Last week, Governor Brown began signing legislation that would slash more than $13 billion from the state budget. But before he was done signing all of the bills, the left one idle, the transfer of prisoners to county supervision.

That inaction demonstrates some of the struggles that Governor Brown’s realignment proposal has yet to overcome.

Issues of funding – both a question of how much and for how long – remain part of the elusive answer. And with yesterday’s announcement that negotiations had broken down, the solution may be even more challenges to create.


Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious proposal to shift responsibility for thousands of state prisoners to county jails is a complex challenge that remains elusive even as he prepares to sign legislation to launch his agenda.

The measure, a 652-page opus, is as contentious as it is complex. But generally, Brown proposes to save the state money by having the county take over supervision of low-level, non-violent offenders and parolees.

Most immediately, Brown must win legislative and voter support for his proposal to extend temporary increases in income, sales and car taxes to help pay counties to handle the new responsibilities.

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