Humboldt County Sheriff Gary Philp is urging Governor Schwarzenneger and California State Legislatures to restore critical funding to counties and cities. On November 17, Governor Schwarzenneger signed an executive order repealing the tripling of the vehicle license fee (VLF). In separate letters to the Governor, State Senator Wesley Chesbro, and Assembly Member Patti Berg, Sheriff Philp detailed the impact of the State’s failure to reimburse counties for the loss of the VLF backfill money; existing law requires that reimbursement. Sheriff Philp explained that without the money, critical local services such as police and fire protection, public health and other essential services are at risk.
Humboldt County alone stands to lose about $6 million. Without the VLF backfill, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is facing a loss of about $600,000. This loss is in addition to the $1.7 million cut from this year’s budget. Sheriff Philp wrote, “Simply put, a loss of this magnitude would cost us at least another ten to twelve positions, making it impossible to provide proper, basic law enforcement services to the citizens of Humboldt County and keep our communities safe.”
Currently, three bills (SBX5 1, ABX5 3, and ABX5 7) have been introduced to appropriate the backfill to local governments. Sheriff Philp urged legislatures to pass any of these bills adding that, “Every day of inaction is another day that essential public safety, health and other local services are at risk.”