SACRAMENTO (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown says he’s dropping a plan to sell 24 state government buildings to private investors.

The state had been in negotiations to sell the properties for $2.3 billion under a proposal by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help close the state’s budget deficit. The state would have continued using the space by entering into a 20-year lease with the new owners.

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The Associated Press reported last year that the deal would end up costing the state $5.2 billion in rent over 20 years, perhaps saddling taxpayers with costs beyond whatever the state would net from the sale. That assessment was confirmed by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

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Brown said Wednesday that he canceled the sale because it “amounted to a gigantic loan.”

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