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Lawmakers OK solar deal

SACRAMENTO -- The last thing lawmakers did as they passed California's $108 billion general fund budget this week was take up a mysterious tax break for the solar industry.

The legislation to extend a property tax for solar credits through 2024 was never heard by a regular policy committee and the public had little chance to provide input.

The process even caused members of the dominant Democratic Party to complain.

Lawmakers from both parties are criticizing the process. A coalition that represents other alternative energy industries called Wednesday for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the extension.

Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco said he sought SB871 at the last minute after a regular budget committee failed to consider the tax exemption.

The current solar tax break does not expire until 2017.

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