WASHINGTON — Congress appeared poised Thursday to continue compensating state and local governments for incarcerating illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, ignoring President Obama's call to eliminate such payments.
That would spare strapped California from another hit on its budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to provide $228 million nationwide next year, acting a week after the House voted to allocate $400 million, the same as this year.
Once the full Senate acts, negotiators from both chambers will meet to reconcile their differences.
California, which receives about 40% of the money, still could end up with less than it received this year.
"That's better than nothing," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
The funds are included in the annual bill funding the Justice and Commerce departments and science programs.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will try to persuade congressional negotiators to provide the full $400 million, said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the California Department of Finance.