SACRAMENTO — California's state parks department will be subject to an independent audit to examine how and why nearly $54 million in two special funds went unreported even as budget cuts were threatening to close 70 parks.
The revelation of the hidden money earlier this summer threatens Democratic hopes of passing a ballot measure that would increase taxes by undermining the public's trust in how state government handles tax money.
Democrats favor the review in hopes of restoring voters' confidence, while many Republican lawmakers say they would like a broader review to see if state government has other hidden pots of cash.
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the audit.
Reports of the underreported $54 million surfaced after The Sacramento Bee reported that some Department of Parks and Recreation administrators had taken unauthorized cash-outs of vacation time worth more than $271,000.