Federal Receiver Asks Court To Force State To Pay Up

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Receiver Clark Kelso was appointed by a federal judge to improve care in the state’s prisons.  He says the state is required to foot the bill.  But California is not complying:

“The legislature, Governor and Controller have made deliberate choices to reject the Receiver’s funding requests.”

Kelso says he’s running out of money.  So he’s asked a court to force the state to pay for his eight billion dollar construction plan to build 10-thousand new medical beds.  He wants to fine California two million dollars a day if it doesn’t comply.  Kelso is also asking the court to hold the Governor and the Controller in contempt.  He says he needs three billion dollars this fiscal year.  That would add to the state’s 15 billion dollar deficit:

“I cannot permit the sate’s fiscal and budget meltdown to interfere with my federal and constitutional mandate to improve healthcare in California’s prisons.”

Senate Republicans twice rejected a plan to borrow the money for Kelso’s construction.  Both the Controller and the Schwarzenegger administration still support some kind of borrowing to ease the pressure on the state’s cash crunch. The Assembly Republican Leader calls Kelso’s move “extreme” and says he hopes he’ll reconsider.”