Ca. Gov. Schwarzenegger Appoints Richard Rice Director of the California Recovery Task Force

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the appointment of Richard Rice as director of the California Recovery Task Force and also thanked Herb K. Schultz for his service. Schultz has been appointed by President Barack Obama as director of Region IX for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Richard Rice knows the positive impact that federal stimulus funding is having on our state,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Because of his years of experience with California’s workforce, I am confident he understands the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy. Stimulus funds are essential to getting California back on track, and I know Richard will make sure our state receives the most funding possible and that these funds are spent efficiently.”

Since 2009, Rice has served as a member of the California Board of Registered Nursing. He previously served as chair of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board from 2007 to 2008. Prior to that, Rice served as undersecretary for the Labor and Workforce Development Agency from 2005 to 2006 and was acting undersecretary and communications director from 2003 to 2005. He previously worked at the Department of Industrial Relations as public information officer from 1999 to 2003 and as deputy director from 1996 to 1999. Rice was public information officer at the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the Department of Industrial Relations from 1989 to 1996.

“Getting stimulus funding to the places it is most needed in California is my number one priority, and I look forward to doing so in my new position,” said Richard Rice. “I am thankful for the opportunity to serve California in this new capacity.”

Richard Rice, 61, of Imperial Beach, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government-journalism from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $128,000. Rice is a Republican.

“Herb has spent several years as a valued member of my Administration and I am grateful for his dedicated service,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “As a senior member of my health care team, Herb has shared my desire to reform health care in California. Additionally, his diligent efforts to ensure that California’s Recovery Act funds are used efficiently has made a lasting impact on California’s economy. The work he has done for this great state cannot be measured and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.”

Schultz, 47, of West Hollywood, served as senior advisor to the Governor, a position he has held since 2008. He has extensive experience in dealing with health and labor issues, two areas where California has received extensive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding. Previously, Schultz served as senior health policy advisor in the Office of the Governor from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, he served as vice president of government programs for McKesson Health Solutions, where he oversaw disease management and nurse advice government Medicaid and Medicare programs. Schultz previously was acting director of the California Employment Development Department, acting secretary and undersecretary for the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, deputy director of external affairs for the Department of Managed Health Care and director of the Advisory Committee on Managed Health Care.

The California Recovery Task Force, created by the Governor in 2009, is charged with tracking the Recovery Act funding coming into the state; working with President Barack Obama’s administration; helping cities, counties, non-profits, and others access the available funding; ensuring that the funding funneled through the state is spent efficiently and effectively; and maintain a Web site that is frequently and thoroughly updated for Californians to be able to track the stimulus dollars.

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