Skip to comments.CA: New report proposes sweeping overhaul of state government (CPR document released)
Posted on 07/30/2004 1:13:21 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A plan to reorganize state government that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will release next week will propose eliminating one third of the state work force, hundreds of state boards and commissions while possibly saving $32 billion over the next five years.
Details in the 2,500-page report obtained Friday by The Associated Press also include contracting out government work to private contractors and requiring college and university students perform community service.
Months in the making, the sweeping report by the California Performance Review Board is already being called a power grab by critics and would mark the biggest reorganization of government since the 1960s. If approved by the Legislature, it would change everything from how soon children can enter kindergarten to greatly increasing the amount Californians could win in pooled lotteries with other states.
"California's spirit is alive and well, but in one vital area the state is ailing," the report states. "Once the envy of the nation, today our state government fails the people of California, and it fails the men and women who have given their careers to its service."
Officials involved in the reorganization effort declined comment Friday, and a Schwarzenegger aide also said the governor hasn't received a copy of the report yet, and didn't expect to see it until it was released on Tuesday.
Bill Leonard, a member of the Board of Equalization and a former legislator who was briefed on the report last month, said the report is "looking for less boards and commissions and a flatter organization chart, where the lines of responsibility would be clearer."
The report's reform proposals suggests a massive consolidation of state operations by combining 11 agencies and 66 departments into 11 major departments.
State finances would be controlled by a federal-style Office of Management and Budget, while a Public Safety and Homeland Security Department would oversee all law enforcement authorities who wear a badge, from fish and game investigations to the California Highway Patrol. The plan proposes creating a massive new infrastructure department to oversee water, energy, growth, housing and transportation issues in a state of 36 million people expected to reach 50 million by 2040.
Finally, it would create new super-departments to oversee the environment, commerce and consumer protection. Another would oversee health and welfare programs, now one of the state's biggest costs at $24.6 billion a year.
The report compiled in secret by 275 state employees, administration officials and consultants, has been delayed until Schwarzenegger won legislative approval for a $105 billion budget he expects to sign Saturday.
Schwarzenegger's California review resembles a National Performance Review started a decade ago by former President Clinton, who credited his panel with saving taxpayers billions of dollars by streamlining the federal bureaucracy and reinventing government operations.
In January, the governor promised to "blow up" the various boxes of state government, and he has also pitched a variety of government reform ideas, such as replacing the state's full-time Legislature with part-time lawmakers.
"The overall tone and tenor of the performance review is to put more power under the executive branch," said Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.
The report's release Tuesday will kick off a monthslong process that includes five statewide hearings before the commission's 21 members in August and September. Afterward, the state's government watchdog, the Little Hoover Commission, will make recommendations to Schwarzenegger and the Legislature.
Next year, Schwarzenegger will propose a final version of his plan to the Legislature.
A summary of the plans to reorganize public education includes granting broader powers to the governor's secretary of education. It also recommends the secretary head a new Department of Education and Workforce Preparation and "develop, implement and disseminate coherent policy" for public education through the community college level. The more powerful education secretary would be charged with ensuring that California's education programs are effective and with evaluating the state's labor market to guarantee a supply of skilled workers.
The plan differs slightly from a proposed master plan for education that's languishing in the Legislature, which would put the Department of Education under the secretary, instead of the elected superintendent. The superintendent, under the master plan, would have more of an inspector general role, ensuring the education programs implemented by the secretary, the board and the department were effective.
Both the master plan and the performance review put secretary in charge of policy, which both say makes the governor more accountable for public schools' successes and failures.
In turn, the state would abolish its elected state superintendent of public instruction, who oversees the state Department of Education, and its 11-member governor-appointed Board of Education which sets such state education policy as academic standards.
The report also suggests changing the state constitution to abolish 58 county school superintendents and boards of education.
All of this is easy posturing, critics said Friday.
"It's very facile and easily glib to say 'Combine 'em all and save something on personnel,'" said former assemblywoman and now Board of Equalization Chair Carole Migden.
Merging the board, Franchise Tax Board and Employment Development Department ignores the fact all "have separate functions, separate areas of expertise," Migden said. "It's a diversion of attention away from the real problem, which are rampant, runaway tax giveaways."
Fellow board member Leonard, a Republican, said he was excited about the plan.
"It would be so much easier if there was just one board and one phone number" for taxpayers to call, he said.
On the Net: Visit the California Performance Review online at http://cpr.ca.gov/
Watchout for that ol Boogyman... Irrational Exuberance!!!
Politics and manure always seem to go together!
Here we are talking about downsizing the state government employees by 33%, and abolishing over 100 commissions, and you call anyone who is glad to hear it, irrationally exhuberant. Just what do you see wrong with restructuring the government downward?
Not Ronald Reagan, George Dukmajian, Pete Wilson or any other California state Governor has proposed this degree of downsizing that I know of, and all you can do is go "ho-hum"? What the hell is wrong with you folks?
Nunez knew he had to say something cause his phone was ringing off the wall from those who might lose their state positions.
But Arnoold has them in a box, since the budget bill has been passed and he signs it tomorrow, and now he can start cutting and reorganizing and their complaints will be muted.
