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PA - Lawmakers reject bill to open state parks to private development

Pa. lawmakers reject bill to open state parks to private development

Proponents wanted more golf courses, inns and conference centers; opponents said it would be counter to the parks' purpose

The Pennsylvania House soundly rejected Tuesday legislation that could have led to state parks with privately developed and run hotels and even amusement parks. The proposal failed on a 77-123 vote, despite the sponsor offering a significantly watered down version of the bill late Monday. Several bill opponents, including Rep. Stephen McCarter, a Democrat representing Philadelphia’s northeastern suburbs, cited language in the state constitution requiring the preservation and protection of the state’s natural landscape for future generations. The bill alarmed the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and numerous environmental groups. The measure had cleared two of the three required votes in the House. Full article ->