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Funding for Connecticut state parks passport would add a $10 surcharge

HARTFORD— There may be partisan wrangling over Connecticut’s next budget, but many Democrats and Republicans appear united in supporting a proposal to create a dedicated funding stream for the state’s 109 state parks.

The parks have been the victims of budget cutbacks in recent years.

A legislative spending proposal would create a Passport to State Parks. It calls for adding a $10 charge every two years for all passenger vehicle registrations. In exchange, all registered Connecticut passenger vehicles would be allowed to park for free at all state parks. Out-of-state visitors would still have to pay a parking fee at certain parks.

The measure failed to come up for a vote Tuesday because of the ongoing budget battle, but Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. says there’s bipartisan support for it.