Governor Brown recently addressed the CSAC Board of Directors at a meeting in Sacramento and the governor is no doubt pleased with the outcome of discussions, as CSAC ultimately agreed to suspend its own initiative that would have sought to secure funding for realignment. Brown made his case to county leaders and urged them to hold off on pushing forward their own separate initiative due to confusion it could cause on the ballot and the opposition of the education lobby on the issue, which could lead to an expensive campaign. Brown noted that his initiative, which would raise taxes and therefore provide funding to counties, contains the same elements of the CSAC-sponsored plan.
That being said, CSAC did not yet vote on whether it would support the governor’s tax proposal. Such a decision will be made at a future meeting.
The governor also vowed to protect counties from a financial standpoint due to the additional responsibilities they have taken on. He also noted that he wants to expand realignment in the future and further shift programs, such as in-home support services. Brown commented, “We want to look at taking over the health, the In-Home Supportive Service, the Medi-Cal, and maybe switching on some of the welfare. So, we're working on that for something we might do next year. We really want to clean up the relationship between state and local government."
One of the governor’s points of persuasion was that his tax initiative would have a broad coalition of support and raise more revenue, and it has already attracted lucrative campaign donations. Brown also noted that if both CSAC and the governor’s initiative plans were to fail, then it could damage relations between the two, as he stated, “If you lose and I lose, and we're starting to squabble. That's not good, is it?"
So while CSAC is getting behind the governor’s plan, there is still some level of risk involved because if it fails, then the opportunity to ensure constitutional protection would not be available until November of 2014.