We've never really understood the logic behind purchasing a specialized license plate to fund some sort of cause. Wouldn't it make more sense to just send your money directly to whatever organization is championing the issue and slap a bumper sticker on your car next to the standard plate?

Indeed, California drivers who paid for a special 9/11 memorial plate might consider this option the next time they get out their checkbook at the DMV. Because according to an Associated Press report, the state has not been making good on its promises to use the money collected through sales of the special plates to fund scholarships for children of 9/11 victims and underwrite anti-terrorism initiatives.

Of the $15 million collected through sales of the plates, $3 million has been used to fill holes in the state budget, paying for programs that have little or nothing to do with terrorism. Further, the state stopped funding the scholarship program seven years ago, while continuing to advertise the plates as a benefit to children of 9/11 victims, according to the report. It has since updated its website to remove references to the scholarship program.

The memorial license plates cost $50 and then $40 to renew each year, and were introduced in 2002. Over 200,000 plates have been purchased or renewed since then, according to the report.

While each of the plates reads "We will never forget," apparently state agencies who have spent the money on routine operations have. "They are not following the spirit and intent of the legislation," Herb Wesson, the former speaker of the California Assembly and author of the license plate bill told the AP.


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  • 23 Comments
      TahsinZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      California politicians misusing funds??? how shocking
      DKJR
      • 2 Years Ago
      The biggest missing fact of this blog entry is that of the $15,000,000 collected from this program...less than $25,000 of the money went to scholarships. Thats less than 2/10's of a PERCENT of the total collected. Liars, thieves, and ******....
      dave and mary
      • 2 Years Ago
      If I come and steal your wallet - I'll go to jail. Politicians do it and they get a pension and paid apperances at speeches.
      Just Stuff
      • 2 Years Ago
      This isn't just a CA thing. Anytime you see our government doing a special tax or fund for a specific reason the money rarely goes to that. Guess why our kids won't see any SSN money?
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Once word gets around, see how many people renew these plates versus turning them in. BTW, it was Ahhnold who first "borrowed" money from the fund ($2m) in 2008. Gov. Moonbeam "borrowed" another $1m last year.
      Richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Revenue is not the problem....spending is. Trying to fix the sate and federal debts and deficits by bringing in more revenue is like trying to stop the titanic from sinking by scooping out buckets of water... But yelling that people who pay 40% of their income in local state and federal taxes aren't doing their share sounds better, so let's stick with that....
        Fonin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        especially when it's those people paying the 40% that are running the country? they are both the problem
        Relyat08
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        +1 my friend. Well said.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Big Rocket
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JohnEnzo: As long as we are talking about conspiracy theories without any tangible proof at all, I heard from a guy who knows another guy that it was actually Santa Claus who siphoned money from the US Treasury and pushed up our national debt to over $15 Trillion. How else could he afford all those free toys for billions of kids every Christmas?
      cardiologymidwest
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a dirty, corrupt state...bin Laden would approve.
      Egon
      • 2 Years Ago
      They didn't forget...they chose to stop remembering. How incredibly shameful.
      Donald Haas
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm always amazed that we remain economically diverse enough in this state to survive the stupidity of a being a Blue state...Year after Year....Gotta file this one under "you get what you deserve" thinking that "extra" money was not gonna be annexed by the general fund...NEVER NEVER NEVER give the government EXTRA Money.
      Heber George Saurey
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like this comment if you agree - California: Make a White on Black plate and charge $150 for it and $100 renewal. It's exclusive and would sell to anyone who wants to stand out. It's harder to stand out in CA. 2nd. Make a goofy ass chrome/platinum one and charge $500 + $200 renewal. People have to wear license plates, why cant' they waste their money on one that makes them look exclusive. 3rd. CA uses the money in any way to better the budget situation.
        - v o c t u s -
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Heber George Saurey
        nah, not that I don't think people will go for it - on the contrary this state has a seemingly limitless supply of douchebags who would gladly flaunt a "goofy ass chrome/platinum" plate, and I really don't want to be annoyed/blinded by them. DO change the asinine required front plate. It just doesn't make sense. You get a plate numb er as the car is going AWAY from you. In reverse??? No.
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      how the news reported it here (SF) was that Arnie and Jerry have both used that fund to take loans out of (2 mill and 1 mill) for other budget issues. supposedly this money is to be paid back into the fund. considering the monetary and budget issues of this state, not going to happen unless there was some kind of federal matching funds. but good thing we are going to spend $11B on a high speed rail to LA!
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