Originally posted in the League of Cities Advocate Weekly

Legislators from both sides of the aisle, as well as Gov. Jerry Brown, have expressed support for continuing funding for local law enforcement grants that includes Community Option for Public Safety (COPS) programs and booking fee subventions. However, the debate continues to stall over how the programs will be funded and for how long the funding should last. The only thing presently set at this time is that the funding for the local grants will expire on June 30, per the original implementation language from the FY 2008-09 budget.

Three different bills and the Governor’s proposed FY 2011-12 budget all provide for some continuation of the funding. Those bills are AB 66 (Chesbro) (and identical special session legislation ABx1 9), AB 168 (Gorell), and AB 192 (Logue). Another bill, SCA1 x 1, sets forth the Governor’s tax extension plan that was intended for the June special election, which has now been called off.

For a side-by-side comparison of the bills compiled by the League please see the League’s website.

The League formally registered support for AB 66, which was the first bill of the group to be introduced, because it maintains the current dedicated local law enforcement share of the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) indefinitely and does not rely on an annual appropriation by the Legislature.

The two bills offered by Republican members, AB 168 and AB 192 would revert the local public safety grants back to the general fund where they were prior to the VLF extension. According to legislative staff, it is still uncertain which if any of the two bills will move forward or if a single compromise bill will be put forward.

With the Governor declaring the end of negotiations with Republicans and the June special election no longer on the table, it is unclear how the Administration plans to proceed to achieve the revenue that would have resulted from SCA1 x 1, or how a two-thirds majority can be achieved in the next three months for the successful passage of any urgency legislation. The League is studying this issue closely given the short timeline for action to preserve these vital local law enforcement grants.