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State Senator Presents Tesla's CEO With 'Golden' Shovel; Courting Auto Maker's Multi-Billion Dollar Battery Factory

PALO ALTO (KCBS)— State Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) visited Tesla Motors' Palo Alto headquarters Friday to deliver a golden shovel to as a gift and a hint to the electric car maker's CEO and founder, Elon Musk.

Gaines brought the shovel as a symbolic message along with a letter expressing his hopes that the company's highly- coveted $5 billion, gigabyte factory will be built in California. However, Musk was out of town.

"It just says I want to congratulate you for your efforts [and] business success here in California and the legislature is ready and willing to work with you in putting a package together," Gaines said.

The factory would employ 6,500 workers in California. Gaines has teamed up with Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to craft legislation that would include tax credits and incentives for Tesla.

"Mr. Musk made it clear that he's looking for government assistance of approximately 10 percent," said Gaines.

There have been reports that ground has already been broken in Nevada for a giga-factory to be built there. However, negotiations may be continuing with Arizona, New Mexico and Texas aside from the Golden State.

Gaines said he thinks Musk is being a good businessman and is shopping around for the best deal.

The California state legislature's last day to pass bills is August 31.

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