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Gov. Jerry Brown approves two-year moratorium on state park closures

September 25, 2012 | 12:23 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that puts a two-year moratorium on closing state parks in California and allocates $30 million in recently discovered surplus funds to help them continue operation

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that puts a two-year moratorium on closing state parks in California and allocates $30 million in recently discovered surplus funds to help them continue operation.

The legislation by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) was in response to the discovery this summer that former parks officials concealed about $54 million in unspent funds even as the state was proposing the closure of parks because of a budget shortfall.

"Rogue bureaucrats lied to all of us," Blumenfield said in a statement Tuesday. "The governor acted swiftly and appropriately to remove them. Now, after signing this bill, we can move forward."

AB 1478 provides $10 million to match private donations made in recent months to keep specific parks open, another $10 million to other parks at risk of closure, and a like amount to address maintenance needs at some parks that threaten to force their shuttering.

The measure also provides more money to the state Park and Recreation Commission to oversee management of the Parks and Recreation Department so that there are no more financial shenanigans.

The bill was one of 33 signed by the governor Tuesday that involve environmental issues, including a measure by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) to require 60% of the water used by new car washes to be recycled.

"Car washes are tremendous users of water, and the use of crystal clear water fit for drinking is not necessary," Gatto said in explaining AB 2230.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown at a speech last year. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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