10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

In a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Riverside County supervisors approved a measure supporting Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to shift some state services to California’s 58 counties.

Supervisor John Tavaglione requested the resolution.

As the current California State Association of Counties president, Tavaglione has been in negotiations with the governor over the plan, which is known as realignment and is a centerpiece of Brown’s efforts to overcome a $26 billion budget shortfall.

Under the plan, counties would take responsibility for services such as housing low-risk offenders and monitoring parolees. To pay for it, counties would receive a portion of the revenue from the proposed five-year tax extensions that Brown hopes to put before voters in June.

Tavaglione said counties can provide the services more cost effectively but still need funding to do so. Counties have long had concerns about unfunded, state-mandated programs, and local officials have worried about funding after any tax extensions expire.

The counties association negotiated a proposed constitutional amendment, which also requires voter approval, that would provide a funding guarantee in future years, Tavaglione said.

“We did achieve more than we thought we would achieve in the constitutional provisions and constitutional protections,” he said.

“There is still some risk involved. But in the end, I think counties are going to be far better off if this program moves forward.”

Supervisors John Benoit and Jeff Stone voted against the realignment resolution.

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