State Park Funds to be Protected by Constitutional Amendment

By Clay Scofield

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senator Clay Scofield (R-Arab) today passed legislation to protect funding for Alabama’s state parks. Under Scofield’s plan, state parks would be able to keep all money earned via external sources like entrance fees, merchandise sales, and golf course fees.

“Currently, state parks in Alabama are mostly self-funded through the services they provide to the public. Unfortunately, over the past five years the Legislature has raided the Department of Conservation and transferred money to the General Fund for other purposes,” Scofield remarked. “State parks are important to Alabamians and the parks should be able to keep the money they earn.”

In the past five years, the Legislature has transferred $15 million from state parks into the General Fund.

“State parks have little incentive to provide great service to the public if the money earned is taken away each year by the Legislature,” Scofield pointed out. “My proposal will allow the state parks to make plans for long-term improvements, since they will now have a predictable cash flow and can attract more visitors to Alabama. ”

Clay Scofield is a third generation farmer and represents District 9 in the Alabama Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Marshall, Madison, Blount, and DeKalb counties. He is Chairman of the Confirmations Committee in the Alabama Senate.