Arizona State Park Fee (2010)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
The measure stemmed from closings of some state parks, caused by reduced funding.
Text of bill
The text of the bill, according to the Arizona Legislature, read as follows:
- "An act amending title 41, chapter 3, article 1.1, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 41‑511.17; relating to the Arizona state parks board."
Path to the ballot
The proposed measure was a legislatively-referred state statute, which meant the state legislature must have voted to put it before the voters. Arizona is one of 22 states that refer statutes to the ballot.
In a letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Sun, Tucson resident Bill Thornton stated a need for the measure to be placed before voters. He wrote in response to John Kavanagh's guest letter published on March, 17, 2010, which stated an unconstitutionality regarding the measure. Thornton wrote:
- "I find it rather curious that Rep John Kavanagh discovered the unconstitutionality of HCR 2040 only after he'd been beaten up by the press. His originally stated reason for refusing to hear the bill in the Appropriations committee was that it "didn't fit the Republican tax plan." Had Rep. Kavanagh acted in good faith, issues of constitutionality could have been addressed in committee, and the bill could have advanced for an up or down vote by the citizens of Arizona who own the State Parks."
John Kavanagh, in a letter to the Arizona Daily Sun, stated why the House Appropriations Committee, which he chaired, had not passed the measure to be heard by the Arizona House of Representatives. According to Kavanagh, the proposal was "unconstitutional." He wrote, "There are many good reasons for not moving forward with this bill.The principal reason to not hear HCR2040 is because, as originally drafted, it clearly violates the Arizona Constitution, which states that, "No moneys derived from fees, excises, or license taxes relating to registration, operation, or use of vehicles ... shall be expended for other than highway and street purposes ..." Even as amended, the monies raised by HCR2040 could only be spent on park road activities."
- Arizona Legislature, "HCR2040"
- Arizona Daily Sun, "Lawmakers consider donation system for parks," March 25, 2010
- Bloomburg Business Week, "Ariz. House approves optional fee for state parks," April 2, 2010
- The Desert Independent, "Help Keep Arizona State Parks Open," February 25, 2010
- Arizona Daily Sun, "License fees for parks deserve hearing, vote," March 21, 2010
- Arizona Daily Sun, "Guest Letter: License fees for parks are unconstitutional," March 17, 2010