Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement in response to the passage in the California legislature of SBX8 29, which would exempt workers funded with 5 percent or less of general fund money from the three days a month furlough instituted by Governor Schwarzenegger. This would include exempting federally-funded state employees, who determine Social Security Disability and Unemployment Insurance eligibility.
"While California must make tough choices as it works to close its budget deficit, furloughing workers whose salaries are fully-funded through the federal government results in the loss of millions of dollars for our state while harming our neediest citizens.
"The Social Security Administration's Inspector General has found that furloughs of Disability Determination Services workers would cost our state $30.6 million in lost federal funds while delaying $98.5 million per year in disability payments to disabled Californians. California is also dead last among all 50 states when it comes to paying unemployment insurance claims within 21 days, according to the Department of Labor.
"The California Congressional Delegation and I met earlier this year with Governor Schwarzenegger and state legislative leaders to ensure that California will continue to receive the federal funds it needs. Enacting this bill, which passed the Legislature with large, bipartisan majorities, is one simple way to strengthen California. I hope the Governor will sign this bill and end all furloughs for workers funded by the federal government."