Counties generally support the notion of moving services to the level of government closest to the people; however, significant work remains to ensure that realignment- including protections and mitigations for counties – is workable and can ensure better outcomes.
“The Administration’s proposal, while still a work in progress, is a good starting point for a historic realigning of some state-run programs to counties,” said John Tavaglione, Riverside County Supervisor and President of CSAC.
CSAC sent a letter supporting the concept of the Administration’s revised realignment proposal that also details areas of concern for counties. The letter can be viewed here. http://www.csac.counties.org/images/users/1/CSAC%20Governor%20Support%20in%20Concept%20Letter%203%2006%2011.pdf
“Counties do not come to this position lightly,” states Paul McIntosh, Executive Director of CSAC. “We recognize both the significant opportunities and risks associated with the realignment proposal. What continues to be vital to this process is the ongoing dialogue and commitment to the partnership between the Administration and counties as we debate these challenging issues.”
County concerns include the financing of future federal law changes and judicial decisions, as well as the timing and priority of funding. Other concerns are the existing underfunding of health and human services programs and currently proposed budget changes that will affect the programs slated for realignment.
“We have a lot of work to do,” said Travaglione. “And counties are gratified to be working with the Administration on a key piece of the package: the constitutional amendment language that will presumably go before the voters in a June special election.”
To be included in the constitutional amendment are guarantees against the expansion of the financial role to be expected of the counties, funding and revenue sources, and good faith funding.
The letter did state that their support was not final, and further discussions would be needed to finalize any deal on realignment.