2002 No Action
2001 No Action
2000 No Action
1998 No Action
1995 No Action
July 3, 1995
TO THE HONORABLE, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, H-6914, as amended, "An Act Relating to Parks and Recreational Areas Ñ Disabled Veterans."
This bill would provide a waiver of fees for disabled veterans (defined as 30% or more disabled) at state owned recreational facilities and for licenses issued by the Department of Environmental Management. While this bill is well-intentioned, it would have a substantial negative fiscal impact Ñ both on the State's park system and the budget of the Department of Environmental Management.
The Rhode Island Veterans Administration presently lists 18,858 disabled veterans in the state, of which 15,000 are estimated to be disabled by 30% or more. The bill would allow any one of these individuals to obtain any license related to parks, fishing, or hunting without payment. The bill could also affect boat registrations. The DEM estimates that the bill would cost over S500,000 in lost revenue on an annual basis, both in terms of licenses and seasonal park passes. This includes a loss of over $100,000 from users and triple matching payments from the federal government. Such a loss in revenue would seriously impact the State's recreational facilities.
For the foregoing reasons I disapprove of H-6914, as amended, and respectively urge your support for this veto.