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Counties Say State Hasn't Reimbursed Them For Special Election

California State Capitol
Justin Sullivan
California State Capitol

County governments are complaining that the state has failed to reimburse them for the cost of May’s special election.

Paul McIntosh, the Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties, said counties anticipated the state would send them $68 million to cover election expenses.

But, McIntosh said the budget package signed by Governor Schwarzenegger last week leaves them out in the cold.

“The counties took significant hits in this budget and they aren’t in a position to absorb those hits,” said McIntosh. “Counties aren’t in a position to take on additional responsibilities without being reimbursed by the state. Nor do we have an ability to bail the state out of their own problems.”

McIntosh said the state is also borrowing from counties to deal with its multi-billion dollar deficit. McIntosh said he hopes lawmakers will pass legislation that would require the state to pay for the special election. He said the state has repaid counties for past special elections, although it was long after balloting was finished.

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