California and the Obama money

February 2, 2009

California and the Obama money. Good aticle in the NYT today. Excerpt.

But in California, which has a projected budget deficit — $42 billion — that is larger than the total expenditures last year in each of 39 states, the federal stimulus will be put to its sternest test. The infrastructure and energy projects, high-tech job creation, rural outreach and low-income benefits included in the proposal make the state a proving ground where nearly all the plan’s potential benefits, and pitfalls, converge.

All told, Congressional estimates show that California’s two-year take from the House version of the bill, which was approved on Wednesday, could top $32 billion, or nearly $1,000 a resident. The State Finance Department puts the number even higher, at $37 billion.

With nearly twice as many motor vehicles as any other state, California would receive at least $4 billion under the House plan for highway, rail and transit projects. Counties have already submitted possible uses, a list that could include $120,000 to improve a road in the small town of Niland and $9.3 million to close gaps in a bike path in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

In suburban Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco, meanwhile, stimulus money would start crews moving on a $2.5 million project to resurface a stretch of Vasco Road, a popular and treacherous commuter cut-through that has been the scene of deadly accidents, including a 2006 wreck that killed four construction workers.

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