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TN State Parks Offers Free Night of Camping, Complimentary 18 Holes of Golf for TN Veterans

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; November 5, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks announced today its annual free state parks day for all Tennessee veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, offering one free night of camping and complimentary greens fees for 18 holes of golf with appropriate identification.

Passed by the General Assembly in 2010, the policy calls for a yearly, special state parks day to honor Tennessee’s resident veterans.

“This is our way of honoring the many brave men and women who have served our country,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “The state parks family extends a warm invitation to all of Tennessee’s veterans to visit us on Nov. 12 and enjoy a day in one of our beautiful parks.”

The free day on Nov. 12 is in addition to Tennessee State Parks’ current veterans’ policy, which includes a camping discount within the state parks system and is available annually beginning November 1 through March 31, offering a 15 to 25 percent reduction off the standard nightly base rates (depending on the type of site chosen). This camping discount is available to Tennessee residents showing proof of prior military duty.

A special state park discount also is in place for active duty military personnel and members of the Tennessee National Guard. This year-round discount is given to all U.S. military – regardless of their branch of service or where they are stationed. Disabled veterans also are eligible for the Tennessee State Parks year-round ADA discount that provides a 25 to 50 percent discount for campsites. For more information about Tennessee State Parks’ veterans and military discounts, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/FAQs.shtml#military.

To receive the free state parks day benefits and extended discounts, veterans need to provide proof of residency with a Tennessee driver’s license; and proof of veteran’s status, with a Certificate of Discharge (DD214) or Veterans Administration benefit card.

Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 natural areas span the state from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River and offer an array of diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences, including hiking, camping, boating and golfing. Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, the Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937. Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, with features such as pristine natural areas and a variety of lodging and dining choices. For more information, visit Tennessee State Parks’ website at www.tnstateparks.com

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Dems Tee Off on GOP Lawmakers for Playing Golf On Taxpayer Dime

Press Release from Tennessee Democratic Party; July 7, 2010:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Republicans in the state Legislature admit they “have no problem” playing golf at taxpayer expense instead of balancing the state’s budget and working to solve problems for their communities.

State Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville and three other Republican members of the state House of Representatives each collected $185 in per diem recently while spending the afternoon at Two Rivers Golf Course, according to a WSMV TV Channel 4 investigative report that aired on Tuesday.

“I have no problem with that at all,” Marsh replied when asked if he should be paid per diem while playing golf. State lawmakers are paid $185 each day the Legislature is in session to cover daily expenses.

Republican state Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas received much criticism last year after collecting more than $18,000 in taxpayer-funded expense reimbursements despite being a first-term legislator with no leadership responsibilities. He had collected more per diem than any other Republican lawmaker in the state House at that point last year.

“This is one more example of the kind of hypocrisy that is rampant with state Republicans,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “They rant about too much government and too many taxes while back home, but they all run to the taxpayer trough when they are here in Nashville supposedly doing state business.

“It takes a lot of gall to ask Tennessee taxpayers to pay for golf excursions while trying to cut funding for unemployment benefits, programs to reduce infant mortality and projects to create jobs. While most of us have to sacrifice in lean times like these, you have some who are totally oblivious to the struggles of ordinary Tennesseans.”

State Reps. Dale Ford of Jonesborough, Steve McManus of Cordova and Mike Harrison of Rogersville were also playing golf at Two Rivers Golf Course on May 18 while the Legislature was in session, according to the Nashville television station’s report.

“Public servants should be focused on public service, not how they can spend time improving their golf game,” Forrester added.