February 12, 2003
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Prop. 36 Sponsors 'Disappointed'
by Davis Plan to Proceed with Realignment
Meeting with Dept. of Finance
Confirms Threat to Voter Initiative
Contact: Roberta Green, Campaign
for New Drug Policies
310 394-2952, or Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance:
SACRAMENTO, Feb. 12 -Davis Administration
representatives yesterday told Prop. 36 supporters that
they plan to proceed with "realignment" of
funds and programs begun by the initiative, effectively
ending voter-guaranteed funding levels and state oversight
of the program.
Bill Zimmerman, executive director
of the Campaign for New Drug Policies, said, "Whether
or not the governor made a mistake in proposing realignment
of Prop. 36 is no longer the issue. It is clear that
his administration is moving ahead with this plan
despite the many obstacles we have made evident."
Zimmerman continued, "We will
now organize a coalition to fight this threat to Prop.
36, and will pursue every avenue available to us to
prevent this plan from going forward. The integrity
of the voter-approved initiative is at stake."
Prop. 36, which requires drug treatment
instead of jail time for first- and second-time nonviolent
drug users, was enacted with 61% of the vote in November
2000. To pay for treatment, the measure guarantees
$120 million per year from the state general revenue
fund, for five and one-half years.
Under the existing budget proposal,
state funding would evaporate, to be replaced by unknown
amounts of money at the county level from new sales
taxes, tobacco taxes, and other revenues. Also, oversight
and auditing of local programs by the state Department
of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) would end, along
with required long-term studies of the successes and
impacts of Prop. 36.
Whitney Taylor, director of Prop.
36 implementation for the Drug Policy Alliance, said,
"Without state oversight, we will soon see Prop.
36 become a third-tier, underfunded local program.
A dropoff in treatment quality and diversity is guaranteed.
We were disappointed that the governor's staff did
not appear to grasp the severe threat their plan poses
to a successful, popular, voter-approved law."
Last week, Prop. 36 supporters notified
Gov. Davis in an attorney's letter that realignment
would violate the ballot measure and "frustrate
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