Considering the problems California has had with the prison realignment mess, deciding to respond to court order to further reduce its prison population by obtaining ore prison beds rather than early releases, as this first article from the Sacramento Bee reports, is wise, though some in his party disagree, as this second Bee story notes.
An excerpt from the first Bee story.
Gov. Jerry Brown, laboring under a federal court order to reduce California’s prison population by nearly 8,000 inmates, proposed Tuesday to spend hundreds of millions of dollars housing those inmates in local lockups and out of state.
The administration estimated the cost of the plan at $315 million this budget year – just less than one-third of the state’s general fund reserve – and $415 million each of the following two years.
The proposal was met immediately with resistance from liberal advocacy groups and from the Democratic leader of the Senate.
It is also a reversal for Brown, who said as recently as January that California’s limited resources are better spent on education and rehabilitation and that there is “enough money in the criminal justice system.”
Following a series of legal setbacks and the looming prospect of inmate releases, however, Brown said he had no better choice.
“This is the sensible, prudent way to proceed,” Brown said at a news conference at the Capitol.
The Democratic governor was flanked by law enforcement officials, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, and Republican leadership from both houses.
Conspicuously absent from the stage was Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Steinberg plans to present an alternate prison proposal this morning, which his spokesman said has the support of all Democrats in the state Senate and would cost “much less” than Brown’s plan.
That sets the stage for a showdown during the final two weeks of the legislative session, as lawmakers work to advance the conflicting prison plans before the Legislature adjourns on Sept. 13.