So, What is a Special Fund?
As our most recent Brief noted, a proposal coming forward this week would make a series of one time transfers from the surpluses of special/restricted funds (41 funds in all) and transfer that money to the general fund (a total transaction of $1.2 billion).
So, what are these funds? The Governor’s Executive budget defines a special fund as one “…in which revenues raised from special sources named by law are deposited. Such revenues can be spent only for purposes prescribed by law and for which the revenues were collected”. Those special funds are then broken down into the categories of Governmental (Special revenue, Capital Projects, and Debt Service are the subcategories), Proprietary (Enterprise and Internal Service are the subcategories), and Fiduciary. There are 156 special funds in the 2015-16 document.
Of the 41 fund transfers, 30 of them would come from Governmental/Special Revenue which are used to hold revenue from specific sources and used for specific functions. According to the budget there are 106 such funds. One transfer would come from Governmental/Capital Projects, and none from Governmental/Debt Service.
Eight transfers would come from Proprietary/Enterprise (funded mostly through user charges) and one from Proprietary/Internal Service (interdepartmental transfers). None would come from Fiduciary Funds, and there is one fund that was not able to be located in the typology.