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Bay Area Lawmakers Unveil Budget Proposal To Prevent State Park Closures

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — State Senators Joe Simitian and Noreen Evans were in Sacramento Tuesday to present a budget plan to prevent 70 state parks from closing in July.

California's Parks Department has said its short $22 million per year. As a result 70 of 277 state parks are slated to close because of funding cuts.

State senator Simitian of Palo Alto said his Sustainable Parks Proposal could bring in up to $41 million by re-appropriating existing funds.

KCBS' Anna Duckworth Reports:

"The motor vehicle account has a substantial reserve and we've set aside, in the proposal that's on the web page, up to $10 million," Simitian said.

Another $10 million would come from the long-term clean water revolving loan fund and $21 million from funds that would otherwise go to local assistance programs.

State Senator Evans of Santa Rosa said the closures don't even make sense.

"In fact, it will be costing us more money because we have to continue to police these parks and maintain them without the ability to collect any revenues for them," Evans argued.

H.D. Palmer in the state Department of Finance said there are technical issues that need reviewing.

"They're proposing to use a revolving fund from the Water Board. That fund cannot be used for operations," Palmer said.

The proposal would be in the overall budget package. That will be presented at a budget subcommittee hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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