Pennsylvanians are using outdoor spaces more than ever during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but that isn’t stopping legislators in Harrisburg from trying to permanently change how our parks, trails and shared spaces are funded.
That fund is an extremely popular thirty-year-old program that funds Pennsylvania’s state, county and local parks systems. HB 2004 seeks to take control of allocating money to the fund from executive branch agencies to the General Assembly.
If that happens, the General Assembly could raid or otherwise deplete the Keystone Fund whenever it pleases, and could use that money to pay for other programs that have nothing to do with environmental protection or restoration projects.
It’s evident that legislators in Harrisburg are using this abnormal budget season and public health crisis as an opportunity to put a wildly popular program at risk. What’s being called a measure to ‘tighten the belt’ of the Commonwealth is nothing more than an austerity measure.
We cannot stand by and allow our elected officials to permanently change how Pennsylvania funds our parks, trails, ballparks, and more.