MEDI-CAL: Budget Impasse Jeopardizes Payments
The stalemate over approval of the state budget is jeopardizing Medi-Cal payments and other state programs, the San Francisco Examiner reports (Salladay, 7/21). A Los Angeles judge ruled yesterday that the state cannot make payments for state programs or pay workers' salaries until a budget is signed. Gov. Pete Wilson urged lawmakers to pass a budget as soon as possible, and asked state workers -- who will make minimum wage until the dispute is resolved -- to continue to show up for work. "It is high time we get this (budget) done," Wilson said. Century City attorney Richard Fine, who brought suit against the state on behalf of California taxpayers, "said vendors who do business with the state" -- including pharmacists and doctors in the Medi-Cal program -- do not get paid when the state has no budget (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 7/22).
Time For Solutions
Continuing his push for a solution to the state's budget woes, Wilson said he would sign an emergency measure allowing the state to pay its bills for two more weeks (Mendel, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/22). The San Francisco Examiner reports that state legislators are passing "a measure that would automatically fund Medi-Cal and welfare programs even without a formal budget." Despite the measure's apparent bipartisan support, Wilson said he hoped to have the budget impasse straightened out before such action was necessary (7/21).