NY Trail Funding Bill in serious trouble

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#1
Yesterday I had the unpleasant experience of talking with the legislative aide to Assemblyman Morelle about this years attempt at getting an ORV trail funding bill passed. The conversation left me disheartened and POed.

For those of you who don't live in NY or aren't familiar with the situation here it is in brief: About 14 years ago NY passed a bill which said you must register your ORV, but part of the money will be used for trail creation/maintenance throughout the state. We thought it was a decent deal at the time since the riding area situation was pretty grim. Three years after the bill became law the state budget was running a deficit thanks to our tax and spend (and spend, and spend, and spend) democrat controlled state government so they raided the ORV trail fund and eliminated all future trail funding BUT NOT THE REGISTRATION FEES which are still mandatory for all vehicles not used soley for farming. For several years NYSORVA has been trying to get trail funding reinstated. However the bill dies year after year. This year's hold up, both the assembly and senate bills languish in committee. The senate committee refuses to move their bill unless an amendment sponsored by eco groups in the assembly version is removed.

NYSORVA has asked its members to call Assemblyman Morelle to persuade him to remend the bill to match the senate version so both can be brought before the respective chambers for a vote. Being the helpful guy that I am (don't ask my wife to verify that statement :p ) I dutifully placed my call to Mr. Morelle's office and was connected with his legislative aide.

I proceeded to express my, and the communities, concern with the bill and the importance that the bill get moved to the floor in the July 16-17th special session. The aide proceeded to lecture me on how he didn't need to be reminded about the history of the bill and that the bill would never pass the assembly without the amendment.

My first response was to get angry and offended at the condecending way this self important aide was talking to me. After calming my self down and supressing the urge to drive to albany just to throttle the little jerk I became despondant over there being any hope of improvement here in NY.

If you have time, please help by calling or writing members of the lege. For details on the bills go to www.nysorva.org/legislation.
Assemblyman Morelle can be reached at (716) 467-0410. Email addresses for members of the NY state lege can be found at http://assembly.state.ny.us/ and http://www.senate.state.ny.us/

In the meantime I'll be in my garage assembling an effigy of fatheaded, self important, government (_|_)es.
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Does any body else think that joining a militia sounds like a better and better idea all the time?
 

KWJams

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#2
Thanks for the story

Well , I guess if it is happening there --- we are all next! :(

I will write a letter :)
 

KWJams

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#3
Just found this

Look HERE



44 2. MONIES IN THE ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE TRAIL DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE
45 FUND SHALL BE KEPT SEPARATELY FROM AND SHALL NOT BE COMMINGLED WITH ANY
46 OTHER MONIES IN THE JOINT OR SOLE CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER OR
47 THE COMMISSIONER OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION.

Looks like it is set to become Law
 
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#4
What you have there KW is the Senate version of our trail funding bill introduced by Sen. DeFrancisco. The problem is that an eco group called "The Adirondack Council" has gotten an amendment attatched to the Assembly version of the bill that prohibits trail construction in the Adirondacks. DeFrancisco has said that he will not move his bill unless that amendment is struck from the Assembly version. Mr. Morelle's office (Morelle being the sponsor of the Assembly version) told me that the assembly bill is "unpassable" without the amendment. Translation: We've been completely bullied by the environmentalist lobby. If the two bills aren't synched back up then they both die and we have to try again next year in a potentially "greener" and more hostile state legislature.

The cynic in me says that none of these guys are REALLY interested in the trail funding bill because it would take away money that they currently get to allocate out of the general fund for whatever their current pet pork project is. Government is not interested in fairness. Its not interested in efficiency. All they care about is power, money and not being pestered with protesters. Unfortunately the ecos are better at raising money, greasing palms and making political noise than we are.
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too POed to have anything amusing to say.
 

WoodsRider

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#5
Dave - Thanks for the update.

BTW - Take a guess as to who is on the Adirondack Council?
 

KWJams

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#6
Off'

Maybe you can help us -- help you New Yorkers out by writing a sample letter that we can copy and paste.

I have tried to get a sense of what the issue is but am still unclear on what exactly to address in a letter that will have the desired impact. :)
 

BRush

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#7
Here's the latest from the NYSORVA list:


http://www.nysorva.org/documents/bills2001.htm


==========================================
To all List Members,

PLEASE CEASE CALLING Assemblyman Morelle and Senator DeFrancisco's offices
regarding the Trail Funding bills A.8781/S.4922, as had been requested of
List Members last week. We made an impression and are awaiting outcome of
responses to our input.

THANK YOU to all of you who took the time to call the offices of Assemblyman
Morelle, Senator DeFrancisco, and your own districts' members. It was
important for the staff of these offices to fully understand the political
will behind our trail funding issue, and the message was made load and
clear.

I also owe a debt of gratitude to all the Legislative Staff members who had
to endure the volume of calls, and I can understand what it must have been
like to have to patiently explain the matter over and over to each caller.
Remember, the Bill Sponsors are our friends in this matter and that often
they are caught in difficult positions in trying to advance an issue on
behalf of a recreational community like ours that faces such strong
prejudice and intolerance. A negative outcome will not have been from a lack
of trying to help us. A positive outcome will be evidence enough that they
have worked hard on it and understand the frustrating situations we face.

We are currently trying to learn what direction our issue will take in the
following days as all possibility of legislative action this year wanes, and
we will keep you apprised of whatever we learn.

Frustratingly, the outcome is now very much in the hands of opponents of OHV
recreation, and we are doing our best to appeal to their intelligence and
sense of fairness in arguing that a ATV Trail Fund and related program to
develop a trail system (as opposed to the current uncontrolled/unsupported
manner in which ATV trails exist in NY today) is good for the environment
and will reduce conflicts between motorized and non-motorized trail users.
Environmental impact of trail use and inter-user trail conflicts are
probably the two biggest issues generally driving the opposition to OHV
recreation in our State and Nationally, and we very much need a trail fund
and trails program to implement solutions to the concerns expressed by such
opposition. It is indeed a "Catch 22" to which banning ATVs is an
impractical solution.

Again, thank you all so much for your interest in seeing this issue through
and the effort you have expended in doing so over the past months.

Alex Ernst
Comm. Dir.
www.nysorva.org