Connecticut Park Funding Debated Amid Budget Cuts | NECN
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Connecticut Park Funding Debated Amid Budget Cuts

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    NBCConnecticut.com
    File photo: Beach-goers at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme

    A key Connecticut lawmaker is hoping recent cutbacks at state parks will encourage the General Assembly to think creatively about alternative funding ideas.

    The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recently announced $1.8 million in reductions to park operations. Besides cutbacks in maintenance and lifeguard staffing, the agency's plan called for closing three state campgrounds and changing hours at certain locations.

    In recent years, several money-generating ideas for the parks failed in the legislature, including a 5-cent fee on plastic bags.

    Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., who co-chairs the legislature's Environment Committee, says he hopes the cutbacks and its ramifications will encourage lawmakers to reconsider those concepts or others when they return to Hartford next year.

    The environmental agency is currently examining possible expansion of park concessions, among other ideas.