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AB-2267 State park system: budgeting.(2013-2014)

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AB2267:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2267


Introduced by Assembly Member Bigelow Beth Gaines

February 21, 2014


An act to amend Section 5002.4 of the Public Resources Code, relating to the state park system. An act to add Section 5004.3 to the Public Resources Code, relating to state parks.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2267, as amended, Bigelow Beth Gaines. State park system. State park system: budgeting.
Existing law places responsibility of the state park system, which includes all parks, public camp grounds, monument sites, landmark sites, and sites of historical interest established or acquired by the state, with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Existing law requires the department to gather, digest, and summarize, in its annual reports to the Governor, information concerning the state park system and the relation to the state park system of other available means for conserving, developing, and utilizing the scenic and recreational resources of the state. Existing law requires each state agency to submit to the Department of Finance a complete and detailed annual budget setting forth all expenditures and estimated revenues for the ensuing fiscal year.
This bill would require the department, commencing with the 2015–16 budget proposal, to annually develop and publish state operation expenditures for the state park system to assist in the development of the Governor’s annual budget proposal. The bill would require the department, in cooperation with the Department of Finance, to provide individual park unit expenditures analyses, as specified. The bill would require the department, by January 1, 2016, to develop and implement a plan to annually track expenditures made at park units and report the park unit expenditures that were made in the prior fiscal year, that were made and anticipated to be made in the current fiscal year, and that are presented in the Governor’s current budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

Under existing law, the Department of Parks and Recreation controls the state park system, which is made up of units. Existing law requires the department to prepare or revise a general plan for a unit, as specified, and requires the department to furnish a copy of the general plan for any unit of the state park system for which a plan has been prepared to any Member of the Legislature upon request.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these state park system provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The California State Auditor’s Office, in its February 2013 audit of the Department of Parks and Recreation (department), documented and reported all of the following:
(1) Over the years, the department has reported different fund balance amounts, usually lesser amounts, to the Department of Finance, which are used in preparing the Governor’s budget, than it reported to the Controller’s office, which are used in the Controller’s budgetary report, for both the State Parks and Recreation Fund and the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund. The difference in reported amounts created confusion among the public and decisionmakers regarding the actual balance in each fund. Additionally, the differences may have resulted in the Legislature and the Governor using inaccurate financial information when making budgetary decisions concerning the department.
(2) The department does not budget or track expenditures at the park level and uses outdated information to develop estimated operating costs for its parks.
(3) The estimated operating costs used by the department only include the direct costs of the parks, not indirect costs, such as a park’s share of statewide costs for accounting, payroll processing, and procurement. The department asked the districts to develop new estimated operating costs for parks on the closure list. However, the estimates were difficult to compare to the department’s earlier estimates because the districts’ estimates were not consistent in terms of the time periods they covered or their completeness.
(b) Following the February 2013 audit, the department developed a process to calculate each park’s past expenditures and future costs, which would, when fully implemented, provide the department with necessary criteria to complete an analysis regarding the closure of parks required by state law. However, in its September 2013 audit, the California State Auditor’s Office found that the department had not fully implemented the process for tracking expenditures at the park level and, without a complete and fully implemented process to calculate park unit costs, the department cannot comply with the provisions of state law or provide accurate information to decisionmakers.
(c) To assure the Legislature and the public that future proposed park service reductions and closures are appropriate to achieve any required budget reduction, the California State Auditor recommended that the department develop individual park operating costs and update those costs periodically. The California State Auditor found that the individual park costs should include all direct and indirect costs associated with operating the park, and that the aggregated costs of all the individual parks should correspond with the related fiscal year’s actual expenditures needed to operate the department’s park system. Additionally, when proposing service reductions or closures and to determine the actual amount of reduction of funds or closures of park units needed, the department should compare the most recent cost estimates to the amount the department determines is necessary to fully operate all 278 parks at the 2010 level.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5004.3 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

5004.3.
 (a) Commencing with the 2015–16 budget proposal, the department shall annually develop and publish state operation expenditures for the state park system to assist in the development of the Governor’s annual budget proposal.
(b) To supplement the requirements of subdivision (a), the department, in cooperation with the Department of Finance, shall provide individual park unit expenditure analyses that detail the direct and indirect expenditures for each park unit and include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Staffing and operation expenses of each park unit.
(2) Costs of administrative activities that are budgeted by the department and implemented by individual park units.
(3) The share of the department’s overhead costs, which include the costs associated with maintaining the department, attributable to the individual park units. For purposes of this section, overhead costs include direct and indirect costs to the department of the park units, as well as the costs to operate the department as a whole.
(4) Expenditures mandated by the department to perform its core programs, as defined by the department’s mission statement, and incurred by the individual park units.
(c) By January 1, 2016, the department shall develop and implement a plan to annually track park unit expenditures through department accounting personnel and personnel located at, or dedicated to, a particular park unit. The plan shall account for, and list specifically, all expenditures made at park units and shall report the specific park unit expenditures that were made in the prior fiscal year, that were made and anticipated to be made in the current fiscal year, and that are presented in the Governor’s current budget proposal for the next fiscal year. The tracking shall not include estimates of district allocations made to park units, but shall reflect unit worksheets, timesheets, statements, and spreadsheets that document actual park unit expenditures made by the park unit itself.

SECTION 1.Section 5002.4 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
5002.4.

The department shall provide a copy of the general plan for any unit of the state park system for which a plan has been prepared to any Member of the Legislature upon request.