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California state parks: some good news about budgetary shutdowns

Zmudowski State Beach

Most of the 30 California atate parks that remained after private groups saved 40 of the original list of 70 from closure got a reprieve yesterday. Park officials said that the budget that was approved by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown will keep MOST of the 30 open this year!

Brown cut $31 million from the $41 million plan that the Legislature approved to help state parks, as part of his line-item vetoes to cut $196 million from the state budget. Some of the targets were college aid, child care, and preschool programs for low-income Californians. HOWEVER, the $10 million that remained in the budget for parks created a cushion to finish negotiations with local groups and others who would take over the management of 25 of the 30 remaining parks!

According to

“It will give us a path to keep most, if not all, state parks open and it’ll help make parks more financially sustainable,” said John Laird, secretary of the state Resources Agency. He said the Legislature’s action gave the state “breathing room” to finish the outstanding agreements, which could be done in a matter of weeks.

Parks officials said two of the five still on the closure list would be totally shuttered at the start of the fiscal year Sunday: California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa and Providence Mountain State Recreation Area in the eastern Mojave Desert.

Three parks – Benicia State Recreation Area, Gray Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County and Zmudowski State Beach in Monterey County – will remain open but with limited or no services.

Although the California Legislature had cut $8 billion from the budget, Brown’s line-item vetoes included almost $129 milion in cuts to the state’s general spending account and another $67 million from special funds. The SFGate article details the areas of Brown’s additional cuts in educational assistance and preschool programs.

-Bill at

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