Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill

Military Department (8940)

The Military Department is responsible for the command and management of the California Army, Air National Guard, and four other related programs. To support the operations of a force of 23,000, the department maintains a headquarters complex in Sacramento, 127 armories, 33 equipment maintenance facilities, and 10 air bases throughout the state.

The missions of the National Guard are to provide combat-ready forces to the federal government at the direction of the President, to contribute emergency public safety support at the direction of the Governor, and to otherwise assist the community as directed.

The 2002-03 Governor's Budget proposes departmental expenditures of $560 million. Of that sum, $521.7 million would come from the federal government, although only $57.6 million in federal funds would be appropriated through the budget bill. The remainder of the federal funds are allocated directly to the National Guard by the federal government. The budget bill also authorizes $34.3 million from the state General Fund, a decrease of $7.8 million, or 19 percent, in the budget year. The balance of the request ($4 million) is from reimbursements and a special fund.

Legislation Proposed to Change Turning Point Academy Eligibility Criteria

We withhold recommendation on the $2.9 million budgeted for the Turning Point Academy pending our review of the administration's proposed legislation to expand the eligibility criteria.

Background. The Turning Point Academy (TPA) is a residential military academy at Camp San Luis Obispo for juvenile offenders found to have committed an offense at school for which expulsion is mandatory ("zero-tolerance" offenses). The academy was established by Chapter 366, Statutes of 2000 (SB 1542, Schiff), to test the effectiveness of boot camps at turning juveniles around who seem headed for a life of delinquency.

Enrollment in the TPA has continually fallen below projected levels. The academy was originally expected to enroll 360 cadets. In its second year of operation, the current year, the academy hoped to enroll 160 cadets for the entire year. However, to date, only 6 are currently enrolled.

The lower than expected enrollment is due to strict admittance criteria. In order to be admitted, cadets must be 15 or older, have no prior offenses, no mental illness or sexual problems, and be expelled from school for a firearms-related offense. In 1999-00, the latest year for which there is data available, there were only 154 students who were expelled for a fire arms-related offense. We would also note that the number of expulsions for firearms-related offenses has decreased significantly since the Department of Education began collecting these data in 1997-98 suggesting a shrinking pool of candidates.

Budget Year Uncertain. The Governor's budget proposes $2.9 million for an expected capacity of 15 cadets for each six-month period (30 total for the year). In addition, the administration is proposing budget trailer bill language to expand the admittance criteria for the TPA. At the time this analysis was prepared, the language for the proposed legislation was not available. As such, we cannot determine the level of resources necessary to fund the academy in the budget year.

Analyst's Recommendation. We withhold recommendation on the $2.9 million budgeted for the TPA pending a review of the language in proposed legislation to expand the eligibility criteria.

Federal Funding for Bridge Security Not Yet Available

We withhold recommendation on the $6 million requested in federal funds to support stationing National Guard soldiers at four California bridges because no specific federal fund source has been identified.

In response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Governor placed National Guard soldiers to provide security on four California bridges. To date, this mission has been supported by the General Fund. The Governor's budget requests $6 million in federal funds to continue the bridge security activities in the budget year.

Although there are indications at the federal level that some funding may be available to state and local governments for the costs of security in the wake of the attacks, it is not yet clear what the funding may support or the amount of the allocation available to the state. While we do not have policy concerns with the Governor's proposal, we withhold recommendation on the $6 million requested in federal funds until a specific funding source for bridge security becomes available.

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