California downsizes DC lobbyists

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger walks with his entourage after meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius near the US Capitol on May 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Budget problems mean California lobbyists will soon have a decreased presence in the capital.

California’s budget woes are squeezing the state’s lobbying efforts in DC.

The State of California has an office right down the street from the US Capitol. If you call, you get this message: "You have reached the Washington, DC office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger."

State lobbyists troll the halls of Congress, pressing for federal cash and regulatory changes to help California. But the red ink in Sacramento means a much smaller presence on Capitol Hill. The current staff of six will be cut back. According to officials from the Schwarzenegger administration, new governor Jerry Brown will reduce the lobbying staff to as few as two.

That’ll save money now, but could hurt the state’s efforts to compete for federal dollars down the line. Other states like New York and Florida will now have more lobbyists in DC than California does.

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