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Lawmakers Vote To Let Nonprofits Take Over California State Parks

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Castle Rock State Park (www.parks.ca.gov)

Castle Rock State Park, one of the several Bay Area parks targeted for closure. (www.parks.ca.gov)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – With budget cuts threatening to force the shutdown of 70 California state parks, the state Assembly has unanimously approved legislation making it easier for nonprofit groups to take over operations at some parks.

The bill, AB42, passed 67-0 Thursday with little debate and was sent to the Senate.

The author, Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman of San Rafael, said the measure might not be a complete solution to keeping parks open, but it could help.

State parks officials last week announced that $33 million in budget cuts passed by the Legislature in March would force it to close 70 of California’s 278 parks, beaches and historic areas around the state as of July 2012. They said they would seek partnerships to keep some open.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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