Obama Stimulus Could Save the Day in Calif.

Calif. budget could receive stimulus money

California stands to get as much as $32 billion from an economic stimulus package moving through Congress, under a legislative package being considered Wednesday.

The preliminary state share of the $825 billion package is welcome news for lawmakers struggling to fill a projected $42 billion budget shortfall over the next year-and-a-half.

The plan gives the state more than $10 billion for education, $5 billion for highway, bridge and school construction, and $11 billion in Medicaid assistance.

It's part of President Barack Obama's proposal to boost the ailing economy.

The House is scheduled to vote on the plan Wednesday, but it is expected to change once the Senate takes it up.

Congressional leaders have promised Obama they will send him the legislation by mid-February.

California's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, says the unprecedented federal aid will help schools cope as they face perhaps billions of dollars in state cuts over the next year.

"This will not solve the fiscal crisis, not for the state and not for education," he said. "It does enable us to get through these very, very difficult times."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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