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Feinstein to Schwarzenegger: Don’t Furlough Feds

— Federal officials are asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to cancel furloughs for employees who are paid with federal funds so payments to thousands of disabled Californians aren't delayed.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a letter Tuesday that most of the Department of Social Services employees who assess Social Security disability applications are paid with federal funds, so the furloughs don't even save California money.

Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue says disability claims are rapidly increasing and furloughs could postpone another $15 million in federal payments - worsening California's economic problems.

Schwarzenegger furloughed more than 200,000 state workers three days a month earlier this year during a budget crisis, reducing their pay by about 14 percent.

Schwarzenegger's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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