The State Is Urged To Make-Good On Back Payments

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Frustrated local officials are urging the state to make-good on back payments for public works projects.  A board that oversees how taxpayer dollars are invested heard from counties and other groups at a public hearing at the capitol today (Wednesday, 3.18).  

Now that a state budget is approved and federal stimulus dollars are on their way…the “Pooled Money Investment Board” is outlining a financial strategy to help California get back on its feet. 
For starters the panel is looking into how the state will pay some of its outstanding debts including money it owes counties.  The board’s recommendations put thousands of state-funded construction projectsand public service programs on hold while lawmakers grappled with the budget crisis. 
Jonathan Clay represented San Diego County at the hearing… 
“We have a number of projects across the board…everything from parks and recreation projects to restoration…some public safety projects…clean beaches and even ocean water monitoring programs that have all been stopped because of the stop of the bond funds from the state of California…”
And,Karen Christiansen with theSanta Cruz County Recreation Department says the state needs to pay up… 
“We have two million dollars in arrears that have been submitted for reimbursement to the state of California.  For work done prior to December 17th.  That has not been reimbursed to date…”  
The governor’s representative on the investment board, Tom Sheehy says he can’t guarantee when the cities and counties will receive their back payments.  He says a lot depends on when the bond markets bounce back.