In a story that appeared in Sunday morning’s Sacramento Bee, Steinberg said he hopes to aid social services by transferring more responsibilities from the state to California counties.
“If anybody thinks that we can triage our way through another chapter of the state budget, I wholeheartedly disagree,” Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, told The Bee.
“The argument will be made that restructuring, realignment is too complicated,” he said. “But compared to what? I don’t see a pathway that doesn’t involve significant restructuring of what the state should do, and what other entities of government should do.”
The newspaper reports that change would put more control into local hands, with the states still giving a portion to counties to finance social programs. The idea would also mean counties could – by majority vote – choose to tax themselves to fund services.
According to The Bee, “Steinberg said he’s identified some of the kinds of social programs that could be shifted more to counties – senior care and children’s services among them – but has no details to disclose less than three weeks from the Legislature’s June 15 deadline to approve a budget.”
The Legislative Analyst’s Office has recommended in multiple reports that legislators consider choosing certain programs to shift to county control.
Paul McIntosh, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties, told the newspaper that he thinks counties “can run things better” but “we’re gun-shy” about taking on more responsibility because financing can be volatile.
The Bee did a good job giving further background and information regarding the conversation around the shift. Read the full story here.