Casting the lone vote against Governor Brown’s proposal to shift state responsibilities to the counties and increase taxes, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich had a lot to say regarding the realignment.
“Shifting the state’s budget problems to local government and then offering to take them back through contracting is an illusion from a magician’s bag of tricks. Clearly, shifting these programs is not cost-neutral — otherwise why shift them at all? If contracting with the state means it would cost local governments more money out of their own general funds, then we ought to be concerned about what the state is proposing both fiscally and operationally.”
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“There is no constitutional guarantee that the state won’t back out funding from existing programs to fund new programs. This is the same state that wants us to take more of their responsibilities with the promise to pay it back when it already owes the county over a half a billion dollars. The state’s track record is full of empty promises and hollow reform.”
With regard to shifting certain prisoners to county jails, Antonovich said, “At one point, the state was talking about shifting only those offenders sentenced up to two years in prison — but now, it has grown to three years.”
Antonovich suggested structural reforms for the state. “The state has a structural deficit that cannot be closed with temporary taxes or temporary spending cuts — or the smoke and mirrors being proposed today. Governors across the nation are making the hard choices and implementing meaningful structural reform. In California , however, we are still burdened by overspending, except now shifting that burden to every city, county and school district already suffering. We need structural reforms and an end to the overspending that has led to this fiscal crisis.”