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Bill Responding to State Parks Scandal Passes Assembly Committee

A bill intended to prevent a repeat of last year's California State Parks scandal has passed an Assembly committee.

The measure would require department heads at state agencies to sign financial reports under penalty of perjury. It would also require that those reports be posted on agency websites within five days.

California poppies grow along the coast at Montana De Oro State Park. It is one of dozens of California State Parks threatened with closure due to California's budget crisis.
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Above: California poppies grow along the coast at Montana De Oro State Park. It is one of dozens of California State Parks threatened with closure due to California's budget crisis.

Republican Assembly member Beth Gaines said her bill would ensure that abuses of government funds aren’t hidden or overlooked in the future.

“These actions will provide oversight and help regain the public’s trust that their money is used for its intended purposes,” Gaines said.

Some Democrats raised concerns about the bill’s provision to suspend agency heads without pay if financial reports under their responsibility aren’t submitted within 30 days.

The measure passed on a 7-2 vote, with two Democrats dissenting and two others abstaining. The bill faces a second committee hearing before reaching the Assembly floor.

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