STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Republican Gov. Jan Brewer and her privatization commission want to sell state parks to private corporations, after she and GOP lawmakers ignored bipartisan bills last legislative session that would have solved the state parks issue.
“State parks not only serve an important historic and tourist value to Arizona, but also they bring vital dollars, jobs and business to these rural and small town economies,” Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson, said. “Who wants to see a roller coaster going through Kartchner Caverns or heavy advertising of a large corporation in front of Red Rock State Park? That’s not the Arizona we all know and love.”
Brewer’s Commission on Privatization and Efficiency wants to — big surprise — privatize state parks, giving private corporations the opportunity to run the parks, collect admission fees, sell food and other items, and even operate lodging.
HB 2628 and HCR 2040, sponsored by Democrats and Republicans would have created a sustainable parks fund that would keep Arizona parks open.
“Republicans ignored solutions earlier this year to keep our state parks open and preserve Arizona’s beautiful lands,” Patterson said. “Now it seems Brewer and her ‘Privatize Everything Commission’ are only intent on selling state parks. Arizonans know that when that plan fails, just like the private prison escapes, she’ll do nothing to solve it, and our state parks will be left in shambles.”