Starting next month, California counties will take responsibility for low-level criminals under a program called realignment. But they’re nervous about the lack of guaranteed state funding. Governor Jerry Brown is vowing the money will be there.
The governor hopes his “realignment” plan will save the state money by shifting responsibility for non-violent offenders from the state to the counties. The state organizations of counties, sheriffs and probation chiefs support the plan. They want local officials to have the flexibility to make their own decisions. But they’re scared the state might take realignment money away.
“We are gonna get a constitutional guarantee, and I promise–you’re gonna get that!” That’s how Governor Brown reassured county and public safety officials at a realignment conference. He’s planning a November 2012 ballot measure.
In the meantime, “it’s a law now, because I signed it. And you can’t change it unless I sign onto it. So you got a pretty good guarantee,” he said.
Republicans and some public safety officials oppose the change. They believe it will put more criminals on the streets.