Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger


February 2, 2010

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday sent another letter to California’s congressional delegation asking for more federal dollars after President Barack Obama released a budget that provided only $1.5 billion of the $6.9 billion in new money that Schwarzenegger wants.

The governor wrote that Obama’s budget “represents only a down payment on what we are owed,” but described the president’s plan as “the first step in a lengthy and complicated process that can result in the fair and equitable treatment of California’s taxpayers — with your help.”

Schwarzenegger hopes to use federal dollars to help bridge the state’s $19.9 billion deficit.

In his letter, Schwarzenegger asked for more money to pay for housing illegal immigrant inmates. Obama’s budget provided $330 million for all states, and California would receive $90.5 million of that State Criminal Alien Assistance Program money. But Schwarzenegger penciled an additional $880 million in SCAAP funds into his budget, none of which the state would receive under Obama’s budget.

The governor asked for additional Medicare reimbursements worth about $1 billion that he believes the state is owed for past billing errors. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., and Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn., are working on legislation that would provide $700 million of that money. Schwarzenegger also asked for more help in giving states more authority to slash social services after recent court decisions blocked $1.4 billion in cuts.

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