House Bill 2701 (state parks; lottery; heritage fund) has made it out of two committees and is ready to go to the floor of the House.
HB 2701 would restore the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund through the Arizona Lottery at $10 million per year as originally approved by Arizona voters in 1990.
Here’s what you should know. This is a “money bill.” That means that it appropriates money. Well, since the leadership of the House and Senate want all appropriations to be passed in the budget bills themselves, rather than in individual bills, they often let bills like this die. However, if the bills pass one chamber with lots of support, it increases the chances that the appropriations represented in the bill will make it in to the budget.
The Arizona Preservation Foundation asks you to please continue your support of the Heritage Fund by submitting your position through the Legislature’s Request to Speak system or by contacting your legislator.
Over in the Arizona Senate, can voice your support for, Senate Bill 1241, the sister bill to the house version. It helps if they get support in both chambers.
Background. From the time Arizona voters approved the creation of the Fund to the Great Recession when it was defunded and removed from statute, the Fund served our state well (project list and map) with its dedication to parks, outdoor recreation, open space, non-motorized trails, outdoor and environmental education, and historic preservation. 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.
Why the Fund is important. Arizona’s local, regional, and state parks and recreation facilities are economic development generators that encourage the spending of tourist dollars, attract businesses whose workforce choose jobs in locations with quality of life benefits, strengthen community cohesion, and increase property values. Historic preservation initiatives in our rural communities and urban areas promote economic development by creating jobs, revitalizing historic areas, increasing property values, and promoting heritage tourism.