[Source: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, 3-8-2010] — A single legislator is blocking a plan to ask voters to permanently fund the state parks system with a surcharge on vehicle license fees. Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, refuses to schedule a hearing on HCR 2040 in the Appropriations Committee, which he chairs, and will not agree to have the measure withdrawn from his committee. That effectively keeps the plan from going to the full House, where Rep. Russ Jones, R-Yuma, said he has the votes for approval.
The parks system is being stymied on two fronts in its efforts to minimize closures. A second bill, HB 2060, would provide a $40 million loan over the next two years to the parks. But it is stalled because it needs a supermajority — 45 of 60 House votes and 23 of 30 Senate votes — because the money would come from the Growing Smarter fund, approved by voters more than a decade ago to buy or lease state trust land for open space. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]