The budget proposes to offload state responsibilities like public safety and health services onto local governments, funding them for five years with money raised if voters approve the extension of tax hikes in June.
This would include eliminating the California Division of Juvenile Justice. Local governments would be expected to house and manage the juveniles as well as to house non-violent adult offenders. It’s questionable whether local governments can handle this or if the money from the state will be adequate. Also, it’s unclear what happens after five years. Other shifting of responsibility includes rural fire fighting, mental health care, and related services. Of course the tax extensions must be approved for this to happen. There’s been no word on backup plans should the measure fail.
While moving responsibilities from the state to local entities may help the state budget, it simply dumps them on governments that are already having severe budget problems. Are the local governments mandated to take the responsibilities or can they say No? What levels must they fund at, if any? This seems a desperation measure, and the results of it may not be beneficial for Californians.