Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

THE LATEST ON CALIFORNIA POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

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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