California could end up leaving millions in federal stimulus dollars on the table if a couple of state agencies don’t use them up quickly. One state lawmaker is especially concerned about the issue with the debt ceiling debate in Congress.
Senator Alex Padilla held a recent legislative hearing on the unspent funds. The Democrat says if agencies can’t spend the money from Washington before a deadline next year, lawmakers should find another use for it. He says the state told the federal government it needed the cash – and to leave it unused looks bad, especially now.
“While everybody in Congress, particularly our Republican counterparts, are looking for every nickel and dime that could be cut, we should not be in the business of giving them low-hanging fruit to cut or sweep back,” said Padilla.
The State Auditor found both the Department of Community Services and Development and the California Energy Commission were on track to leave millions unspent. Both departments say they’re working to ramp things up in order to use that money.