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Vacant Governor's Mansion Breaks Trick-Or-Treating Tradition

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — What had been a treat for years may have turned into a trick on taxpayers after millions of dollars were poured into the Governor's Mansion.

This mansion makeover has more than a few shaking their heads. The historic building is no longer home to anyone, and that has everyone talking -- especially this Halloween.

From skeletons and scarecrows to scary spiders, there are some spooky sights at California's historic Governor's Mansion in downtown Sacramento. Former Governor Jerry Brown and his wife Anne attracted quite a crowd when they handed out Halloween snacks to costumed kids. But it's no trick; this year there won't be any treats on Halloween night.

The state approved spending more than $4 million to renovate the mansion before Brown moved in. Prior to that, the three-story structure, built in 1877, was a museum open to the public. But Governor Gavin Newsom and his family chose not to live in the mansion, opting to move into a $3.7 million home in Fair Oaks that they say is more "kid-friendly" than the downtown mansion.

So what is the historic mansion being used for today? A Newsom spokesperson says the governor's vision is "to increase community engagement with the historic site, using it as a venue to welcome dignitaries and diverse constituencies from across the state."

It's been used sporadically for special events, like an Earth Day event with children. But even though it's still listed as a state park, it is not open to the public.

"They should reopen it as a museum and open it to the public. We spent the money to maintain the place and fix it up, we should allow the public to come back and visit," said a passerby.

For now, this Oct. 31 won't be quite as sweet, and free candy coming from California's governor may now be a ghost of Halloween's past.

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