9/11 Fund raided to cover Calif. Deficit


A specialty license plate program sold to Californians as a way to benefit the children of 9/11 victims and fund anti-terrorism efforts has instead served as a catchall budget-balancing fund for Golden State governor Jerry Brown.

The Associated Press reports:

A review by The Associated Press of the $15 million collected since lawmakers approved the “California Memorial Scholarship Program” shows only a small fraction of the money went to scholarships. While 40 percent has funded anti-terror training programs, $3 million was raided by Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to plug the state’s budget deficit.

The original legislation earmarked 15 percent of the program’s revenue for a scholarship fund for the children and spouses of the three dozen Californians who died on 9/11.  The California DMV has advertised the scholarship program on its website for the past decade, but the state treasurer’s office closed the scholarship program in 2005.