Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Conference Committee Actions on Human Services and Public Safety

Day 13 of Conference Committee completed our initial actions on the budget relating to human services and began our actions relating to public safety.

Most of the governor’s proposals in the human services budget are crying out for alternatives. Consequently, many items remain open in this area of the Conference Committee agenda. Eliminating the Multipurpose Senior Services Program, the Linkages Program, and adult day health care have huge human costs. But the conferees did reject the governor’s proposal to eliminate CalWORKS. That is a line that California cannot cross.

In public safety, we took many actions affecting our state’s court system. As a lawyer of over twenty years, I firmly believe in the importance of maintaining a fair, open, and efficient judicial system. That is why the governor’s proposal to cut General Fund support for our trial courts by 10 percent– about $168 million – must be handled with great care. The conferees approved this proposal today but with the commitment to continue working on implementation issues to assure the functioning of our courts.

Other actions adopted by Conference Committee today relating to public safety include:
• Approving the governor’s proposal to charge local law enforcement agencies lab fees for forensic services for a budget savings of $20 million;
• Approving the LAO’s proposal to cut the Bureau for Narcotics Enforcement at the Department of Justice by $20 million; and
• Rejecting the governor’s proposal to implement electronic court reporting.

The conference committee agendas for human services and public safety can be found online at the Assembly Budget Committee website at under the “Conference Agenda” tab.