California is backing out of a tentative agreement to seek $2 billion for the construction of prison inmate healthcare facilities, saying the state cannot afford to do so amid a $24 billion deficit.
We cannot agree to spend $2 billion on state-of-the-art medical facilities for prisoners while we are cutting billions of dollars from schools and healthcare programs for children and seniors, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a written statement.
A federal court-appointed receiver is tasked with bringing the states 33 prisons up to constitutional standards for medical care. The receiver, J. Clark Kelso, has been battling with the state for more than a year in the courts and the state Legislature over funding for the projects.