He is not removing programs , just removing people.....
How do the DemonicRats fight this?
"super-departments to oversee the environment, commerce and consumer protection. "
I think this is very clever. By putting the environment and commerce in the same Dept., he is forcing the environmental subdept. to balance those changes with the impact on business.
Arnie is very clever, as some of us kept saying so.
With Arnold's help, we may yet have a Republican sweep, including Bush carrying California.
I would just love to see that!
The Dems would all selfdestruct instanteneously also, after that happened.
There may in fact be a downside aspect of this exercise, but for the life of me I can't understand people who don't see any benefit from cutting 1/3rd of the California State employees and over 100 commissions.
It all goes back to people getting their feelings hurt and not being big enough to admit that there may in fact be some benefits to Californians even if they fair hair boy didn't win.
If Arnold pulls this off, I would hope that it would eliminate the animosity that has surrounded this subject for coming on a year now. The fact that he would even try this should still more than a few wagging tongues.
Well... I don't know who said this, but while you're imagining 1/3rd of the CA state employees (I refuse to call it a "workforce!") plus 100 commissions being put out of commission... Imagine almost one third of the land-mass being put under GANG-GREEN NGO Groups land-use control with the main thrust being converting private ownership to state ownership!!!
That sure ain't no danged "weat dream!" (I think you left an "h" outta there, right after the dubya) It's more like a "WETLANDS DREAM" and I don't see everybody on FR gettin in front of him, tellin him to STOP THIS CRAPPOLA!!!
THAT would make me "happy" my FRiend!!! I want a "set-back" for GANG-GREEN, NOT an enhancement by a goofed-up, mis-informed Governor, no matter which stripe he/she may be! I want government to leave me ALONE for once and tell all these creeple people to stop agitating for socialization/commonization of private property... THAT's what will make me "happy," my FRiend!!!
Can you understand that???
There's nothin wrong with us folks! We're just not as niave and impressionable by celebrities and politicians as you seem to be... That's all!!!
Take a valium and call me in the morning for a new prescription if you haven't become rational by that time. The Dr. has left the building for awhile...
Now... I would be as tickled pink, well... wait a minute, that's too close to red for me, if he were even half-way successful with radical stuff like this!!! If you have any sense at all, you'd realize that this is extremely far-fetched and a "long-bomb" (as in football) to unhinge the establishment and shake things up for awhile.
Hey! If it helps... I'm for it, but if it screws up rural counties even more than they already are after Earl Warren got done wrecking our representation... I'm gonna criticize till the danged cows come home!!! (and beyond... Way, WAY BEYOND!!!)
You sad fellas are trying to have it both ways. If Schwarzenegger doesn't propose something you're angry about it and claim that McClintock would have.
When he does propose something we have desired for decades, you state there's no way in hell he'll get it through.
Let me guess, you think this is a rational adult way to approach issues.
Oh... I know what it is...
The point is, that we should praise the things he does good, and take him to the woodshed on things he does that are bad. What's so difficult about that concept?
How do you expect to get politicians to do something you want them to, if you're going to slam them 365/24/7 not matter what?
You want him to move your direction on land issues. Why should he if you can't even voice support for the prospect of cutting the government?
It occurs to me that you must be silenty praying these cuts don't work out. An absolute miracle would have happend and you would still refuse to admit it. That's a pretty tough position to be in for a guy that thinks he's a conservative.
If this is going to pass, everyone's support will be needed. For a guy that wants everyone to pony up to the cause of his choice, this shouldn't be such a tough concept for you.
Now it's gotten to the point that you're implying I'm a groupied because I want state government cut by a third.
You McCintock folks have finally come unhinged.
We all want state government cut... but how can you support something (or expect others to support it) when you don't even know what it is? It is a yet-to-be-disclosed, 2500 page report, put together in secrecy by 275 unnamed/undisclosed individuals. At this point, we don't know how the recommendations were developed, the nature of the proposed changes, or the magnitude of those changes.
You imply that Arnold needs our support on this. Well, according to the story, he hasn't even seen it yet... we don't even know if HE supports it.
The AP story says it might save 12,000 jobs (through attrition), and could save up to $32 Billion over 5 years. Now... excuse me for not jumping up and down, but this represents an annual reduction of less than 6%. That would roughly get us back to Gray Davis' spending level last year! He may want to cut the workforce by 1/3, but this proposal obviously supplements that labor force with other monies because $32 Billion over 5 years certainly does not cut "state government by a third", as you state.
I am hopeful that there will be some meaningful reform in this report that can be implemented. I will wait, however, until I have something to evaluate before forming an opinion, positive or otherwise.
"You McCintock folks have finally come unhinged."
What do you mean, finally? ;)
A while ago Arnold did something that normally conservatives would cheer, and I made a casual remark, along the lines of hoping that the conservatives would applaud this, and it turned into a thread with hundreds of posts bashing me for being "divisive" for suggesting that one would think conservatives would applaud, when Arnold does something that conservatives want.
I think the truth is that they really DID want Bustamante and just like the Gore folks, can't accept defeat.
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