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California Lawmakers Hold First Special Funds Hearing

Aug 9, 2012

The Chair of a California Assembly committee looking into the state’s special funds accounts called the parks department scandal “shameful” today. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, lawmakers asked finance officials for assurances that there are no more hidden assets.

At issue is how $54 million in surplus Parks department funds could remain hidden for 12 years. An audit last week also found discrepancies in other state special funds accounts. Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield chairs the oversight committee.

“My chief concern is to hear from the administration why the hidden parks money is an isolated incident and not the tip of the iceberg.

Blumenfield called officials from the Department of Finance, the Controller’s Office, and the Legislative Analyst Office to testify. Jason Sisney, with the LAO, told the committee that the Parks department situation is “unacceptable” but isolated.

“If as some people call the parks situation, if it was a scandal, what we see in other special funds is really more sloppiness and in some cases confusion.”

The state Senate plans to hold its own hearing on the issue next week.