California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill yesterday that would have created the Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation, despite overwhelming bipartisan support.
His signing of AB 1918 would have made California the 12th state with an official office or task force to support outdoor recreation, which accounts for $92 billion in consumer spending and 691,000 jobs throughout the state—the country’s largest rec economy.
Brown, in a statement to members of the California State Assembly, said the functions and goals of the proposed office are already being met within the Department of Parks and Recreation and that a new office housed in the Natural Resources Agency is unnecessary.
Outdoor industry veteran Kenji Haroutunian said ultimately, Brown did not understand the office’s intent and purpose. He said he and many other Californians are disappointed.
“We vow to press on with the bipartisan, near unanimous vote of the legislature on record,” Haroutunian said. “It’s even more important now for [California Outdoor Recreation Partnership] to come together.”
Amy Roberts, executive director of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) said, “We are disappointed by Governor Brown’s decision to veto this widely supported bill. OIA will continue to work with California outdoor businesses and communities who understand the value of these offices around the country. We thank our members who worked so successfully to encourage the California legislature to pass AB 1918 last month.”
Brown retires in January, and OIA plans to work with his successor to create the office.
Brown has made climate change his signature cause. Last week, he signed a a bill mandating that the state obtain all electricity from zero-carbon sources by 20145 and he issued an executive order calling for the stat to become carbon neutral by 2045.