 to Restore State Parks Heritage Fund

Arizona Senate Bill 1241 (state parks board; heritage fund) – introduced by Senator Kate Brophy McGee (R-Paradise Valley) and co-sponsored by Senators Paul Boyer, Heather Carter, Sine Kerr, Tony Navarrete, Lisa Otondo, and Frank Pratt – has been transmitted to Governor Doug Ducey for his review and signature. SB1241 restores the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund to be funded by grants, donations, and direct appropriations until Arizona Lottery encumbrances are repaid and removed.

House Bill 2701 (state parks; lottery; heritage fund) as also introduced this session by Representative Joanne Osborne (R-Buckeye) and co-sponsored by her House colleagues Andres Cano, Regina Cobb, David Cook, Tim Dunn, Charlene Fernandez, John Kavanagh, and Ben Toma, as well as Senator Sine Kerr. Although this bill whizzed through committees and the House and Senate, it was held as a budget bill. HB2701 would not only have put back the Heritage Fund into statute, but it would have provided full funding of $10 million from the Arizona Lottery – its original funding source from 1991 to 2009.

“It has been ten years since the State Parks Board was forced to cancel or suspend $11.7 million in Heritage Fund grants already awarded and contracted. It has been a long, hard journey to restore the Heritage Fund, but we finally did it,” said Janice Miano, Arizona Heritage Alliance Board President. “This year, building on past efforts, hundreds of our members and friends voiced their support for one or both bills via the Legislature’s Request to Speak system and hundreds more communicated through phone calls, emails, letters, or attendance at committee hearings.”

“If anything, we’re tenacious. We won’t give up until the State Parks Heritage Fund is 100% whole again. We’re thankful to our bill sponsors, all legislators, and our friends for making great progress this year,” said Russ Jones, Alliance Board Member and former State Representative who introduced bills in 2011 and 2012 to restore the Fund.

ABOUT THE ARIZONA HERITAGE ALLIANCE
Formed in 1992, the Arizona Heritage Alliance is a non-profit 501-c-3 organization that is funded solely with private donations, grants, and memberships. The Alliance’s mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Arizona’s historic, cultural, and natural heritage by protecting the integrity and voter intent of the Game and Fish Heritage Fund; working to restore the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund; monitoring state legislative and agency activity; and educating Arizonans about the benefits of wildlife, open space, parks, and historic and cultural resources.

Funding Opportunity: State Farm Neighborhood Assist®

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist® program awards $25,000 grants to 40 nonprofit organizations to help fund neighborhood education, safety and community development projects.  Each person may submit one cause in one of the categories:

  • EDUCATION – Education doesn’t end in the classroom. From book smarts to street smarts, we’re accepting causes that further education of any kind in your community.
  • SAFETY:  Feel more at home by improving the safety measures in your community. From sidewalks to crosswalks, we’re accepting causes of any kind that make your neighborhood a safer place.
  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:  Help your neighbors in your community by submitting a cause that bene ts the programs and places within it.

Submissions period opens o June 5 and open until 2,000 submissions are reached. State Farm Review Committee will then narrow the field to the top 200 submissions using a scoring rubric. Ultimately, voters will decide which community improvement projects win big. The public will have a chance to vote 10 times a day, every day for 10 days from for their favorite causes from the list of finalists.   All the information you need to submit a proposal can be found at www.neigborhoodassist.com.  Good Luck!

We Still Need To Take Action – HB2701 and SB1241

Over 300 Arizonas voiced their support for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund using the Legislature’s Request to Speak System.  Hundreds more called or emailed their legislators and the Governor’s Office.  And letters of support have been sent like the one just received from the Nationa Trust for Historic Presesrvation, the privately-funded nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that works to save America’s historic places.  Click here to read the letter of support.

But we still need to take action.  Both Senate Bill 1241 and House Bill 2701 are stuck at the Capitol.  

