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State Budget Deal Struck, Some State Parks Likely to Close

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A budget deal was agreed on last night between top legislators and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Part of that deal was cutting $8 million from the state parks system, saving the majority of parks from the original proposal to cut around $70 million forcing the closure of 80% of them.

The deal doesn't raise any taxes or fees but takes a heavy toll on other services including county and city budgets. Billions will be taken from local coffers affecting a wide range of services including transportation and redevelopment. At least some of it will have to be paid back within three years with interest.

Other major cuts include $6 billion to K-12 and Community Colleges, close $3 billion for UC and CSU systems and $1.3 from MediCal. The deal also includes cost saving measures such as allowing school district to cut five days from the school year and expanding drilling off the Santa Barbara coast within a limited scope.