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For Immediate Release
May 16, 2012
Release Contact: Kayla Williams/Emmerson
(916) 651-4037

Jann Taber/Dutton
(916) 651-4031

Budget Briefing: The OHV Trust Fund—Where’s the Trust?

Sacramento — Senators Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) voiced serious concerns about the future of the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trust Fund following a May 9 hearing of the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection and Transportation.

During the hearing, committee chairman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) dismissed concerns that his plan to fund California state parks relies on stripping funds that have already been dedicated to OHV programs. However, these OHV funds are 100 percent paid by OHV enthusiasts. His proposal would strip $21 million from the OHV trust fund and divert it all to California state parks for the 2012-13 budget.

“Here we go again. This is just another example of one of Sacramento’s broken promises,” Senator Emmerson said. “This was a legislative agreement that was made for funding OHV parks and legislative Democrats want to steal that money away for other purposes. This is nothing more than legalized theft. It’s time we start keeping our promises.”

“Funding for state parks is critical, but so is maintaining the public’s trust,” said Dutton. “If dedicated OHV funds can be taken so easily, what’s to protect other dedicated user fees? This is not the first time that taxes and fees collected from OHV enthusiasts have been drained for other purposes and that’s unacceptable.”

In the last four budget years, a total of $133 million has been raided from the OHV trust funds for other uses. In fact, in a 2011-12 budget trailer bill, an additional $10 million of dedicated OHV trust funds were taken for the state’s general fund.

No action on the proposal to strip OHV funds was taken during the May 9 hearing. The proposal will be considered again on May 23.

Senator Dutton represents the 31st Senate District that includes portions of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.