By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2012 – 8:18 am

California’s borrowing from special fund accounts has reached nearly $4.3 billion, more than five times the amount from June 2008, according to a semiannual report issued Monday by the state Department of Finance.

Since the depths of the recession, state leaders have relied heavily on borrowing from special fund accounts that generate money from user fees and regulated industries, among the many patchwork solutions to avoid deeper program cuts in the general fund budget.

Special fund accounts have drawn greater scrutiny in recent weeks after the Resources Agency revealed the Department of Parks and Recreation had nearly $54 million in surplus funds while scrambling to keep state parks open.

The Department of Finance is auditing 560 special fund accounts to determine whether other money has been stockpiled and expects to issue a report later this week.

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