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Board to vote on realignment funding

Posted: June 5, 2012 7:00 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Los Angeles County may make a number of temporary positions permanent this week - spending nearly $91 million - in the hopes of recruiting employees to work with offenders recently transferred from state to county control.

But state funding for the next fiscal year isn't guaranteed yet as the state continues mulling its budget.

In the realignment bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2011, control of lower-level offenders - including non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenders - was shifted from state prisons to local control starting in October 2011.

The county has hired a number of temporary workers in probation, mental health and the Sheriff's Department to cope with the transfer.

The Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office is has proposed making those temporary positions permanent because, it says, some of the departments are having a hard time recruiting employees.

A vote on the issue has been scheduled for Wednesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

Anna Pembedjian, justice deputy for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, said the Probation Department and Department of Mental Health typically have problems recruiting employees. With low recruitment, the county has been relying on overtime to fill the gaps, according to the Chief Executive Office.

The state allocated $124.5 million for its first fiscal year with realignment, but funding isn't guaranteed yet with the state's budget deadline set for June 15.

Gov. Jerry Brown has introduced trailer bill language to provide legislative protection for realignment funding, according to the Chief Executive Office.

"There is some hope that the Legislature may allocate funding for the next fiscal year, but that's not certain," Pembedjian said.

If supervisors approve changing the temporary positions to permanent positions, the item on Wednesday's agenda would only apply to the last six months of the fiscal year, Pembedjian said.

Another vote would be needed for the next fiscal year.
"That is the reason the board decided to implement this temporary position until there was a funding guarantee," Pembedjian said.

If the positions were made permanent but funding was not provided in future years, then the departments would have to downsize and follow the county's layoff procedure, Pembedjian said.

The Board of Supervisors will meet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Board Hearing Room, 381B at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles.





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