Capitol Alert: VIDEO: Jerry Brown pledges 'more active role' in local government

01/23/2014 3:40 PM

01/23/2014 10:02 PM

SALINAS — One day after delivering his State of the State address, Gov. Jerry Brown was back on the road Thursday, promoting education and prison policies in what he said will be an effort to "take a more active role" in working with local agencies.

"I'm going to devote myself, to the extent I have the time, to meet with local school districts and local law enforcement authorities to make sure that the state and the localities - and the local school districts - are operating in a very creative and intelligent partnership," Brown told reporters here.

He said he will focus on the ongoing implementation of prison realignment, in which the state shifted responsibility for certain offenders to counties, and on an education funding overhaul enacted last year.

The Democratic governor met with law enforcement officials in Monterey County, as he did in a two-day swing through the San Joaquin Valley last week. Brown, who has traveled relatively infrequently during the first three years of his term, is preparing for a likely re-election bid this year.

"I want to now take a more active role in working with localities," he said, "dealing with crime and dealing with educational success."

Brown's visit followed a State of the State speech that focused on fiscal prudence and was bereft of anything approaching a new policy pronouncement, and with only the barest mention of water and high-speed rail.

"You can only say too many things, and when you write your stories I didn't want you to say, 'Today Brown said, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.' No, I only wanted you to say one thing: 'Brown said live within your means.'"

Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller, who has been critical of realignment, said the program was "painful" and exacerbated jail crowding in his county, but he said it could be successful in the future.

Of the governor, Miller said, "He has an easygoing way about him, and I know he listens."

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