Mary Tutwiler

State parks under the hatchet

by Mary Tutwiler

While the state House Appropriations Committee restored $3.3 million to Decentralized Arts Funding after a public outcry, state parks, state historic sites, the Main Street revitalization program and state libraries’ funding will be slashed under the administration’s current budget for the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism for the upcoming fiscal year.

Some state parks, including Palmetto Island in Vermilion Parish, will postpone opening. Others like Longfellow-Evangeline in St. Martin Parish will reduce hours from seven days a week to Fridays and Saturdays only.

The state is facing a $1.3 billion deficit, which the Legislature is addressing now. The fiscal year begins on July 1. Funding for the arts and for tourism, the state’s second largest economic engine after energy, will be cut by about 50 percent, according to Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, director of CRT. Read the entire story in today’s Advocate.

Photo: State Historic Sites like Longfellow-Evangeline may be closed Sundays through Thursdays under the proposed cuts to the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.