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Groups Drop Housing Talks With California governor

(AP) - A coalition of influential environmental, labor and tenant-rights groups is walking away from talks over Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to speed up construction of some developments with low-cost units.

The groups said Monday that they've had several meetings without an agreement, and they now want to focus on other efforts to alleviate rising housing costs.

The Democratic governor has proposed speeding the permit process for proposed apartment developments that meet local building rules and include subsidized units. He promised $400 million in the budget for affordable housing if a deal can be reached.

Critics say the plan would sidestep environmental rules and will mostly create new high-cost apartments.

A spokeswoman for Brown, Deborah Hoffman, says it's odd that the groups are walking away from talks that were just beginning.

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