LAO: Cut CDCR’s OT budget in half

Feb 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Budget, Employee Abuse, Paco's Podium, Spotlight
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CDCR “overstated” overtime needs

The Legislatures budget watchdog says CDCR's budget request is "overstated."

The Legislature’s budget watchdog says CDCR’s budget request is “overstated.”

California fiscal analyst recommends cutting Corrections overtime proposal in half for 2014-15

Jon Ortiz | Sacramento Bee
Authorities running California’s prison system have overstated how much money they need next year to cover staff overtime, according to a new report by the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst.

Using estimates by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2014-15 budget includes $207.2 million to pay correctional officers’ OT. But the Legislative Analyst’s Office suggests that figure is double what it should be and that lawmakers should cut it by $104 million. Prison officials have other ways to fill vacancies…such as using less-expensive permanent intermittent correctional officers.

Also, the analyst said that the department has enough money to cover the difference if it uses money earmarked to fill vacant positions…(Full text at Sacramento Bee)

An overstatement is a misrepresentation, exaggeration; a lie.  And, Corrections has been playing the vacancy-overtime shell game with the state legislature for decades–Small wonder the LAO decided to say something about it this time around.

We may infer from Governor Brown’s business-as-usual budget, CPO’s should reasonably expect business as usual:  New hires will be predominately P.I.E.’s, ‘overtime-avoidance’ protocols will reappear and the game of vacant post musical chairs will continue and, indeed,  flourish.   Proving, once again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

But  what of budget reform?  Is it really wise to employ a system wherein agencies routinely submit inflated “over-stated” budget needs to an agency which exists largely to catch the lies and offer realistic numbers?

Would it not be wise to establish penalties to discourage budget offices from presenting fluff budgets?  After all, the intention of fudging the numbers is to have funds available for unauthorized expenditures.  And, again, over-stated budgets are nothing more than DOCUMENTED LIES perpetrated to skirt Constitutional checks and balances!  There ought to be a law.

If the government code required a penalty of, say, 10% of the “overstated” sum and deducted it from the agency’s final budget, I daresay Governors, Agency Secretaries and  Directors will take steps to ensure future budget proposals are accurate and truthful.

But this is the way California does business–The consistent and utter lack of legislative outrage over faux finances ensures the game will continue. -

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6 Comments to “LAO: Cut CDCR’s OT budget in half”

  1. JC says:

    If the legislators stopped giving raises to their over-paid 20yr old aides, there would be more money for infrastructure, both in and out of the DOC.

  2. Bob Walsh says:

    It’s all just a shell game, but as long as it is played with OPM (other peoples money) nobody important seems to care.

  3. kl2008a says:

    Here’s a unique and utterly strange solution to the problem – hire enough employees to fill ALL the vacant positions and only use PIE’s (hire enough of them too) to cover sick call ins and OT behind training (the budget needs to ACCURATELY the number of MANDATED training hours as that is typically budgeted at an overtime rate and rarely acknowledged by HDQ and Legis money handlers). What eludes me is how every year the bean counters fail to know and/or recognize how many employees that are reaching the eligibility age for retirement, or the average percentage of employees that retire due to medical issues and factor those numbers into the hiring and retention rate and move forward accordingly. Now, did you get all that? If you want me to repeat it reread the comment.

    • pacovilla says:

      You nailed it. However, I believe hiring permanent Full Time Officers in fully sanctioned Vacation Relief, Holiday Relief and Sick Relief positions is better in the long run. PIE’s, as I have ALWAYS said, should not exist in the peace officer ranks. Their existence creates an incentive to hire unneeded staff who cannot make a living.

      • kl2008a says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Vacation Relief, Holiday Relief and Sick Relief positions are budgeted but rarely filled as each Inst. tries to beat the budget game by “saving” money where in reality they are paying 3 times as much out behind OT. As for PIE’s remember the fiasco from @15 years ago where there were so many PIE’s that some were lucky to get an 8 hour shift in one pay period. Many folks lost a lot when they gave up their full time jobs to become a PIE with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads only to have to go on welfare and lose their homes because there wasn’t enough work at some joints. The other big scam is the Retired Annuitant game. While I understand its use, IMHO it is wrong. In this day and age, no one is irreplaceable. Bottom line on that subject – I see them as old time SCAB workers who take the jobs from others.

  4. Towelmaster says:

    It was all spent on towels at chcf and taco truck lard. And fixing walls that that one girl in the warehouse runs into. And oh wait theres more, crayons and paper spoons and plastic for the food trays, and that one supervisors meds.

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