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Governor plans to sell landmarks

May 14, 2009 8:40:39 AM PDT
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he wants to sell off some of California's landmarks to raise cash.It's a controversial plan to balance the state budget. The governor figures the state can make some money if it sells property like the L.A. Coliseum.

The proposal would raise an estimate $1 billion.

The state currently faces a $15.4 billion deficit for the next fiscal year.

If voters do not pass three of the five measures on next Tuesday's ballot, the deficit grows to $21 billion.

L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said it's ridiculous to try to sell the coliseum because it doesn't belong to the state. Yaroslavsky said it belongs to the Coliseum Commission.

The Coliseum is also on the National Registry of Historic Places and cannot be sold.

The land that the Coliseum was built on is owned by the state, but it is designated as park land.

"If it would help the state of California, then I'd like that to help, but I don't want to lose something that's so near and dear to our hearts," said Caite O'Brien, a USC student.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds, the Cal Expo in Sacramento, and the Del Mar Fairgrounds are all on the list of properties proposed to be sold, as well as the Orange County Fairgrounds, which is worth an estimated $96 million to $180 million.

San Quentin State Prison in Marin County is also on the list, but it is unclear where the state would house death-row inmates if the prison was sold.

The governor's proposal also includes selling or leasing buildings that house government offices.

Schwarzenegger plans to outline two different versions of his budget in Sacramento.

One assumes the ballot measures pass on Tuesday, and the other assumes they fail and increase the deficit to $21 billion.

The talk of a possible sale of the Coliseum doesn't sit well with some USC students.

"I feel like it's not our fault that the state budget is in such a terrible deficit, and that you're trying to make an extra buck," said USC student Marie Agnello. "They shouldn't sacrifice our stadium."

Eyewitness News Reporters Melissa MacBride and Leslie Miller contributed to this report.

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