Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, today released the following statement reacting to the discovery of $3.6 million in hidden funds at the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection:
“It is inexcusable for any state agency or department to conceal funds away from the public eye. These dollars do not belong to anyone but hardworking Californians who expect state money to be spent responsibly on their priorities and not the priorities of government bureaucrats. These discoveries of hidden funds have become far too common.
“But what makes this revelation at the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection particularly frustrating is that it comes to light just as the state is beginning to collect more taxes it claims it needs to provide adequate fire prevention services. The situation only proves that the unfair fire tax was nothing but a ploy to patch budget holes on the backs of California families and needs to be repealed. That’s why I am intent on leading an effort to repeal that tax this year.”
Several recent media reports, including in the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee, have revealed that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection knowingly hid away public funds to avoid losing the money to the state’s general fund. Money was spent on things such as GPS units and a conference in Pismo Beach.
Assembly Member Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, represents the 40th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the cities of Redlands, Highland, Loma Linda, and portions of San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga.