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Governor Seeking Constitutional Amendment

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Sacramento, CA — Noting that details are still being worked out, Governor Jerry Brown indicated that he will call for a Constitutional amendment that would guarantee funding for his controversial public safety realignment plan.

California must reduce its prison population by over 30,000 over the next two years. Some inmates that would have gone to prison will be housed at county jails, or be monitored by local probation departments.

There are still questions about where the funding will come from to shift many responsibilities from the state to local level. It was indicated that the Constitutional amendment could have a tax increase tied to it.

“We do need more funding at the state level, and that’s why I proposed certain tax extensions last year,” said Brown. “Because of the gridlock we didn’t get it, but sooner or later I believe the people will have the chance, and will vote for, some additional funding.”

The Governor’s Office says the total funding provided to counties this year for the law enforcement realignment will be $5.6 billion, and it is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2014.

It was noted that inmates that are currently in prison will not be released early. The changes will apply to so-called low level offenders that would have entered the prison system over the next couple of years.

Brown stated that there is no other choice but to look forward. Since it was a Supreme Court ruling that California must reduce the prison population, he said the state has no choice but to act.