A budget proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to shift some state functions to local governments has been receiving a lot of attention. The governor's complex realignment efforts have received cautious support from some quarters but, as a former Huntington Beach City Councilman, I am aware of the potential problems such a change could have on local finances. I have been closely following the issue, and my staff here in Sacramento has been attending briefings on some of the key elements of the governor's proposal. It seems that there are more questions than answers at this point.
While I am generally supportive of returning control to local entities, we must ensure there is a secure and steady source of funding — that is key. There is some question as to whether that is the case with the governor's proposal. In addition, for realignment to work, key funding and programmatic decisions should also be made at the local level. This is how we ensure that local needs are met in the most cost effective and sensible way. (For details on the proposals, visit the Senate Republican Fiscal Office's analysis of the budget, http://cssrc.us/pubs/110113_BudgetAnalysis.pdf).