Text of Proposition 21, the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act (California 2010)

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This page is the complete text of the act that would have become law if California Proposition 21 (2010) had been approved.

Ballotpedia Note: Proposition 21, if it had been approved, would have added sections to the California Public Resources Code and the California Revenue and Taxation Code. In the text displayed below, the parts of the California Code that Proposition 21 proposed to add appear in italic type to indicate that they are new.

++Text of Proposition 21 begins here++

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure adds sections to the Public Resources Code and the Revenue and Taxation Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

PROPOSED LAW
State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act

The people of the State of California find and declare all of the following:

(1) California’s natural resources and wildlife must be preserved and protected for future generations.

(2) The California state park system is essential to protecting these resources for the people of California. Along with the wildlife protection and conservation agencies of the state, the state park system is responsible for preserving the state’s unique wildlife, natural lands, and ocean resources.

(3) Persistent underfunding of the state park system and wildlife conservation has resulted in a backlog of more than a billion dollars in needed repairs and improvements, and threatens the closure of parks throughout the state and the loss of protection for many of the state’s most important natural and cultural resources, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitat.

(4) California’s state park system benefits all Californians by providing opportunities for recreation, nature education, and preservation of cultural and historic landmarks, and by protecting natural resources that improve the state’s air and water quality.

(5) Californians deserve a world-class state park system that will preserve and protect the unique natural and cultural resources of the state for future generations.

(6) Rebuilding the state park system and protecting the state’s wildlife resources will grow California’s economy and create jobs by drawing millions of tourists each year to contribute to the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism economy.

(7) It is the intent of the people in enacting this measure to protect the state’s resources and wildlife by establishing a stable, reliable, and adequate funding source for the state park system and for wildlife conservation, and to provide increased and equitable access to those resources for all Californians.

(8) It is further the intent of the people that the state park system be operated and maintained at a level of excellence, allow increased access to state parks for all Californians while continuing to charge out-of-state visitors for the use of state parks, and protect the state’s natural and cultural resources, recreational opportunities, and wildlife for future generations.

SECTION 1.

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Chapter 1.21 (commencing with Section 5081) is added to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

Chapter 1.21. State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act
Article 1. Trust Fund

5081. There is hereby established the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund in the State Treasury. All money deposited in the fund shall be held in trust for the people of the State of California and used solely for the purposes of this chapter. The moneys in the fund shall be available for appropriation only for the following purposes:

(a) Operation, maintenance, and repair of facilities, including visitor centers, restrooms, campsites, and ranger stations, in the state park system.
(b) Wildlife conservation and protection of natural resources, including forests, other natural lands, and lands that provide clean water, clean air, and protect the health of people and nature.
(c) Expanding public access to the state park system and natural areas through outreach, public education, improved transportation access and providing for the safety and security of park visitors.
(d) Development, management, and expansion of state park units and facilities as needed to provide and enhance public access and recreational opportunities.
(e) Protecting rivers, lakes, streams, coastal waters, and marine resources.
(f) Grants to local agencies that operate units of the state park system to offset the loss of day use revenues as provided in this chapter, and to state and local agencies that manage river parkways.
(g) Protecting and restoring state park cultural and historical resources.
(h) Auditing and oversight of the implementation of this chapter to ensure that funds are only spent in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and are not diverted or misspent.
(i) Other costs related to the operation and management of the state park system.
(j) Collection costs for the State Parks Access Pass.

5082. The Department of Parks and Recreation shall prepare a strategic plan to improve access to the state park system that addresses the needs of each region of the state and identifies programs and policies consistent with this chapter to improve access to state parks and state park services and benefits to underserved groups and regions.

5082.5. For the purposes of this chapter, “fund” means the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund. 5082.6. For the purposes of this chapter, “department” means the Department of Parks and Recreation.

5082.7. For the purposes of this chapter, “wildlife” has the same meaning as provided in Section 711.2 of the Fish and Game Code.

Article 2. Fiscal Accountability and Oversight

5085. (a) The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund shall be subject to an annual independent audit by the State Auditor that shall be released to the public, placed on the department’s Internet Web site, and submitted to the Legislature for review as part of the state budget.

(b) Up to 1 percent of the annual revenues of the fund may be used for auditing, oversight, and administrative costs of this article and costs for collection of the State Parks Access Pass.
(c) The Secretary of Natural Resources shall establish the Citizens Oversight Committee to review the annual audit and issue a public report on the implementation of this chapter and its effectiveness at protecting state parks and natural resources. Members shall include citizens with expertise in business and finance, park management, natural resource protection, cultural and historical resource protection, and other disciplines as may be deemed necessary by the secretary.

5085.5. Funds deposited into the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund, together with any interest earned by the fund, shall be used solely for the purpose of this chapter and shall not be subject to appropriation, reversion, or transfer for any other purpose, shall not be loaned to the General Fund or any other fund for any purpose, and shall not be used for the payment of interest, principal, or other costs related to general obligation bonds.

5086. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all state park fee and concession revenues shall be deposited into the State Parks and Recreation Fund pursuant to Section 5010, and, together with any interest earned thereon, shall be available for appropriation only to the department for operation, management, planning, and development of the state park system and shall not be subject to appropriation, reversion, or transfer for any other purpose, shall not be loaned to the General Fund or any other fund for any purpose, and shall not be used for the payment of interest, principal, or other costs related to general obligation bonds.