Senate Bill 1241 (state parks; heritage fund), sponsored by Senator Kate Brophy McGee, puts the State Parks Heritage Fund back into statute. While there is are no dedicated funds attached to this bill, when Lottery encumbrances are repaid and removed, the Fund will receive its annual $10 million from the Lottery as originally enacted. In the meantime, the bill opens the door for grants, donations, and direct appropriations. This bill flew through committees of both chambers and the full Senate with a vote of 30-0. It is now stuck in the House Rules Committee. WHAT YOU CAN DO. Contact House Rules Committee Chair Anthony Kern by email or 602-926-3102 or Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers by email or 602-926-3128 to request SB1241 be moved through the Rules Committee to let House members debate, consider, and vote.

House Bill 2701 (state parks; lottery; heritage fund), sponsored by Representative Joanne Osborne, restores the State Parks Heritage Fund with $10 million in annual funding from the Lottery as originally enacted. HB2701 passed comfortably through the House, is now in the Senate, and will be included in the budget process because it has funding attached. WHAT YOU CAN DO. Contact your Senators and Representatives to voice your support of having HB2701 as part of the State Budget.

ADVOCACY ALERT – SB 1241 and HB 2701, both State Parks Heritage Fund bills, move forward.  Please contact your Senators & Representatives

Source:  Arizona Heritage Alliance Alert – March 10, 2019

Dear Friends of the Heritage Fund

Arizona voters approved the creation of the Arizona Heritage Fund in 1990; The Heritage Fund originally allocated $10 million per year of Lottery monies to Game & Fish and another $10 million to State Parks. From 1991 to 2007, the State Parks Heritage Fund served our state well with its dedication to parks, outdoor recreation, open space, non-motorized trails, outdoor and environmental education, and historic preservation awarding 579 grants totaling $24,179,567 and supporting projects in every County in our State. However, as many of us remember, the State Parks portion of the Heritage Fund was defunded and eliminated from statute during the Great Recession.

The Arizona Heritage Alliance was formed in 1992 to help protect and educate about the Heritage Fund which was passed by Voter Initiative in 1990 with nearly a two-thirds majority of the vote. For the last decade the Heritage Alliance has been fighting to reinstate the State Parks Heritage Fund which was eliminated from statute in 2010 during budget negotiations, after 20 years of successful projects!! That’s a decade of lost income to Arizona’s communities. Game & Fish has continuously received their $10 million without a stop.

The Arizona Heritage Alliance Legislative Task Force has been working closely with our Sponsors Senator Kate Brophy McGee (LD28) and Representative Joanne Osborne (LD13).  It is our hope that this Legislature restores the Fund after satisfying all other current encumbrances, and to bring the Fund back to effect in a responsible and deliberate manner.

Senator Kate Brophy McGee’s Senate Bill 1241 (state parks; heritage fund) puts the State Parks Heritage Fund back into statute. There is no dedicated funding attached to this bill, however when Lottery encumbrances are repaid and removed, it will receive its $10 million from the Lottery as intended. It will also open the door for grants, donations, and direct appropriations. This Bill flew through the Senate with a vote of 30-0. It is now in the House.

Representative Joanne Osborne’s House Bill 2701 (state parks;lottery; heritage fund) would restore the State Parks Heritage Fund with $10 million in annual funding from the Arizona Lottery as originally supported by Arizona voters in 1990. HB2701 went through the House and is currently in the Senate and will be included in the Budget process, because it has funding attached.

We are almost there!!!
Please contact your Senators & Representatives
this week to voice your opinion in support of HB2701 & SB1241.

With the success of HB2701 & SB1241, the State Parks Heritage Fund will be back in statute which was the Voters’ original intent and the Fund will once again be whole and functioning, providing countless jobs, community pride, and potential for increased tourism to both city and rural areas.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at mail@azheritage.org or call 602-528-7500. Thank you for all your support.  We can’t make this happen without you, so let’s do this!!!

Janice Miano
President, Board of Directors
The Arizona Heritage Alliance
azheritage.org