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Legislature reaches agreement, opens parks

by jmaloni
Sat, May 29th 2010 08:00 am

Area residents will have now access to all New York state parks for the Memorial Day holiday, following news that an agreement on their funding has been finally reached in Albany.

Gov. David A. Paterson announced yesterday the agreement with the Legislature ensures there are sufficient revenues to maintain operations at all New York state parks and historic sites, including Joseph Davis State Park in Lewiston and Wilson-Tuscarora State Park.

The agreement achieves $74 million in state General Fund savings and contains Paterson's E-waste Program Bill. "I am pleased that an agreement has been reached to reopen the 55 state parks and historic sites that were closed earlier this month," said Paterson.

State Sen. George Maziarz, who voted against the measure, offered the following statement.

"Earlier this week, I called on legislative ‘leaders' to make a tough decision to find the funding to keep all state parks and historic sites open this summer. Instead they chose to raise millions of dollars in tax and fees hikes, and impose new mandates on businesses. ...

"As I said on Tuesday, the State Legislature should have acted on either one of two proposals to keep all state parks open this year. ...

"We should have taken the money either directly from the Environmental Protection Fund without any other gimmicks, or from yet another sizable cash gift the New York Power Authority is making to the state's General Fund. ...

"With the economy struggling, I have stated publicly and consistently that I will not support any measure that raises taxes or fees."

Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte voted against the measure and blasted it for placing ad additional $2.1 million in fees on industry - with the largest borne by six industries upstate.

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