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SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) today announced they will meet Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House officials and Congressional leaders in a series of meetings in Washington D.C. next week to continue their work at increasing federal funding for California.

“California, like the rest of the country, continues to suffer the devastating consequences of the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression,” Steinberg said. “After slashing more than $30 billion from our state budget, we must look to avoid draconian cuts this year if we expect to expedite California’s economic recovery or create more jobs for Californians.  It is absolutely vital that our federal partners do everything possible to help our state and our people weather this recession.”

“The purpose of this trip is to work with our partners in the California Congressional delegation and the Obama Administration to identify areas where we can jointly alleviate some of the external pressures on our budget situation,” said Pérez. “We will also be meeting with officials and the delegation to discuss the implementation of federal health insurance reform to ensure Californians can begin to take advantage of the coverage expansions and patient protections.”

As California seeks to close a $20 billion budget shortfall, Steinberg and Pérez will emphasize to California’s Congressional delegation how federal funding for state investments is critical to helping close the budget gap, mitigating further erosion in key programs and infrastructure, and assisting California to economic recovery. Among the key items they will lobby for is an extension of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the state’s Medi-Cal and child welfare programs.

Following a trip in January with the Governor and legislative leaders, California received $675 million in financial relief by enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) reimbursement rates for Medicare Part D clawback payments.

Click here to view the attached for a letter to Secretary Sebelius outlining federal support California is seeking.

Speaker Pérez Working to Expand Federal Support for California

(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) have announced they will meet Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House officials and Congressional leaders in a series of meetings in Washington D.C. to continue their work at increasing federal funding for California. “The purpose of this trip is to work with our partners in the California Congressional delegation and the Obama Administration to identify areas where we can jointly alleviate some of the external pressures on our budget situation,” said Pérez. “We will also be meeting with officials and the delegation to discuss the implementation of federal health insurance reform to ensure Californians can begin to take advantage of the coverage expansions and patient protections.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.

Below are links to the audio files:

Assembly Speaker Pérez describes the legislation in his opening remarks at today’s news conference. (1:48) mp3

Assembly Speaker Pérez's opening remarks at today's news conference. (3:32) mp3

Speaker Pérez says this trip to DC is a follow up to previous meetings between legislative leaders and federal officials. (:25) mp3

Speaker Pérez says the DC trip will be focused on two areas – making sure California receives its fair share of federal funding and figuring out how best to expedite the implementation of federal health care reforms. (:46) mp3

Speaker Pérez says the Arizona immigration law is a bad idea, regardless of its popularity (according to polls in Arizona). (:27) mp3

Speaker Pérez says the Arizona immigration law is unconscionable and likely unconstitutional. (:32) mp3

Speaker Pérez says the Governor's decision to move the election days to replace former Senator Maldonado and cost the state millions is irresponsible. (1:01) mp3

Website of Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker
Website of President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: http://dist06.casen.govoffice.com

CONTACT:  Shannon Murphy (Pérez) (916) 319-2408
Alicia Trost (Steinberg) (916) 651-4188