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Subject: Leroy F. Greene, 84; Engineer Served 36 Years in California Legislature

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Date Posted: October 01, 2002 3:40:41 EDT

Leroy F. Greene, 84, who served 36 years in the California Legislature before his retirement in 1998, died Sunday of peritonitis at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.

Greene, who was born in Newark, N.J., earned an engineering degree at Purdue University and went to work for the state of Indiana building bridges. After a stint with the Tennessee Valley Authority, he went overseas in the Army Corps of Engineers.

He moved to California in 1949 to work with the state Division of Architecture in Sacramento, and three years later formed his own company, Leroy Greene and Associates Consulting Engineers.

Greene, who represented much of Sacramento, was first elected to the Assembly in 1962 and to the Senate in 1982. He was best known statewide for chairing the Assembly and Senate Education committees and the state allocation board that dispenses school construction funds. As an engineer and staunch advocate of public education, Greene championed hundreds of bills requiring seismically sound school construction and promoting educational issues.

Other bills he introduced covered a wide range--measures prohibiting the sale of previously frozen meat as "fresh"; requiring public service buildings to be fire- and earthquake-resistant; and legalizing bingo and prostitution.

Blunt and often entertaining, Greene once proposed printing a legislator's speech upside down so that then-Gov. Jerry Brown could read it while meditating and standing on his head.

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