Keeping our State Parks Open


By Mike Gatto

Like many Americans, I enjoy taking my family on the road for vacation. I turn to our state parks and open spaces to educate my daughter about plants and ani-mals, to get back in touch with nature, and to find solace from the stress of modern urban life.

To keep our parks open amidst our budget crisis, I co-authored AB 1589, which creates new revenue streams to keep existing parks open, and places a cap on the number of state park closures. This bill would not raise taxes or raid money from other state programs. Instead, AB 1589 commits California to greater effi-ciency in the management and monetization of state parks. The bill maximizes the collection of user fees and season passes for those who enthusiastically visit our parks, while maintaining pub-lic access for all Californians.

This legislation is a practical solution to keeping parks open for our enjoyment without any additional tax burden on hard-working Californians. During these challenging times, our state parks play an especially significant role in providing refuge and relaxation. I wish you and your family happy and safe summer travels.

If you have an idea for a law, or simply believe that the Legisla-ture ought to change a law to make it more sensible, I’d like to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me anytime at or at (818) 558-3043.

Mike Gatto is the Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the Cali-fornia State Assembly. He repre-sents the cities of Burbank, Glen-dale, and parts of Los Angeles, including Toluca Lake, Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Val-ley Glen, and Van Nuys. He has served in the Assembly since June 2010. His website is E-mail Mike at:, or call (818) 558-3043.


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