I recently sat down with Channel 13, KRQE, to discuss whether the practice of “comping” state legislators with passes to all of New Mexico’s state parks was a wise move or whether stopping the practices — as Gov. Martinez did — was a wise move. Interestingly enough, as seen on pages 10 and 11 of our 2011 Piglet Book, the parks are losing $5.8 million annually.
2 Replies to “No more free state park passes for legislators”
A comment included in the news story by a former head of the service specifically stated that the intent of the passes was to influence funding levels for the state parks. This could also mean the salaries of all park employees, including the director.
Isn’t the very definition of a bribe (and if successful, the acceptance of bribe) is the offer or payment of something of value to an elected official, in order to influence and/or achieve a favorable outcome in legislation (funding, salary increase) in return?
While, I certainly agree, legislators should not be given a free “annual day use or camping pass” to NM State Parks, they should be given free entry if they are on official business.
As for the budget? Your article is misleading. The annual budget request is determined by using the total revenue as equalling, I believe, 60% of the total request. The total budget request includes an additional 40% to be appropriated through the budget process, yes taxpayer dollars. This is mandated by statute. And just “how” are our State Parks supposed to be run? There is no way they could operate on revenue alone…unless they were to increase the day use and camping fees. People would go to Colorado, Texas or Ariziona if we did that. Please, please….report fairly….and accurately!