AUSTIN (AP) – Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has called for an end to an accounting practice that masks how taxes and fees are really spent.

Straus asked a House Appropriations Sub-committee to consider how to bring greater transparency to accounts dedicated to a special purpose, and how those balances are used to balance the budget. By law, the State Comptroller must certify that the budget is balanced every two years.

READ MORE: Critical Race Theory Law Could Be Behind Latest Southlake Racism Controversy

Straus said that lawmakers have stockpiled $4.9 billion in dedicated accounts to balance the budget. He gave an example of fees charged to drunk drivers that are supposed to go to hospital trauma centers. Instead of spending that money, lawmakers keep it in an account where it can be used to balance the budget.

READ MORE: Amtrak Train From Fort Worth Crashes In Oklahoma, Three Hurt

Straus called for an end to the practice.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

MORE NEWS: Frisco Police: Truck, Bike Crash Leaves Teen Critically Hurt

Also Check Out: