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State Bonds Proposed for Park Improvements

Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) and state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) announced Friday that two park bonds could mean up to $2 billion in improvements for urban parks, clean water, and coastal protection if approved on the 2000 ballot.

Joined by a coalition of environmental groups at a park overlooking the Los Angeles River, the lawmakers and others said the bond funding could finance a wide range of efforts throughout the county and California.

“It is for both urban areas and areas that are traditionally thought of as parkland and coastal,” said Rocky Rushing, chief of staff for Hayden. “It will have benefits for homies, surfers and hikers, not only improvement of parks but blighted areas of cities.”

Money would be spent on the improvement of existing state and local parks, wildlife conservation, coastal cleanup, inner-city recreation projects, museum, zoo and aquarium education and other community projects.

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The proposal will be subject to statewide hearings this spring before being presented to Gov. Gray Davis for the 2000 ballot.

Supporters noted that it has been almost a decade since the last statewide park bond measure was approved.


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