Legislative Analyst’s Ofce
he Governor’s budget proposes a total o $14.1 billion rom various und sources or judicial and criminal justice programs in 2014-15. his is an increase o $543 million, or about 4 percent, above estimated expenditures or the current year. he budget includes General Fund support or judicial and criminal justice programs o $11.1 billion in 2014-15, which is an increase o $348 million, or about 3 percent, over the current-year level. In this report, we assess many o the Governor’s budget proposals in the judicial and criminal justice area and recommend various changes. Below, we summarize our major recommendations, and provide a complete listing o our recommendations at the end o the report.
rial Court Funding.
he Governor’s budget proposes a $100 million General Fund augmentation or trial court operations. Given the limited availability o resources to help trial courts absorb an increasing amount o ongoing reductions in 2014-15, as well as legislative concerns regarding the likely negative impacts o such challenges on court users, we ind that the proposed augmentation merits consideration. However, we recommend the Legislature deine its priorities or how the increased unding should be spent, consider implementing more operational eiciencies, and establish a comprehensive trial court assessment program. In addition, we recommend that the Legislature modiy the existing trial court reserves policy to address some or all o the unintended challenges resulting rom the policy including issues related to cash low, contract expenditures, uture project unding, and incentives or implementing eiciencies.
Correctional Relie Staing and Overtime.
he Governor’s budget provides a total o $207.2 million in General Fund support to the Caliornia Department o Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) or correctional oicer overtime. Our analysis indicates that CDCR’s overtime budget is unnecessarily large. his is because the department can use savings resulting rom vacant positions to cover some o its overtime costs. As such, we recommend that the Legislature reduce CDCR’s overtime budget by $104 million in 2014-15. In addition, the administration proposes to revise the way it budgets or relie oicers who ill in or correctional employees that are away on leave. However, we ound several ineiciencies in the way CDCR budgets or relie oicers. For example, the department stas relie oicers based on the average amount o leave used by correctional employees annually, despite the act that there is seasonal variation in the amount o leave such employees use. Moreover, CDCR does not make adequate use o Permanent Intermittent Correctional Oicers (PICOs), who also can ill in or absent oicers, but are more lexible and cost less than relie oicers. o address these issues, we recommend that the Legislature direct the department to revise the way it stas relie oicers and PICOs.
Additional Funding or Jail Construction.
In order to address changes in the jail population related to the 2011 realignment, the Governor’s budget proposes $500 million in lease-revenue bonds or county jail construction projects. However, we ind that the