The folks at the Lassen County Fair are anxiously watching Sacramento for some hope of funding, which they just might have found in an interesting bill sponsored by State Senator Doug LaMalfa.
Lassen is joined by 79 other local fairgrounds who had their funding cut during the state’s 2011 budget crisis. According to the Western Fairs Association 32 of the smaller fairs, including Lassen County’s, could close as a result of those funds ending.
The fairs have been without state funding for five months, and now lawmakers at the capital are trying to bring back at least some of that lost support. Senate Bill 1454 would create an eight-character vanity plate and use the proceeds for various rural needs, including fairs and the Williamson Act tax break for agricultural land.
The legislation, Senate Bill 1454, passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee unanimously on April 24th and faced a May 7th hearing in the Appropriations Committee.
The LaMalfa bill would restore, according to the WFA, about one-third of the funding lost by California fairs.
California fairs contribute an estimated $2.65 billion annually to the state’s economy and about $165 million a year in state and local tax revenue.
Lassen County Fair Manager Jim Wolcott is urging local fairgoers to support Senate Bill 1454 as it moves through the Senate Appropriations Committee.
You can find contact information for the bill’s author Doug LaMalfa and the Senate Appropriations Committee by clicking on this link.