Little Hoover Blesses Brown’s Government Reorganization Plan

The Little Hoover Commission has unanimously endorsed Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to reorganize state government, including a plan to fold the Delta Stewardship Council into the state's Natural Resources Agency.

The bipartisan commission voted 7-0 Tuesday to endorse Brown’s plan to replace five agencies with three, shuffling or eliminating some or all of the functions of several commissions and boards within the executive branch and folding the work of several departments into new or existing organizations.

The plan includes moving the independent Delta Stewardship Council, created in 2009 as part of comprehensive water legislation, under the Resources Agency. View the governor’s letter to the commission here and a summary of the plan here.

In his testimony to the commission on April 25, Resources Secretary John Laird underscored his agency’s commitment to protecting the DSC’s independence, and compared the merger to other independent agencies that are housed within Resources, such as the California Energy Commission and the California Coastal Commission.

“Nothing that is proposed changes the degree of policy independence of each individual board, but simply achieves administrative efficiencies,” he said. “This would formalize the administrative assistance that is happening already.”

He noted that the Delta Stewardship Council currently receives accounting, personnel and information technology services from Resources and is listed on the agency’s letterhead.

State law requires that the commission advise the Legislature on gubernatorial government reorganization initiatives. Either the Assembly or the Senate can block the proposal by majority-vote resolution within 60 days of the governor delivering the plan to lawmakers.

Otherwise, the reorganization becomes effective on the 61st day, in this case July 1. It would become operative one year later. There's no indication that there's significant opposition to Brown's plan.

“This common sense plan makes government more efficient, responsive and coordinated and will ultimately save taxpayer dollars,” Brown said in a news release.

For more details and documents about the particulars, click here.