Gov. Brown and Speaker Pérez Push for a Rainy Day Fund Amendment

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Scott Detrow for the The California Report
Governor Jerry Brown has landed a big win in court. The three-judge panel overseeing state prisons has given the Brown Administration an additional two years to downsize the inmate population by another five thousand inmates.
In return, the Brown Administration is promising not to file any more appeals, or ask for any more time. The state is promising toexpand parole and good-time credits for prisoners, as well as anti-recidivism programs.
That’s a win for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who's pressed for spending more on programs designed to keep inmates out of jail.
"We could build all the jail cells we want. But the fact of the matter is most of the people who would reside in those cells are going to be released. And unless we deal with their underlying issues - mostly mental health and substance abuse - they’re going to return," Steinbery said.
The judges have repeatedly expressed distress about the state's delays over the years this issue has been before them. Monday’s court order empowers a “compliance officer” to release non-violent offenders, if the state doesn’t meet a series of deadlines.
Better than expected revenues continue to flood California's coffers, surpassing the estimates in the Governor's budget by $388 million dollars just in January. That's from the latest report released by the State Controller's office on Monday.
But what goes up will go down, and Governor Brown is pressing lawmakers to set up a rainy day fund. The hope is to offset the financial volatility that's plagued the state for years. 

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