Parks chief: Jindal budget would force closures

Associated Press - February 23, 2010 2:24 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state spent $13 million on Palmetto Island State Park, a new park in Vermilion Parish that was supposed to open later this year. But parks officials say Palmetto Island won't be able to open at all, with the funding proposed in Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations.

Stuart Johnson, assistant secretary of the Office of State Parks, says the governor's budget wouldn't pay for the new park's opening and would force other parks to shut down.

The governor proposed an $11.4 million cut to the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism - which includes the state parks office. That's about a 14 percent cut.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee complained Tuesday about the possible cuts and asked about possible fee increases or local government help to keep the parks open.

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