PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Senator James “Jabo” Waggoner spoke today at Oak Mountain State Park in support of Amendment 2.
The amendment provides protection for money made by the state parks against reallocation by the legislature. But the more controversial part of the Amendment would allow the parks to enter contracts with non-state entities for the operation and maintenance of park land and facilities.
The amendment has been criticized as being a Trojan Horse that claims to protect State Park funding but would ultimately lead to the privatization of Alabama state parks
I spoke with Alabama Director of State Parks Greg Lein. He emphasized that the amendment would provide a way to maintain stable revenue for the park and help the state avoid any more park closures due to budget shortfalls.
“It’s a new attraction and that’s huge to us,” said Lein. “It benefits us twice financially and and a third time indirectly it benefits us financially because again, it’s a new attraction which brings more people through the gate.”
After the press conference, Senator Waggoner said if the amendment passes, he doesn’t know where the money will come from to fill the gap left in the general fund. That money has been coming from the State Parks budget.