I am outraged by your editorial "Jail Funds Pawn of Power Play" (June 22). Your cheap-shot references to my so-called political grandstanding totally ignore my strong legislative record in support of county jail construction and the fact that I am the only Orange County assemblyman with a large jail already located in my district. Let me set the record straight.
In 1984, Orange County could not get one dime from the state Board of Corrections, which at the time was responsible for allocating over $500 million in Proposition 16 county jail bond funds. Further, Orange County could not move a bill through the Legislature to get any money either--until I stepped in and successfully pushed through a statewide county jail allocation bill that gave the county $50.2 million.
In 1985, I discovered that the Board of Supervisors, despite numerous federal court orders, had yet to find a site for a new county jail in order to house in excess of 5,000 inmates. Los Angeles County, facing the same court orders, asked me to author a bill to allow the county to "fast-track" its jail construction. This process can reduce construction time by at least two years. I agreed to carry the bill on the condition that Orange County was included. I then had to literally beg the county to participate. That bill, AB 3215, is now on the Senate floor.