SB 571 and HB 1225

 

To: VAFP Members

Thank you for the actions you've taken and continue to take against SB 571.

Regretfully, I just learned that Delegate Peter Farrell ( House district 56) has introduced House Bill 1225 (HB 1225), the same bill as SB 571. HB 1225 has been referred to the House Committee on  Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources.

Please send Delegate Farrell the same message you sent to Senators Reeves and Garrett asking the Delegate to please withdraw HB 1225 . Delegate Farrell's address is delPFarrell@house.virginia.gov His phone number is 804-698-1056.

If you've misplaced the information I sent out re SB 571, you can find it posted at www.virginiaparks.org and on the Virginia Association for Parks Facebook page.

Also, please contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask them to send messages opposing SB 571 and HB 1225. Tell them that the bills can be read on the links shown below. 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?121+sum+SB571

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=121&typ=bil&val=hb1225&Submit2=Go 

Some suggested language for the Chamber letters follows:

"SB 571 and HB 1225 need to be killed or tabled for further study  (SB 571 sits in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. HB 1225 sits in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee.)The bills are designed to force Va State Parks to raise camping and other associated fees in an attempt to drive potential patrons away from Va State Parks and to private vendors.

It is not the role of the state government to artificially or selectively raise the prices of state services in an effort to drive potential customers to a private business offering the same or similar services.  Further, it serves to adversely impact consumer choice.

The Va State Park system sets the fees according to what is uniformly appropriate for the entire system.  One of the great benefits of the park system is that it provides economical recreation alternatives to working families. Our tax dollars support this. Virginia State Parks are the tourism infrastructure of our rural communities and the impact is recognized at the local level in terms of residual jobs created and residual revenues generated. The economic impact is much greater than most people realize.  The proposed bills bear further study on the potential negative impact on our rural economies."

Thanks for all you do for Virginia Parks.

Johnny