In his speech today before a group of government officials trying to figure out how to implement the new realignment law that shifts low-level offenders from state control to counties, Gov. Jerry Brown said, "Don't worry about the money. We'll get it to you one way or the other." That in itself is reason for California taxpayers to worry. This epitomizes the attitude in the California Capitol, where legislators and the governor spend money without worrying too much about where it will come from. Don't worry, they'll find it somewhere. Brown wasn't specific with his proposal, but he announced plans for a 2012 initiative that would constitutionally protect funding sources, which means a likely union-backed assault on the current constitutional requirement for two-thirds vote majorities for local and special taxes. It would never occur to these cash-starved officials, who have spent the last decade greatly enhancing pensions and expanding their local fiefdoms, that perhaps there are alternatives to raising taxes. Contracting out? Pension reform? Forget about it. The governor will find the money somewhere.
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