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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Saturday that would have given the University of California and California State University systems a $100 million financial boost.
Brown said he decided to veto the bill partly because of added expenses the state incurred in fighting wildfires this year. The governor rejected a line-item measure in AB1476 authored by Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley that could have provided an extra $50 million each to the UC and Cal State systems.
The budget Brown signed this summer included the $100 million— if the state received a certain level of revenue from property taxes. But Brown said those tax revenues didn't materialize.
"Unfortunately, property tax revenues were below budget estimates and the additional (money) was not available for deferred maintenance this year," Brown said.
The governor cited several other reasons, including the need to maintain California's aging infrastructure and pay down the state's debts, as well as the unanticipated costs of fighting wildfires during an historic statewide drought.
California has had nearly 5,000 wildfires this year, a 26 percent increase compared with an average year of about 3,900, state fire officials have said.
Two fires — one still burning in the Klamath National Forest along the California-Oregon border, and another still smoldering east of Sacramento — have cost more than $86 million and $53 million to fight, respectively, fire officials reported.
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