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Cox Cautiously Optimistic About Governor’s Plan To Shift Services From State To Counties

Audio

Aired 1/6/11

San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox reacted with cautious optimism to Governor Jerry Brown’s strategy of cutting costs by shifting responsibility for some services to counties.

San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox is cautiously optimistic about Gov. Jerry Brown’s strategy of cutting costs by shifting responsibility for some services to counties.

Cox said he’s encouraged the governor is already talking with counties about how to realign government -- to give more local control over services like child welfare and public health.

He said he doesn’t think the governor is asking counties to take on additional responsibility without any money to do it.

“I think the bigger question is: Are there things that we’re doing right now where the state is siphoning off a lot of money for administrative overhead that could be pushed down to the local government,” Cox said. “ Give us a reasonable amount of money to provide those services, even if it’s at a diminished level.”

Cox said the state should hold counties accountable for meeting standards, and give incentives to counties who go above and beyond expectations. He did not mention sanctions for counties who fail to meet those standards.

For example, he said, San Diego has a higher adoption rate than some other California counties, but still lags behind in food-stamp participation rates.

Cox said one problem could be federal grants that depend on matching funds from the state could stop if the state pulls out of administering programs.

Specific impacts on San Diego will be clearer when the governor releases his budget next week.

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