GOP-Backed Bills Cut Minnesota State Park Funding
ST. PAUL (AP) -- A third of Minnesota state parks could see their hours and services reduced under Republican-backed environmental bills approved by the Minnesota House and Senate.
DNR officials say up to 10 parks might have to be "mothballed" until state finances improve, if the bills become law.
Under the plan, the parks would remain open but campgrounds and buildings probably would be closed and unstaffed.
DFLers accused Republicans of breaking faith with Minnesotans who've favored environmental spending.
Senate Environment and Natural Resources chairman Bill Ingebrigtsen defends the cuts. The Alexandria Republican says making "difficult choices" today will ensure "a vibrant Minnesota outdoors tomorrow."
The House included an amendment that would prevent the closing of any of the state's 74 parks.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)