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California combing through funds after parks scandal
SAN FRANCISCO, July 27 |
SAN FRANCISCO, July 27 (Reuters) - California's finance department aims to finish a review of more than 500 state funds within a week to see how much cash they may have stashed away in the wake of finding an unreported $54 million surplus in the state's parks agency, the department's spokesman said on Friday.
The surplus at the parks agency has been an embarrassment for California's cash-strapped government, which has been slashing its spending in recent years.
The parks system could have avoided becoming a target for cuts to help balance the state's books if the state's leaders had been aware of the $54 million.
Governor Jerry Brown has ordered the finance department to comb through the state's various funds to see if they have spare cash that had not been previously reported, said department spokesman H.D. Palmer.
Palmer compared the effort to inspecting a home's electrical circuits, noting that "If you find one circuit that's not working, you check them all."
After its review, the department will reconcile its findings with a review of the funds by the state controller's office as they use different accounting methods.
Palmer said the finance department's preliminary findings indicate less than a $1 billion difference with the controller's findings, with two funds in the state's transportation department accounting for about $450 million of the variance.
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