Calif. Board Agrees To $650 Million For Projects

SACRAMENTO (AP) - A California board has agreed to modify a freeze on public works spending that it imposed last month because of the state's budget crisis.

The Pooled Money Investment Board voted 3-0 Friday to allow the state to spend $650 million to pay construction bills that were incurred before the board imposed the freeze on Dec. 17.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said the Department of Finance would determine which projects get the money.

The board's previous action held up nearly $4 billion in funding for thousands of projects ranging from carpool lanes to classrooms.

Officials said the money was needed for other state operations as lawmakers debated how to deal with a budget deficit projected to reach $42 billion by June 2010.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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