California Budget Woes Inevitable?

Katy Grimes: Gov. Jerry Brown is not the first politician in the state to offer “realignment” as a budget solution – pushing some of the state’s budget problems back down to the cities and counties, after working for nearly two decades to take control of more and more public policy.

Brown might be the latest, but he is just the most recent to use this form of budget solution. Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has been talking about “realignment” for years – and he comes from local government. It’s the ultimate form of kicking the can down the road.

An Assembly Budget committee held a hearing today about realignment – the pitfalls, possible benefits and what to watch out for, based on California history and economic realities of the current recession.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office, Department of Finance and California State Association of Cities all testified – some of it interesting, but most of it was just a bureaucratic double Frappuccino with extra frothy whipped cream, and cinnamon-hazelnut sprinkles.

I actually wrote in my notes, “blather, blather, blather,” during some of the hearing, much of which could have been found in a college government policy textbook.

Tomorrow I’ll post my story – about the LAO’s position, what the finance department says about the governor’s proposal, and even some of the blather… It makes one wonder if the legislature is just going through the motions because where we are headed is inevitable.

FEB. 14, 2011

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