On politics in the Golden State

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Ballot measure would protect local public safety money from state raids

November 1, 2011 |  3:57 pm

A group of sheriffs and other local officials proposed a ballot measure Tuesday that would protect funding dedicated to help pay for public safety costs stemming from a plan shifting nonviolent felons to county jails instead of state prisons.

The statewide constitutional amendment would prohibit the state from raiding or redirecting public safety funds in the future, and bar the Legislature from shifting more responsibility to local governments unless the state provides funding to pay for the services.

The measure would go on the November 2012 ballot if supporters collect enough signatures.

"Passing a measure to protect local funding is absolutely vital to protect the public safety and to provide local law enforcement officers the resources we need to take on the added responsibility that was just shifted from the state to local government,” said Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin,  president of the California State Sheriffs Assn.

-- Patrick McGreevy