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Sep 2008
CSAC Opposes the Prop. 5 "Fiscal Train Wreck"

Sacramento - The Board of Directors of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) voted today to formally oppose Proposition 5 on the November ballot because of the initiative's staggering cost to state and local government. CSAC's Board of Directors is comprised of a County Supervisor representing each of California's 58 counties. Only one Board Member dissented from the motion to oppose Proposition 5. CSAC is one of the most prominent and respected local government organizations in the Golden State and its endorsements on issues is considered key.

Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, who represented the NO on Prop. 5 campaign at the meeting, described the ballot measure as a "fiscal train wreck" that will exacerbate the current fiscal crisis for state and local governments and will blow an even bigger hole in the current state budget - which hasn't even yet been approved by the state Legislature - and lead to drastic cuts in existing human service programs.

Scully pointed out to the Board that, "the state doesn't have the money to transfer 150 million dollars on January 1 and it won't have the 460 million dollars that must be transferred from the state budget next July 1 to pay for Prop 5. Prop 5 mandates that more than 1/2 billion dollars be transferred in the first six months for the "start-up" costs of this program."

She continued, "Where will the state get this half billion? Where the state always gets it - by taking it from local government and cutting funding for human service programs that counties are required to implement. Either way - Prop 5 -- becomes a mandated program exempt from the annual budget act or cuts by the Legislature or the Governor. If it passes, only another voter initiative can reduce or eliminate the spending."

"The proponents also say there will be more money for drug treatment. That's true only if you consider taking money away from other programs as new money. Prop 5 doesn't create any new streams of funding - it just redirects money while depriving other human service programs of the funding they need to care for the people who aren't committing crimes and getting arrested -- and -- it makes drug treatment for criminal defendants a state priority almost on par with education," Scully concluded.

CSAC is the latest group to oppose Proposition 5. The NO on Proposition 5 campaign is a coalition of drug treatment and rehabilitation advocates and experts, community leaders, MADD, civil rights organizations, crime victim groups, drug prevention organizations and California's leading law enforcement organizations.



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