In a post this week about the budget I suggested that reaction to the threat of budget cuts would start to flood in. While legislators are discussing tax increases versus cuts it was inevitable that the doomsday predictions would begin. I experienced that during my time in D.C. when cuts were threatened there.
Among the many reports of the scary things that would happen here if the budget included deeps cuts is the concern that 15 state parks will have to close. In an interview with AL.Com State Parks Director Greg Lein emphasized that “closed means closed.”
I remember when park closings were done in response to the federal government shutdown. Do you? That was an adventure for everyone involved and ended in congressional inquiries about contingency plans about secondary plans that could have been used to keep them open.
Thankfully, State Auditor Jim Zeigler says he has a plan to keep the sky from falling in the parks. In a release sent Saturday and posted on his Facebook page, Zeiger announced he has identified $13 million in savings that would allow those fearing impending closings to rest at ease. Parks will not have to be closed to pass a reasonable budget.
Zeigler said he’ll announce his plan, which he calls “Save our parks with savings” on Tuesday at a Rotary Club meeting in Tuscaloosa.
We will cover his plan once it is announced. We encourage more innovative leaders throughout our state to follow his lead and find ways to save and cut moving forward.