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Sep 2011
Jerry Brown plans initiative to guarantee law enforcement funds

Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning he will put on the November 2012 ballot a constitutional guarantee of funding for law enforcement realignment, the shift of certain offenders from state prisons to local control.

"I'm not leaving Sacramento until we get a constitutional guarantee," Brown told hundreds of law enforcement and local government officials at Sacramento Convention Center.

Brown's speech came less than two weeks before the state's shift of some low-level offenders from state prisons to local control. Though the Democratic governor said he will veto any bill to reduce existing realignment funding, law enforcement and local government officials want a constitutional amendment guaranteeing it.

"Don't worry about the money," Brown said. "We'll get it to you one way or the other."

Brown is expected to propose tax increases to voters next year, though the components of the package remain unclear. He told reporters this morning that he does not yet know what the package will include.

"There are a lot of groups working on it," he said. "It'll come together, but we've got a few months before we have to nail it down."

Funding for realignment was a central part of Brown's failed bid this year to extend higher taxes, an effort blocked by Republicans in the Legislature.

"I'm not going to be stymied by minority opposition," Brown said. "We have to get the business of California done, and if we can't do it through the normal legislative process, thank God we have the initiative process."

Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione, president of the California State Association of Counties, called realignment a "massive shift in responsibility."

Provided adequate funding, he said, "We have the potential, I believe, to do much good."



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