New bill seeks to give CA state parks a boost

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user The City Project

McGrath State Beach, located in Oxnard, Calif., is on the list of potential state park closures.

Legislation intended to keep more California state parks open is one step closer to becoming law. The State Senate approved AB 42 Wednesday, a bill that would allow nonprofit organizations to keep parks running.

California already has this year due to budget cuts.

Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman wrote the bill and says it would alleviate the ailing park system. It passed the Senate vote by a margin of 32-2.

“This may save a dozen, potentially more parks from closure where there’s a nonprofit group that could step up and enter into an operating agreement to keep things going," Huffman said.

The state is already authorized to partner with local governments and private concession companies within the parks system. Huffman's bill would make the process easier.

Opponents argue that the state shouldn't be handing off responsibility for its parks to outside companies.

The legislation has widespread support from both Republicans and Democrats and is headed back to the Assembly for a final vote.

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