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May 6, 2012, 12:56 PM

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From Cleve Hardaker, President, Recreational Boaters of California:

Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) works closely with BoatUS on Legislative issues.
Both Organizations consider that the California Department of Boating and Waterways is a critical resource for Boaters in the State. To this end, BoatUS has distributed an alert to their California members. RBOC invites all interested Boaters in California to utilize the link, to contact the Governor, your own Legislators and the Little Hoover Commission to express your opinion. Below is sample text that may be copied and pasted in the message section:

I strongly oppose your proposal to eliminate the Department of Boating and Waterways [Cal Boating] and re-]constitute the department as a division within the Department of Parks and Recreation. Eliminating Cal Boating has already been soundly rejected four times, when it was proposed by Governor Pete Wilson in 1992 and 1996, and it was proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 and 2009.

The reasons Cal Boating must continue remain just as vital today:

* Cal Boating provides accountability, transparency and leadership regarding the collection and use of boater derived taxes and fees, and the best uses of these funds for programs to benefit boating.

* Eliminating Cal Boating would not save a single General Fund dollar. The department is funded by boater fuel tax dollars, registration fees, and interest payments on infrastructure loans. Eliminating the department would not help resolve the current budget crisis.

* Cal Boating creates jobs through loans and grants of boater fund for boating infrastructure throughout the state that ensures boater access to waterways.

*This State's more than three million boating enthusiasts must have a department with a Director whose primary focus is boating. Cal Boating has a compact organizational structure and administers boating programs in a timely and non-bureaucratic manner. Its statutory charter is directly boating-related.

While I understand the importance of finding savings during these difficult times, eliminating Cal Boating would not help resolve the state's fiscal problems, and would jeopardize programs and services which the boating community has determined to be essential and is willing to finance.

I urge you to withdraw your proposal to eliminate the Department of Boating and Waterways [Cal Boating].

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