5086.5. It is the intent of the people in enacting this chapter to provide a stable and adequate level of funding to the department. General Fund moneys used to support the department may be reallocated to other uses if the Legislature determines that the financial resources provided from the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund and the State Parks and Recreation Fund are adequate to fully maintain and operate the state park system.

Article 3. State Parks Access Pass

5087. (a) All California vehicles subject to the State Parks Access Pass shall have free admission to all units of the state park system and to designated state lands and wildlife areas as provided in this chapter.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “free admission” means free vehicle admission, parking, and day use at all units of the state park system and shall be subject only to those limitations as the department deems necessary to manage the state park system to avoid overcrowding and damage to natural and cultural resources and for public health and safety. Other state and local agencies shall designate those lands whose management and operation is funded pursuant to this chapter for free vehicle access where that access is consistent with the management objectives of the land. As used in this subdivision, free admission does not include camping, tour fees, swimming pool fees, the use of boating facilities, museum and special event fees, any supplemental fees, or special event parking fees.

5087.1. The department shall issue rebates of the State Parks Access Pass surcharge to veterans who qualify for a park fee exemption pursuant to Section 5011.5.

Article 4. Allocation of State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Revenues

5088. Except for the costs pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 5085) of audits, oversight, and collection costs, all funds deposited in the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund shall be allocated only to the following agencies and as provided in this section:

(a) Eighty-five percent shall be available for appropriation from the fund to the department. Except for costs for grants and grant management pursuant to Section 5088.1, all funds allocated for appropriation to the department shall be used only for operation, management, planning, and development of the state park system.
(b) Seven percent shall be available for appropriation from the fund to the Department of Fish and Game for the management and operation of wildlife refuges, ecological reserves, and other lands owned or managed by the Department of Fish and Game for wildlife conservation.
(c) Four percent shall be available for appropriation from the fund to the Ocean Protection Council for marine wildlife conservation and the protection of coastal waters, with first priority given to the development, operation, management, and monitoring of marine protected areas.
(d) Two percent shall be available for appropriation from the fund to state conservancies for management, operation, and wildlife conservation on state lands that are managed for park and wildlife habitat purposes by those conservancies. A state conservancy may provide grants to a local agency that assists the conservancy in managing state-owned lands under that conservancy’s jurisdiction.
(e) Two percent shall be available for appropriation from the fund to the Wildlife Conservation Board for grants to local public agencies for wildlife conservation.

5088.1. The department shall develop and administer a program of grants to public agencies to enhance the operation, management, and restoration of urban river parkways providing recreational benefits and access to open space and wildlife areas to underserved urban communities. The department shall allocate each year an amount equal to 4 percent of the funds deposited in the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund from the funds the department receives pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 5088. For the purposes of this section, “public agencies” means state agencies, cities, counties, cities and counties, local park districts, and joint powers authorities. In consultation with the California River Parkways Program (Chapter 3.8 (commencing with Section 5750)), the department shall adopt best management practices for the stewardship, operation, and management of urban river parkways. The department shall consider those best management practices and providing continuity of funding for urban river parkways when allocating grant funds pursuant to this section. The department shall give highest priority for grants to urban river parkways that benefit the most underserved communities.

5088.2. The department shall provide grants to local agencies operating units of the state park system to assist in the operation and maintenance of those units. The department shall first grant available funds to local agencies operating units of the state park system that, prior to the implementation of this chapter, charged entry or parking fees on vehicles, and shall allocate any remaining funds, on a prorated basis, to local agencies to assist in the operation and maintenance of state park units managed by local agencies, based on the average annual operating expenses of those units over the three previous years, as certified by the chief financial officer of that local agency. Of the funds provided in subdivision (a) of Section 5088, an amount equal to 5 percent of the amount deposited in the fund shall be available for appropriation for the purposes of this section. The department shall develop guidelines for the implementation of this section.

5089. For the purposes of this chapter, eligible expenditures for wildlife conservation include direct expenditures and grants for operation, management, development, restoration, maintenance, law enforcement and public safety, interpretation, costs to provide appropriate public access, and other costs necessary for the protection and management of natural resources and wildlife, including scientific monitoring and analysis required for adaptive management.

5090. Funds provided pursuant to this chapter, and any appropriation or transfer of those funds, shall not be deemed to be a transfer of funds for the purposes of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2780) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code.

SECTION 2.

Section 10751.5 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

10751.5. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), in addition to the license fee imposed pursuant to Section 10751, for licenses and renewals on or after January 1, 2011, there shall also be imposed an annual surcharge, to be called the State Parks Access Pass, in the amount of eighteen dollars ($18) on each vehicle subject to the license fee imposed by that section. All revenues from the surcharge shall be deposited into the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 5081 of the Public Resources Code.

(b) The surcharge established in subdivision (a) shall not apply to the following vehicles:

(1) Vehicles subject to the Commercial Vehicle Registration Act (Section 4000.6 of the Vehicle Code).
(2) Trailers subject to Section 5014.1 of the Vehicle Code.
(3) Trailer coaches as defined by Section 635 of the Vehicle Code.
Text of Proposition 21 ends here.

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