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Senate Holds Hearing About Fate of Stimulus Dollars

At stake is over three hundred million dollars of stimulus funds awarded to California to boost jobs through energy efficiency programs. If the state doesn’t spend all that money by April, the remainder reverts back to the federal government.

Two State audits have found that the money is being dispersed too slowly. Robert Oglesby is the Executive Director of the California Energy Commission, which manages most of the funds. Oglesby acknowledged it’s been a challenge.

“This is probably one of the most administratively burdensome pots of money that the state could ever access,” he said.

For example, Oglesby said, just look at all the documentation that comes with a typical invoice. He noted “the invoice can be as thick as a telephone book for those who remember what a telephone book looks like.”

In his testimony Oglesby stressed that his agency has gotten the upper hand and is confident that California won’t have to return funds. The Senate Energy Committee is scheduled to hold another hearing on the stimulus funds in January.

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