Brown OKs State Parks Funding, Prevents Closures

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Shasta State Historic Park (credit: park.ca.gov)

Shasta State Historic Park (credit: park.ca.gov)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed several bills to keep California’s state parks open and ensure greater spending oversight in the wake of a scandal in which parks officials hid $54 million.

Brown announced Tuesday that he signed AB1478 by Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield of Woodland Hills and AB1589 by Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman of San Rafael.

Together, the bills establish a two-year moratorium on parks closures, provide about $30 million in funding and give the parks new fundraising tools.

The top parks official resigned this summer after it was revealed that some employees kept $54 million hidden in department special funds at the same time 70 parks were threatened with closure.

The new laws also give a state commission more authority to oversee the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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