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By Ali Tadayon, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 09/25/16 – 6:31 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A bill that would ensure first responders to the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino get fully reimbursed for the cost of their response was vetoed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown, in a statement issued Sunday, said signing the bill would create a precedent for the state to cover other costs incurred during emergencies.

“I recognize the unique circumstances of this horrific terrorist attack,” Brown said. “However, this bill sets the expectation that the state will assume all financial responsibility for future emergency costs. The General Fund cannot afford this precedent.”

The attack at San Bernardino’s Inland Regional Center left 14 people dead and 22 wounded. Shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, both of Redlands, were later killed in a shootout with police.

The bill, drafted by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, was unanimously passed in the Senate and Assembly with strong bipartisan support.

Under law, reimbursement from the state for costs not covered by the federal government is capped at 75 percent. Leyva, in a written statement issued in August, said the cap on reimbursement from the state cuts into local governments having to make up the difference, affecting their ability to fund other essential services to taxpayers.

Brown, in his written statement, said the Office of Emergency Services will continue working with local agencies “to ensure that all eligible costs are reimbursed through the California Disaster Assistance Act.”

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