Riverside, L.A. Counties Weigh Response to State Payment Delays
On Tuesday, Riverside County supervisors voted to permit the county counsel to sue the state or join existing lawsuits targeting the state's withholding of payments to counties for mental health and other social services, the Riverside Press Enterprise reports.
The county also authorized lawsuits seeking to eliminate the county's obligation to provide mental health and other state-mandated services if the state does not pay for the services.
California Controller John Chiang (D) ordered a delay of at least one month in state payments in an attempt to save cash.Â The state faces a budget deficit projected at $40 billion.
Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione said the county's social services programs can lose roughly $35 million for every month the state delays payments.
Hallye Jordan, a spokesperson for Chiang, did not return a call for comment on the supervisors' decision (Glick, Riverside Press Enterprise, 2/3).
Los Angeles County
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has directed staff to study whether the county can legally withhold state tax payments if the state defers payments to counties for health care, mental health and other services, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Under Chiang's plan to delay state payments to counties, Los Angeles County will go without about $1.4 billion from the state in February. Moreover, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is reported to be considering plans to delay state payments to counties for the next seven months.County supervisors are scheduled to discuss their options during a closed meeting next Tuesday (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 2/3). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.