According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Governor David Paterson's proposed reductions for state parks makes the Empire State the poster child for endangered parks and historic places.
"There are very few states where the situation is as dire as it is in New York State," said National Trust for Historic Preservation Northeast Director Wendy Nicholas.
More than 80 parks and historical sites are facing closures or a reduction in their hours because the governor wants to cut more than $11 million from their budget.
Speaking to legislative leaders during a meeting Tuesday, Paterson said he’s trying to send them a message.
"The reason we’ve had a bare-bones emergency appropriations is to try and get all of you to act on the budget," said the governor.
Instead, Paterson says lawmakers seem to be fixated on restoring funding to parks during an election year rather than focusing on the bigger budget picture. In a Monday meeting with Assembly Democrats, Paterson said concerns over park closures came up four times.
"When you start hearing ancillary discussions when you have the governor in your midst and you could be talking about the serious issues. You get the impression that people aren’t serious," Paterson said.
Lawmakers, however, say the governor is the one who doesn’t get it.