BoatUS and RBOC have been advocating for boaters during recent California budget negotiations and getting results. Download hi-res photo
SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 20, 2021 – The voices of recreational boaters, more than 4,000 strong who recently contacted their California state legislators and governor’s office asking for a more responsible and fair boat registration fee increase, have been heard.
During recent budget negotiations, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) and a coalition of additional stakeholders won hard-earned concessions that save Golden State boaters money, leads to a path that more equitably funds Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) programs and beach replenishment efforts, and support funding for construction, maintenance and operations of public recreation facilities at state water projects.
“Advocacy works,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “Legislators clearly listened, and we thank them for understanding our needs.”
At issue was a budget proposal on the table for a 250% boat registration fee increase. BoatUS/RBOC worked to reduce the increase to 100%, which now increases the cost of a two-year California recreational boat registration from $20 to $40.
Also at stake was the California State Parks’ critical Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund (HWRF), which supports the state’s AIS efforts as well as boating infrastructure and programs such as launch ramp construction, maintenance, and repair; boating safety; registration; and enforcement programs. As recently as 2019, the HWRF had teetered on insolvency. BoatUS and RBOC were able to take a proposed two-year, $20 million spending level and increase it by $10.7 million for the next four years, totaling more than $60 million in HWRF funding, adding stability to the fund.
The state had also been raiding HWRF for beach restoration. “It makes no sense for boaters to carry the burden of beach replenishment for the entire state, and we are glad legislators agreed with us by including a provision that would suspend transfers of HWRF funds to the public beach restoration fund,” added Kennedy.
State legislators are expected to vote on the budget by early June.
Suggested social media post:
.@BoatUS, @RecBoatersCA yield results for boaters in California budget negotiations: minimize boat registration fee increase; increase funding for boating infrastructure and programs https://bit.ly/3hHpnpK #BoatUSonWatch #California
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than 800,000 members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. BoatUS offers GEICO boat insurance policies that give boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.