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Legislation aimed at commemorating the centennial of former President Ronald Reagan's birth won final approval in the state Assembly today, but not without controversy.

Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, D-San Diego, complained that by creating a commission to develop "appropriate means" of marking Reagan's birth in 1911, the state would be wasting money during a period of austerity. She also criticized Reagan as an opponent of government.

Saldaña, however, did not vote against the legislation, Assembly Bill 1911 by Assembly Republican leader Martin Garrick of Solana Beach, as it was sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk on a 70-0 vote.

Reagan is the only man to serve as both governor of California and president, winning the first of two terms in the former office in 1966 and the presidency in 1980. He died in 2004.

The nine-member commission includes the four top legislative leaders, one member appointed by the governor and four named by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. The celebration it would devise could not use any public funds.


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