Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg has joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Washington D.C. for a two-pronged bipartisan push for more aid and federal breaks for California. Steinberg message, according to his staff, is this:
Without additional federal assistance, California will be forced to make budget-balancing decisions that will further delay California’s economic recovery. A sustained national economic recovery is not possible without California. And the budget deficit problems facing California are neither unique nor self-inflicted. At least 40 other states this year are confronting unprecedented budget deficits that are a product of a national recession caused by forces outside of California’s control.
Steinberg’s press secretary, Nathan Barankan, said Steinberg agrees with most of Schwarzenegger’s requests to the feds. Here, in Barankan’s words, is where they are not in sync:
–The Governor is only asking for a 9-month extenstion of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund dollars. Senator Steinberg has requested a 12-month extension.
–Senator Steinberg strongly supports federal healthcare reform efforts, and remains confident that congress and the President will ensure that the final version of such reform will ensure that California is able to afford it.
– The Governor seeks federal approval of various utilization controls and benefit limits in Medi-Cal. Senator Steinberg supports the concept of greater state flexibility, but is not prepared to endorse the Governor’s requests before they can be thoroughly evaluated to ensure the changes are not harmful to Californians.
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