SACRAMENTO — The California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown agreed to and passed a state budget last night. However,the State Budget agreement cuts $48 million in guaranteed funding for Orange County. The County released a statement yesterday that pointed out the problem.
“The proposal before the California Legislature would cut $48 million that Orange County receives from Vehicle License Fees,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Campbell. “The loss of revenue would force the County to make major program cuts that would affect public safety programs in the Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department and Office of the District Attorney. At its core, this will mean the County will have to close jail beds, reduce the number of prosecutors in courtrooms and close juvenile detention facilities. It would also mean significant cuts to critical public health programs including community clinics and social services. This action threatens the viability of core safety net services at a time when people need these services most of all.”
Orange County has already made dramatic cuts to its programs over the past four years in response to the economic downturn. The County has demonstrated fiscal responsibility by four consecutive years of Net County Cost reductions and by reducing the number of budgeted employee positions by 1,400 over the last four years while handling increased caseloads in many safety net service areas. This diversion of funding from Orange County threatens the ability of the County to main a minimum level of service and may jeopardize public health and safety.
Ironically, the Board of Supervisors yesterday approved a balanced County budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12.
Senator Lou Correa voted against the trailer bill. Brian Joseph of the Orange County Register reports that Assemblymember Jose Solorio, who was one of the only two to vote for the trailer bill sent out a text message stating; said in a text message that “Speaker Perez and budget staff [have] agreed to work with me on finding a fix to the unintended consequences.”