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Brewer vetoes state parks revenue bill

Supporters expect to revive effort to protect funds from budget sweeps

PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill aimed at protecting Arizona State Parks’ revenue from legislative sweeps, but supporters said Friday they are optimistic about sending her a revised version this session.

Brewer wrote in her veto message for HB 2362, authored by Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, that she found the bill’s language too broad.

Fann said she proposed the bill because the Bureau of Land Management, which leases land to 10 of the 30 state parks, requested that Arizona State Parks protect revenue from sweeps.

Brewer’s veto letter said her staff is working on the bill’s language to protect lease requirements for those parks on BLM land.

Fann said that while she was disappointed about the veto she expects a narrower version to succeed.

“They have assured me that they do want to get this accomplished this session and make sure it’s put to bed, so to speak,” Fann said.

Earlier this session, Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, proposed unsuccessful floor amendments to the bill that would have protected revenues from only those parks that were on leased BLM land.

The bill passed the House and Senate by large margins.

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Jay Ziemann, legislative liaison for the Arizona State Parks, said in a statement that the agency’s board supports narrowing the bill’s focus.

“They believe that the new language will help the state park system to be more well-funded while also maintaining the accountability,” the statement said.

Brett Fanshaw, an advocate for Environment Arizona, said he hopes Brewer will follow through on protecting state parks revenue because the bill has support from Republicans and Democrats.

“That sort of bipartisanship is rare these days, and I think it shows how important state parks are to Arizonans,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously spelled the name of Bret Fanshaw, an advocate for Environment Arizona.

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Travis Grabow/Cronkite News Service

A replica of a wagon train at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.