Paul McIntosh is the Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties. For more, visit The County Voice.

Last week saw little public budget activity in the Capitol, save a debate about the newly-installed “deficit clock” outside Governor Schwarzenegger’s office. The deficit clock tracks the days without a state budget and calculates the $52.3 million per day cost of inaction on the state budget, according to the Governor’s Office.

There was a bit of Twitter back and forth about the notion that the state’s budget deficit was growing by that amount daily, when the actual costs resulting from lack of a state budget instead are associated with the amount of time with which the Legislature and Governor have to enact solutions. In other words, the longer it takes to get to a budget resolution, the larger the solutions must be to close the deficit.

Speaker John Pérez on Friday announced that the four legislative leaders are, in fact, in agreement on about $11 billion in budget solutions and committed to working on creative solutions to resolve the outstanding balance. While it is a tremendously good that the leaders have been meeting and finding points of consensus, it appears that a final budget resolution is still on the horizon.

CSAC is continuing its efforts to develop policy direction on the Senate Democrats’ Restructuring Proposal. Our 2010 Realignment Working Group met again last week to discuss the reports from our technical subcommittees and focused on some of the general themes stemming from each subcommittee discussion. We will continue to work with our technical subcommittees to evaluate the detailed aspects of the proposal, but are also focused on outlining the protections that we believe are necessary to make a realignment or restructuring plan viable at the local level.

There are certainly a lot of moving parts in this game, both from a political and policy perspective. We’ll continue to navigate through our internal process and those under the Capitol dome; at the same time, we’ll do our best to get you the most up-to-date information we have.

For more, visit
The County Voice, a place where CSAC, county officials and stakeholders can voice their thoughts on governance and issues that impact California’s 58 counties.