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Gov. Jerry Brown orders license plate program audit

Jerry Brown pictured in an undated photo.

May 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered an audit of the state's specialty license plate program after a report found little oversight of the $250 million raised by the program.

The report by the Associated Press also discovered Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, used $3 million from the sale of September 11 memorial license plates to help close the state's budget gap. The money was supposed to go to a scholarship fund to help children of California residents who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The AP review shows that only a small fraction of the $15 million collected in the "California Memorial Scholarship Program" actually went to scholarships. Forty percent of the money was used to fund anti-terror training programs, and millions more were spent on budget items with little relation to direct threats of terrorism, including livestock diseases and workplace safety.

Brown's spokeswoman says there are no immediate plans to return that money.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.