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Rejection of Proposition 21 leaves future of California parks uncertain
The future of many California state parks remains uncertain following the rejection of Proposition 21 by voters.
The initiative would have provided funding for state parks by adding an additional $18 onto California's vehicle registration fee. Admission to parks would have remained free as well.
A parks spokesman told the Press Democrat that the rejection vote may translate into additional service cuts as well as partial closures.
"As we start allocating money, we may have more parks affected by closures and service reductions," state parks spokesman Roy Stearns told the newspaper.
Stearns said that the park system's budget of $230 million is $2 million less than last fiscal year.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports that if Proposition 21 passed, it would have generated about $250 million each year for the state parks. Right now, there is an estimated $1 billion maintenance backlog in the parks, which has resulted from years of budget cuts.
California has 278 state parks. Park supporters are hopeful that a new governor will help make the parks a priority for the state.