|Budget Issue:||Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program|
|Program:||California Emergency Management Agency|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Reduce Governor's budget request for the administration of the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program by $208,000 (from $800,000 to $592,000), because the California Emergency Management Agency has not provided sufficient workload information to justify the requested level of funding.|
Under the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, the federal government provides grant funds to help support various state and local law enforcement programs, such as drug treatment, community diversion programs, and prosecution. In California, these grant funds are administered by the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA), which receives the funds from the federal government and distributes them to eligible sub-grantees. In 2009-10, as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the state received a one-time increase of $136 million for the JAG program to be distributed to sub-grantees over a four-year period. Of this amount, the Legislature appropriated $592,000 on a one-time basis in the 2009-10 Budget Act for CalEMA to administer the additional funds for the JAG program.
The Governor’s budget for 2010-11 proposes $800,000—from the estimated $4 million in the interest earned on the JAG ARRA funds—for each of the next two fiscal years to support CalEMA’s continued administration of the additional program funds. (The federal government allows states to spend interest earned on either local assistance or state operations.) At this time, however, CalEMA has not been able to provide sufficient workload information to justify the requested funding increase. Thus, we recommend the Legislature provide the same level of administrative funding as in the current year. Specifically, we recommend reducing the Governor’s budget request by $208,000 (from $800,000 to $592,000), which would “free up” additional funds for local assistance grants.