Instead of receiving $130 million in VLF revenues, more than $80 million of which is used for police and fire services, and approximately $75 million in grants earmarked for law enforcement, cities will only receive the $75 million earmarked grants, effectively requiring cuts to local police and fire department budgets and other services. Because this bill was so last minute, legislators may not have understood the full ramifications of their vote. In fact, several new cities may be forced to disincorporate thanks to reckless legislation and disregard for transparency.
“The California Constitution requires the VLF to go to cities and counties. This legislation shifts it to fund a wide variety of state grant programs, effectively cutting local public safety funding. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs this bill, vital dollars for police, fire and every other city program will be decimated,” said Modesto Mayor and League President Jim Ridenour.
“The League has asked Governor Brown to veto SB 89 since it is effectively a shell game that was sold to legislators as a fiscally sound plan to save public safety services which will only cause deeper cuts in public safety services. It is a direct threat to public safety funding and the very existence of some new cities that were promised VLF funding,” said League Executive Director Chris McKenzie. “We strongly urge that it be vetoed and that the Administration work with the Legislature to enact responsible substitute legislation.”
League Fiscal Advisor Michael Coleman has prepared a spreadsheet of city-by-city impacts on this reckless legislation. Please click http://bit.ly/kJXp2E to access.