|Budget Issue:||General Fund expenditures for correctional facilities.|
|Program:||Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Delete the $23.9 million General Fund appropriation proposed by the Governor for two previously approved capital projects, as well as for planning and minor projects, and instead support these projects from funds already appropriated from the General Fund in Chapter 7, Statutes of 2007 (AB 900, Solorio).|
The Governor’s budget provides a total of $23.9 million in additional General Fund support to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for two previously approved capital projects required by the federal court in the Coleman v. Schwarzenegger case pertaining to inmate mental health care, as well as for various minor projects and planning. Specifically, the budget includes (1) $12.5 million for the construction of treatment and office space for Enhanced Outpatient Program inmates at California State Prison, Sacramento, (2) $6.3 million for the construction of small management exercise yards in Psychiatric Service Units and Security Housing Units throughout the state, (3) $2 million for planning and studies (including the development of budget packages for future projects), and (4) $3.2 million for minor capital outlay projects.
Rather than appropriate additional General Fund resources for these projects and activities, we believe it would be more advantageous to use the funds already appropriated from the General Fund in Chapter 7, Statutes of 2007 (AB 900, Solorio). Specifically, AB 900 appropriated $300 million from the General Fund for infrastructure projects and planning. As of December 2009, CDCR has spent only $88 million of that $300 million, thus leaving a balance of $212 million available to support additional capital projects. Accordingly, we recommend that the Legislature fund the above projects and activities with the AB 900 General Fund appropriation and thereby achieve $23.9 million in General Fund savings. We note that in adopting the 2009-10 budget, the Legislature took a similar action to use the existing available funding from AB 900.