Stimulus money for calif

March 14, 2009

SACRAMENTO—California is in line to receive at least $31.5 billion in federal stimulus funding, much of which will help plug budget shortfalls to education and other programs, state officials reported Tuesday.Billions more will be available through competitive grants that Schwarzenegger administration officials say they will pursue aggressively. Landing additional grant money would push California’s total closer to $50 billion, administration officials said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief deputy budget director, Ana Matosantos, told lawmakers the administration “will access all funds available.”

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office released the first official rundown of the money California is expected to receive from the $787 billion stimulus bill.

Most of the money will be used to fill gaps in education and health care programs. California also will get help with housing, welfare and unemployment programs. About 8 percent of the total will fund transportation projects.

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor urged lawmakers to begin using the federal money to start highway and road projects that have been stalled by the state’s budget crisis and the frozen credit markets that have prevented the state from borrowing money. He also urged them to act quickly to draw as much Medicaid funding as possible.

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