Weekly Democratic radio address: "Park cuts a result of lagging economy"
MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the Democratic weekly radio address today. In his radio message, Sen. Miller expressed concerns with the defunding of Wisconsin's state parks and the additional fees Wisconsin families will now be forced to pay as a result of the 2015-17 Republican state budget.
"Our parks should be accessible to all. Eliminating all taxpayer funding for state parks is just another reflection of Wisconsin’s poor economic performance under this governor and his Republican legislative allies." - Sen. Mark Miller
The audio file of this week’s address can be found here:
A written transcript of the address is below:
"Hello, this is Senator Mark Miller with this week’s democratic radio address. For over 100 years, Wisconsin invested in parks and forests for public uses including camping, hunting, hiking, picnicking, boating, and other outdoor recreation. Our parks serve not only Wisconsin residents but also attract visitors from all over North America and beyond. Governor Walker eliminated all $4.6 million of taxpayer support for state parks. Under Gov. Walker, taxpayer funding has gone from paying for one third the cost to operate state parks to zero. This does not reflect Wisconsin’s values.
"The result is to increase camping fees for all park users, including Wisconsin residents. As of July 28, camping fees for Wisconsinites will increase a minimum of three dollars per night to as much as six dollars per night. Electrical fees will increase an additional five to ten dollars. Under Governor Walker’s new fees, campers will pay a minimum of sixteen dollars per night for a tent site, up to thirty dollars per night for a site with electrical service at a popular state park. Beginning in 2016, annual admission fees to state parks increase by three dollars to $28 and annual trail passes increase by five dollars to $20.
"These increases make it more costly for Wisconsinites to access the parks which were purchased with taxes paid by all taxpayers, including those of modest means. Our parks should be accessible to all. Eliminating all taxpayer funding for state parks is just another reflection of Wisconsin’s poor economic performance under this governor and his Republican legislative allies. Wisconsin used to do better."