California at ‘high risk’ of mismanaging federal COVID-19 funds, state auditor says

California
In this Aug. 12, 2019, file photo, State Auditor Elaine Howle speaks during a joint legislative committee hearing in Sacramento, Calif. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, Howle declared the state's management of federal coronavirus funding as a "high risk" issue because of the potential for waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

In this Aug. 12, 2019, file photo, State Auditor Elaine Howle speaks during a joint legislative committee hearing in Sacramento, Calif. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, Howle declared the state’s management of federal coronavirus funding as a “high risk” issue because of the potential for waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

California’s auditor says the state is at high risk of mismanaging the more than $71 billion in coronavirus aid it is getting from the federal government.

Elaine Howle said Tuesday she is invoking a state law that allows her to keep a close watch on 18 government agencies that are in charge of overseeing the spending.

Howle’s office identified more than $71 billion the state has either already received or is expected to receive from the federal government.

More than half of that money is to help the state pay unemployment benefits to millions of people who lost their jobs. 

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