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Lawmakers push plan to save California state parks

La-139249-me-0716-mono-11-dok.jpg-20120327

A new effort to save dozens of California's state parks begins in the Legislature on Wednesday.

Sens. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) are pushing a plan to fund the parks by shifting more than $40 million within the budget and charging for entrance in more places. The legislation is expected to be discussed at a hearing in the Capitol. 

Last year's budget called for closing 70 parks, which is expected to save $22 million in the upcoming fiscal year. Outside donors and the federal government have stepped in to help keep 16 of the parks open, at least for a few years.

Simitian and Evans said their plan could provide a longer-term solution.

The plan was endorsed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) said it appears "very reasonable." But Huff said the plan should include more ways for private companies to manage the parks.

RELATED: 

11 state parks temporarily out of the woods

More California state parks saved from closure

Shuttered California state parks may be vulnerable to vandalism

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

twitter.com/@chrismegerian

Photo: Canoeists paddle near tufa formations on Mono Lake, one of the parks that has stayed open with help from a nonprofit foundation. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

 
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