Brown Aims To Shift Control of Some State Services to Counties
On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) began pitching a plan to shift responsibility for many state programs to county agencies as part of an effort to address California's estimated 18-month deficit of at least $25 billion, the Sacramento Bee reports (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 1/5).
When Brown previously servedÂ as governor, funding and control of services began moving from local agencies to the state after the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978.
In 1991, the state shifted about $2 billion worth of programs -- including mental health services and In-Home Supportive Services -- back to counties.
Currently, more than 70% of the funds California collects is passed on to counties and local agencies (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/5).
The new governor said his restructuring plan will involve determining ways to work around Proposition 13 (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 1/4).
He said the realignment of various services could affect:
- Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program;
- CalWORKS, California's welfare-to-work program; and
- Parole and probation services (Sacramento Bee, 1/5).
Although Brown did not provide further detailsÂ about his proposal, he said counties, mental health agencies and other groups will be involved in the plans because they will be affected by the changes (Contra Costa Times, 1/4).
Brown also said the state will direct funding to local agencies to cover the cost of the program shifts (Sacramento Bee, 1/5).
Many county leaders praised Brown's proposal because they said local agencies could provide the same services more efficiently than state government.
However, some localÂ officials expressed concern that the state will shift responsibility for various programs without providing sufficient funds for counties to run them. Such critics said the state failed to provide adequate funds when it placed the IHSS program under local control (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/4).
On Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on Brown's plan to shift some services from the state to local entities (Russ, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 1/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.