Capitol Alert

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein this week that he will continue furloughing 1,415 Department of Social Services employees who review Social Security disability applications.

Feinstein asked the governor last week to stop furloughing those workers because she said their absences could cause processing slowdowns and delay $15 million in payments to 53,000 Californians. She said furloughing those workers would provide no budgetary savings because the federal government pays for their salaries.

But Schwarzenegger said in a letter that the furloughs should have minimal impact on disability payments because workers are able to bank their furlough days and use them in lieu of vacation through June 2012. He appeared to acknowledge some slowdown, saying that "processing time remains within one day of its pre-furlough length." However, he asserted that California's processing time is below the national average.



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