On Thursday June 5, 2014, the Budget Conference Committee which is charged with developing the Legislature’s final budget to send to the Governor for signature, provided $9.4 million more than the Governor requested to maintain the Division of Law Enforcement’s Multi-Jurisdictional Task Forces (MTF) and to expand the Special Operations Units (SOU).
As a result of the great recession that dramatically reduced government revenues, these activities lost General Fund support in 2011. Since that time, a modest shell of these activities was maintained with federal funds.
Recent actions made federal funds no longer available for these activities. Therefore, the Attorney General requested that the Legislature provide state funds to maintain the task forces and expand the special operations units.
CSLEA has worked diligently over the last two weeks to obtain legislative support for this proposal. (See attached letter to the legislative leadership.) CSLEA worked intensively with the legislative leadership and key budget staff to explain the critical public safety need for these units.
“When I met with legislative leadership, I was pleased that the Legislature recognized the critical role in which our special agents have and can have in improving public safety," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "It is gratifying to see that recognition turn into a budget augmentation.”
While the Budget Conference Committee is still meeting, this decision could be modified. CSLEA will continue to work diligently to sustain the conference committee’s action. After that, the next major step for this augmentation is to obtain the Governor’s signature on the appropriation. (Under the State Constitution, he can reduce items included in the budget---the so-called “blue-pencil” power.) However, based on comments made by the Department of Finance, which represents the Governor at the conference committee, we believe that it is likely that the Governor will approve the augmentation.