Democratic Legislative Leaders Hopeful About Federal Help

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Senate Leader Darrel Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass were in Washington for President Obama’s Inauguration.  While they were there they met with members of California’s Congressional delegation to lobby for the state’s share of a federal stimulus package.  They say an educated guess would be to hope for about ten billion dollars.  Steinberg says they’re not counting on that as they work to negotiate a deal to eliminate the state’s 40 billion dollar deficit…..

“But everyone is cognizant of the probability that we will get some significant help in the health care, education and physical infrastructure areas but there’s no substitute for deep cuts and new revenues.”

Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines says if the state does receive federal help, it should be used to pay down debt.   Senate Leader Steinberg says he’s hopeful Democrats, Republicans and the Governor will reach a deal to balance the state’s budget before the end of the month.  That’s when the state Controller says he’ll have to delay billions in state payments – including income tax refunds -because of a cash shortage.