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California spends millions in late-payment fees

• LA Times
 The state has shelled out more than $8 million in late-payment penalties to vendors, contractors and others over the last two years because Sacramento did not send the checks when they were owed, records show.

The late budget last year was one reason bills didn't get paid when they were due, but not the only one. Confusion over which offices should make payments, delays in invoices being sent from field offices to headquarters and shortages of staff to pay the bills also are responsible.

At a time when the state is slashing services to parks users, the disabled and domestic violence victims, taxpayer advocates said Monday that the waste of millions of dollars on late fees is inexcusable.

"There shouldn't be any reason why the state can't pay its bills on time," said David Kline, of the watchdog group California Taxpayers' Assn. "It's disappointing that tax dollars are being wasted on penalties that should be avoidable."

The penalties are mandated under

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