State Checks Being Rushed Post-Budget

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, August 27, 2007

Tens of thousands of checks for hospitals and nursing homes are being printed, sorted and stacked at the State Controller’s office.  They’re reimbursements for Medi-Cal – the state’s low-income healthcare program.  The institutions haven’t been paid for weeks because of the late budget.  Dorothy Cottrill with state disbursements says the checks will go out Tuesday night:

“We adjust our priorities and look for how we can work most efficiently to be able to get the medical out as quickly as possible because those institutions are really hurting right now.”

Controller John Chiang asked state agencies to identify who was most in need – and those checks are being expedited.  He expects his office to absorb the roughly 35-thousand dollars worth of overtime staffers will work. 

“Very dedicated staff members at the controller’s office.  A lot of them came in this weekend – they wanted to make sure that vulnerable populations would not be struggling, or continuing to struggle.  And so we’re going to make these payments as quickly as possible.” 

Cottrill says most of the payments should be out within a few weeks.  Lawmakers' checks should go out Monday; their staffers have already been paid.