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Which Path for Governor's State Agency Consolidation Plans: Budget Process or Reorganization Plan?

February 3, 2012
In Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed FY 2012-13 Budget he included a comprehensive proposal to reorganize state government, including the elimination of two state agencies, 39 state entities and nine programs. What remains unclear is how discussions on this component of the Governor's budget will ultimately proceed.

The League originally noted this proposal in the Jan. 5 CA Cities Advocate story " 'Technical Glitch' Forces Early Release of Gov. Jerry Brown's FY 2012-13 State Budget Proposal."

Gov. Brown is currently exploring two options for accomplishing his reorganization. The first option would be to make the changes within a budget trailer bill and the second option is to submit a Governor's Reorganization Plan (GRP).

Budget Process

If the Governor continues to pursue the changes within the budget, the Senate and Assembly will address the reorganization within budget subcommittees. This process would allow the Legislature to make changes to the plan.

Staff to the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees indicated several weeks ago that they plan to address the Governor's plans for reorganization during regular meetings this year as part of the budget process; but there are some indications that may be changing.

The Assembly Budget Committee issued a report on the Governor's budget Tuesday which notes the lack of available detail on the Governor's plan. The report also includes concerns including:

  • Whether it is appropriate for the committee to address reorganization issues as part of the budget process or if a GRP is required.
  • The lack of data supporting the rationale for the proposed consolidations including possible cost savings.
  • Whether the proposed reorganizations would ultimately benefit the state or if they would undercut long-term goals like SB 375.

Governor's Reorganization Plan (GRP) Process

If the Governor chooses to submit a GRP he will first be required to submit his plan to the Little Hoover Commission for analysis. The Little Hoover Commission then has 30 days to analyze the plan and report its recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature. After the Little Hoover Commission report has been submitted the GRP is sent to the Legislature.

Once the GRP is received by the Legislature it is given a number (e.g. GRP No. 1) and referred to legislative policy committees in both the Senate and Assembly. If the Legislature does not adopt a resolution to reject the plan within 60 days it becomes effective on the 61st day. Under this process the Legislature would have no authority to amend the plan.

Next Steps

While it is still unclear what process Gov. Brown will use to move his reorganization plan forward, the League will continue to report on this issue as details become available.

last updated : 2/3/2012

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