All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
IHOP – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Disneyland – Diamond Celebration – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Banner
AV Party Rental – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
Santa Clarita Autosound – Banner
Beyond Harmony – Banner
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Banner
California High Speed Rail – Palmdale – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
Facey – Banner
Union Bank – Banner
Simply Taylored – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
San Diego Zoo – Generic – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 3
Newhall Land – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 2
Newhall Land – 2015 – Banner
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on May 28, 2015
Home » Santa Clarita News » Politics » State Senator Introduces Legislation To Protect Taxpayers’ Money
State Senator Introduces Legislation To Protect Taxpayers’ Money

State Senator Introduces Legislation To Protect Taxpayers’ Money

State Sen. Steve Knight, R-Antelope Valley, introduced two senate bills that would protect California taxpayers’ money by better regulating the use of state funds, state officials said Friday.

Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.

Knight, who represents the Santa Clarita Valley and other communities in the 21st Senate District, introduced the bills in response to a recent report by the State Auditor’s office that confirms the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) illegally diverted $3.7 million of taxpayer funds into a hidden account called the Wildland Fire Fund, according to a news release by Knight’s office.

State Sen. Steve KnightThe new legislation, Senate Bills 1074 and 1075, would punish state employees if they hide state funds from the public, ensure state resources are properly spent and require all funds in the secret account be returned to the state treasury, said state officials.

“This was a clear abuse of the public trust,” Knight said. “State employees set up an off-the-books slush fund and used the taxpayer’s money for equipment that is now missing and a conference at a Pismo Beach resort, among other misuses. These measures are the first step in restoring the public’s trust. We have to ensure this type of waste and abuse never happens again. If it does, public servants that abuse their power and violate the law will now be subject to real consequences.”

In addition to the Cal Fire audit, $54 million was found in a State Parks hidden fund last year, indicating that the occurrence of slush funds is increasing in state government, according to the news release.

Senate Bill 1074 would actively prevent the misuse of taxpayers’ money by adding criminal punishments for state employees who intentionally divert public money into hidden private accounts, an act that is currently illegal but has no punishment for those responsible, state officials said.

The bill would make such acts a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail or a $10,000 fine.

“Cal Fire controls $1.3 billion in taxpayer dollars and should be held to the highest of standards. Californians deserve better than to find out from the local newspaper that their government is misusing their hard-earned money. The legislature needs to be a better watchdog to uncover and prevent improper and illegal behavior by state government officials,” Knight said.

Under the recommendation from the State Auditor, Senate Bill 1075 would direct any funds recovered by Cal Fire’s Civil Cost Recovery Program back into the State Treasury and require that all funds remaining in the off-the-books Wildland Fire Fund be returned to the general fund where they belong, according to the news release.

“This was a major issue. There was $3.7 million put away into the Wildland Fire Fund and that was not something that we accounted for,” Knight said. “Several groups came out and said if this has happened with one audit, we want to have something in place for when we have this problem in the future.”

Both bills are currently awaiting referral from the Senate Rules Committee to their first policy committee, state officials confirmed, and action can be expected in March or April.

Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at

Source: Santa Clarita News

State Senator Introduces Legislation To Protect Taxpayers’ Money

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About Melissa Lampert

Melissa became a staff writer at KHTS AM-1220 following her internship in the newsroom. She has been writing news and feature stories for the KHTS website since February 2014. Melissa is also a part-time staff writer at the Santa Clarita Gazette weekly newspaper and Canyon Country Magazine. After receiving her bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Melissa moved back to Santa Clarita to begin her professional writing career. She has published feature stories in "The Signal" newspaper and College of the Canyons' "Cougar News" and formerly worked as a freelance animal welfare writer for an online publication. She recently finished writing her first fiction novel and hopes to publish it someday.
All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Hugo Naturals – News Banner
AV Party Rental – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
Beyond Harmony – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
Facey – Tile
Brent’s Carpet One – Tile
IHOP – Tile
Santa Clarita Autosound – Tile
Broadscast – Tile
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Tile