State Announces Proposition 36 Allocations to Counties
State officials announced Wednesday that they will send counties the first payment of $60 million to implement Proposition 36, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Each county will receive a share of the funding based on its population, the number of drug arrests and the number of addicts in treatment. Proposition 36, which takes effect July 1, calls for non-violent first- and second-time drug offenders to be placed in treatment programs instead of jail. "Our goal is to move the money into county hands so they can begin the planning and ramp-up processes as soon as possible," Maria Caudill, spokesperson for the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, said. Los Angeles County received the largest allocation, $15.8 million. By March 1, each county must "designate an agency" to run its program and establish a "local trust fund" for its allocation before the state releases the funds (Pope, San Jose Mercury News, 1/4). Each county will also have to decide how to allocate its share among various agencies, which could lead to disputes between drug treatment providers and county probation departments, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan predicted that "[t]here will be politics" among county supervisors responsible for dividing the money, but said he hopes that the state Legislature will make the division of funds less contentious "by approving more money this spring to beef up county probation offices and pay for drug tests" (Thompson, AP/Contra Costa Times, 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.