SEATTLE (AP) — As Washington state's park system enters its 100th year, budget cuts have begun to take a heavy toll.
The Seattle Times reports that many of Washington's 117 parks, 700 historic buildings and 33 heritage centers and interpretive sites are showing signs of neglect and even abandonment as a result of dramatic budget cuts.
Former Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Legislature in 2011 eliminated most direct state funding for the parks, money which had provided an average of 70 percent of the system's general operating budget. Instead, the state bet that $30-a-year Discover Passes sold to visitors would pay the bills.
But revenue projections were off, predicting twice as much money as it had actually come in.