BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          AB 150 (Olsen) - State parks: armed services: fee waiver.
          
          Amended: May 24, 2013           Policy Vote: NR&W 9-0
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: No
          Hearing Date: August 30, 2013                     Consultant:  
          Marie Liu     
          
          SUSPENSE FILE.
          
          
          Bill Summary: AB 150 would allow veterans or active duty or  
          reserve military personnel or the National Guard of any state to  
          have free day use of any state park on Memorial Day and Veterans  
          Day.

          Fiscal Impact: Unknown revenue loses, potentially in the  
          hundreds of thousands to low millions of dollars annually, to  
          the State Parks and Recreation Fund (special). 

          Background: The average day use for state parks facilities is  
          $12. Veterans and Memorial Day are the highest revenue  
          generating days for the state park system.

          Existing law entities honorably discharged war veterans with 50  
          or greater service-connected disability, veterans who were  
          prisoners of war, or recipients of the Congressional Medal of  
          Honor to free lifetime access to the state park system. 

          Existing law requires the Department of Parks and Recreation  
          (DPR) to develop a revenue generation program as an essential  
          component of a long-term sustainable park funding strategy (PRC  
          §5010.7).
          
          Proposed Law: This bill would grant active duty or reserve  
          military personnel for the US Armed Forces or the National Guard  
          of any state free use a state park on Memorial Day and Veterans  
          Day. Free use would not apply to those state parks that are not  
          operated by the state or are not accessible with a day use  
          annual pass. The user would be required to provide proof of  
          eligibility.

          Related Legislation: AB 315 would make Purple Heart recipients  








          AB 150 (Olsen)
          Page 1


          eligible for the Distinguished Veteran Pass.

          Staff Comments: It is not known how many veterans and active  
          duty personnel currently use state parks on Veterans and  
          Memorial Day, nor is it known to what extent visitation by  
          veterans and active duty personnel might change if free day use  
          was offered. However, given that user fee revenue for FY 2011-12  
          for the state park system was a little over $90 million for  
          approximately 62 million visitor-days of which approximately 30%  
          is paid use, a half percent drop in visitor-days results  
          approximately in a million dollars of lost revenue.

          Staff notes that the State Park system continues to operate with  
          a structural deficit with revenues covering approximately half  
          of the system's operating costs. Additionally there are over  
          $1.3 billion in deferred maintenance for the system. Under the  
          direction of the Legislature, DPR is currently developing and  
          implementing plans to increase state park revenues, including  
          increasing paid day use of the parks. Any restriction on to  
          DPR's ability to increase revenues, including the collection of  
          day-use fees, arguably goes counter to recent Legislative  
          direction to increase revenues to improve the fiscal  
          sustainability of the system.