If you haven’t already read this story, please to check out Unpaid fines hurting California budget over at kcra.com and let me know what you think. I can’t make heads or tails of it. Am I supposed to be angry at the state of California for not trying hard enough to collect? Maybe I’m supposed to be pissed off at nursing homes for treating their patients so poorly? And what does this have to do with the state budget?
I’m no financial whiz kid here, but it seems we don’t have as much of a problem collecting money in this state, as we do spending money.
But with California so short on cash, why does the state allow this practice to continue? The California legislature authorized it in law, more than thirty years ago. The statute reads, “Facilities that do not contest the level of the citation or the amount of the fine may, within 30 days of the citation issuance, pay 65 percent of the assessed fine.” Thus, California law allows a 35 percent reduction on nursing home fines, yet the state is routinely allowing a 59 percent discount — and collecting only 41 cents on the dollar, according to the state audit.
Ok, great, that should be looked into for sure. But, is this really what the problem is with our finances?