Since Orange County declared bankruptcy in 1994, it has been receiving a chunk of its vehicle license fees back. It’s money that the County has been inadvertently receiving for years, but during the latest budget crunch in Sacramento, the Legislature wised up and took back the $48 million.

The county then waged a lobby and legislative war to regain the funding, without which county services would face draconian cuts.

When those efforts failed, it left the county in a precarious position – it could either concede the money and cut vital services like its public health programs or try a legal route. The county went for the legal route.

It’s an unfortunate step in the relationship between the state and county, which one supervisor described as “dysfunctional” and included “theft.”

From the Orange County Register:

Outside lawyers are being called in by the County of Orange to see if lawmakers have any legal recourse to grab back $48 million taken by the state in June to help fix its own budget issues.

Lawmakers failed to convince state legislators to give back the $48 million before the Legislature’s session ended on Friday. With legislative relief off the table, the county is facing hundreds of layoffs and draconian cuts to county programs if it can’t find another solution.

Read the full article here.