‘We need to take a look at what’s happening at the state level’: Sen. Stacey Abrams (D-Ga.)
Rep. Stacy Abrams (R-Miss.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would force states to use a public-private partnership to create more recreation opportunities for children.
The bill would provide states with the authority to make grants to create new recreation centers, playgrounds and other facilities that can be used to connect children with recreational activities.
“It is time to take this issue of public recreation and recreation opportunities and give it a new lease on life,” Abrams said in a statement.
“I want to remind our children that this is an opportunity that has been around for years.
The state is already providing resources and training to create and support a new generation of recreation opportunities.”
The bill has garnered strong bipartisan support, and was passed by the House and the Senate this week.
But it faces opposition from some Republican governors, including Arkansas Gov.
Asa Hutchinson (R).
He has called the bill a “federal takeover” of state recreation programs.
“This legislation would send a dangerous message to children that we don’t want them to have the same opportunities as our kids,” Hutchinson said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We should not be taking away the choices that our children have.
And we should not allow the federal government to take over our state recreation system.”
Hutchinson also said in the interview that he believes the bill is unconstitutional.
“I don’t believe it’s appropriate to give up the right to create playgrounds, to have a recreation center in our state, and to be able to make a recreation space available for children to use, just because we’re not paying for it,” Hutchinson told the AJC.
“So the governor, I don’t think, is a fan of this legislation.
I’m a fan that this bill needs to be taken down.”
Rep. Todd Rutherford (R) introduced similar legislation last year.
He said that while he believes it is an appropriate way to use public funds, he believes there is a better way to fund recreation.
“We need a federal model, not a state model,” Rutherford said.
“There are many other federal programs that are really providing better opportunities for recreation for children than we’re providing right now.”