Lawmakers Seek Collaboration on Prison Health Reform
Robert Sillen, the court-appointed receiver in charge of reforming the state's prison health system, on Wednesday told the Senate budget subcommittee that he is willing to cooperate with lawmakers but "can't suffer the delays that are built into the state processes," the Sacramento Bee reports.
Appearing for the first time before the Legislature, Sillen told subcommittee Chair Mike Machado (D-Stockton) that his team "will cooperate to the degree that we can." However, Sillen said he would consider other options -- likely including federal court orders for state expenditures -- if the legislative process delays health care reform efforts in the prison system.
Machado asked Sillen to "respect the calendar we operate under" and to provide lawmakers with "as much information as possible so we can be responsive."
Sillen responded that he would provide a budget for his reform plan "as soon as we have it" but said that he could not give an estimate because "every aspect of the prison medical system is broken." He added, "[I]t's going to cost more than the body politic is going to want to spend."
Sillen also said his reform efforts would result in "immense" savings for taxpayers by curbing inefficient practices currently in place (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 2/8).