As state lawmakers continue to search for ways to plug an estimated billion-dollar budget hole, they are taking a renewed look at state agencies’ use of special funds, including money dedicated to environmental programs.
A House hearing scheduled for next week will examine how the state Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are using special funds. These include things like cleaning up industrial sites and recycling.
Last fall, House Republicans sought to use $450 million from agencies’ special funds to help balance the state budget. Although the move was unsuccessful, the money has been viewed as a potential surplus that could be diverted into the state’s General Fund.