Governor signs Schwartz bill to make government leaner and more efficient
Senate Bill 208 creates new Division of Parks and Wildlife
EAGLE— Today, a bill by Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) was signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper. Senate Bill 208 help make state government more efficient and effective by merging the Division of State Parks and the Division of Wildlife. The bill signing ceremony took place at the Sylvan Lake State Park Visitor Center in Eagle.
Senator Schwartz offered the following comment on the signing of Senate Bill 208:
“We are facing our budget challenges with creative solutions to make state government more efficient and effective. This state is blessed with abundant natural resources including beautiful wild lands and remarkable wildlife. Through this bill, we will continue to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation while managing and protecting Colorado’s wildlife resources. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far, and will continue to work with the Governor and with other state and local leaders to continue improving the efficiency and effectiveness of state government.”
This session, legislators faced many significant challenges, including the need to balance the budget. Senator Schwartz worked to cut red tape, identify cost-savings and make government more efficient. Her goal was to protect the services that Coloradans depend on while cutting spending.
Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife share many similarities in their missions. Both work to promote outdoor recreation and Colorado’s wildlife; both have been successful in getting kids involved in the outdoors; and both are charged with protecting the land, water and habitat for future generations.
Many states currently operate combined parks and wildlife agencies including Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi and Texas. Washington and Oregon are considering creating a single agency.
Senate Bill 208 sets in motion a process for identifying efficiencies and cost savings. These could include combining employees positions, management, equipment, real estate, information systems and other assets with the goal of achieving a more efficient service for Colorado.
Senate Bill 208 was also sponsored by Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton) and Representatives Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) and Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen).