A million here, a million there -- and all of a sudden, it's easy to "lose" $2.3 billion.
"Little-known special funds" have plenty of money available, but the state lost track of them and forgot to include the $2.3 billion in special funds in the current budget, meaning there's money available, somewhere -- if only the state could find it, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Many state parks were bailed out by private citizens, but the parks had $54 million available all along, the newspaper reported. A total of 17 special accounts were found to have more cash in reserve than was reported to beancounters at the state Department of Finance, the newspaper reported.
The "problem could date back decades," the newspaper reported. But some department heads warned that the "differences" in accounting may not lead to a huge windfall.
"That does not necessarily translate into hidden funds," Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer told the newspaper. "In many cases, there will very likely be legitimate accounting reasons for the difference in those funds."