California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may move drug treatment funding under Proposition 36 to a new program that requires counties to put up $1 for every $9 they receive, reports the Sacramento Bee. Counties now don’t have to provide any money for implementing the voter-approved initiative requiring treatment instead of prison for first- and second-time drug offenders. The funding shift is under consideration as Schwarzenegger makes final decisions on the budget proposal he’ll present in January.
This idea is generating concern among county officials who would have to find money in their own financially constrained budgets to pay the additional costs for a program the voters mandated. “The counties probably would really rise up in opposition to this,” said Thomas Renfree of the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California. A Bee series on Proposition 36 highlighted problems, including studies that have found three out of four offenders sentenced to treatment under Proposition 36 never entered or completed their court ordered-programs. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen Manley, who led a Proposition 36 task force, said most counties couldn’t afford a 10 percent match for all their Proposition 36 funds.