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California State Senate Passes Bill Letting Nonprofits Run 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)

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A bill designed to make it easier for state parks to enter operating agreements with nonprofits has passed the Senate with little opposition.

AB42 by Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman of San Rafael cleared the Senate 32-2 Wednesday and was sent back to the Assembly for a vote on amendments.

Budget cuts will force 70 of California’s 278 state parks to close as of next year. Park officials said they would try to arrange partnerships with nonprofits to keep some of them open, but the process is complicated and often requires special legislation.

Supporters say the bill will help minimize the number of parks that will have to be closed without adding costs to the state Department of Parks and Recreation. Opponents say the state shouldn’t be giving away its assets.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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