Money needed for drug proposition

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 22, 2000

SACRAMENTO — The state may need to find more money to implement the sweeping drug treatment initiative adopted by voters this month, Senate President Pro Tem John Burton said in a letter made public Tuesday. 

The ballot measure, Proposition 36, requires that those convicted of possessing or using drugs for the first or second time be sent to treatment programs instead of prison or jail. 

However, the $120 million allocated to treatment programs by the initiative may not pay for enough treatment or monitoring of drug offenders, nor will it pay for periodic drug testing, said Burton, D-San Francisco, who supported the initiative. 

“The voters of California have delivered a historic demand for change by approving Proposition 36,” Burton said in a letter to Gov. Gray Davis. He urged the governor to consider the funding shortfalls as Davis prepares the new state budget and looks toward the 2001 legislative session. 

The governor’s staff is reviewing Burton’s letter, and the requirements of the proposition, said Davis spokeswoman Hilary McLean. 

Burton also said he will create a task force of criminal justice and drug treatment experts to oversee implementation of the measure and advise the Senate.