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Other Budget Issues

Last Updated: 2/5/2010
Budget Issue: The budget proposes using $57 million in Public Transportation Account (PTA) funds to reimburse the General Fund for transit-related debt service in the current year.
Program: Department of Transportation - Debt Service
Finding or Recommendation: Recommend using $219 million in existing PTA funds for transportation debt ser-vice in the current year to help the General Fund. This includes (1) $140 million in PTA revenues, and (2) $79 million of non-Article XIX-restricted revenues transferred from the State Highway Account (SHA).
Further Detail

The Governor’s budget includes $57 million in transit-related debt service to be paid in 2009-10 from existing PTA funds to help the General Fund. According to the Department of Finance, this is the amount of PTA-eligible debt service that would be paid between January and June 2010. However, according to the State Controller’s Office, the total amount of debt service that would be paid during the entire fiscal year is estimated to be $140 million. Accordingly, we recommend reimbursing the General Fund for the full $140 million.

In addition, the Governor proposes to use non-Article XIX-restricted revenues in the SHA to pay transportation debt service in the budget year. We believe the Legislature can take a similar action in the current year and use these unrestricted funds ($79 million) for transportation debt service.

In total, the state could realize $219 million in 2009-10 to help the General Fund by these actions— $160 million more than the Governor’s proposal.