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Lawmakers Aim To Prevent Unspent California Charitable Gifts

  

(AP) - Lawmakers and state agencies are exploring ways to ensure that millions of charitable dollars donated annually by California taxpayers aren't stalled for years and returned to state coffers.

One idea at a legislative hearing Wednesday is requiring speedier notices to state agencies that funds are available for distribution. Another is requiring agencies to publicly report how they spend the money.

Senate Governance and Finance Committee Chairman Bob Herztberg called the hearing in response to an Associated Press report in August. The AP found that agencies failed to spend nearly $10 million in taxpayers' charitable donations over 10 years.

At Wednesday's hearing, education officials disputed that nearly $90,000 intended to aid disadvantaged youth went back to the state's general fund. The department still hopes to distribute the money.