Excerpted from SacBee.com
April 1, 2013

Assemblyman Ken Cooley this morning said his bill returning certain drug traffickers to prison to serve long-term sentences is not a challenge to the state's realignment program, but rather is part of a discussion on how to improve the current law.

After touring the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Galt, the Rancho Cordova Democrat said Assembly Bill 222 affects a relatively small group - about 40 inmates statewide whose terms are increased due to a sentence enhancement for selling, possessing or transporting excessive quantities -- more than one kilogram or 30 liters -- of cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine.

Cooley said those inmates don't fit in at Rio Cosumnes or other a county jail facilities, which focus on rehabilitation efforts such as education and vocational programs to help inmates return to society.

Rio Cosumnes houses 2,100 inmates, including 380 inmates who would normally be serving time in prison, but, after realignment, were sent to the jail. Realignment is the state's efforts to satisfy a court-order to drastically reduce the state prison population by shifting the responsibility for certain low-level offenders from the prison and parole system to county jails and probation.

Cooley said there needs to be a discussion about what is working under realignment and what is not.

"I think there's been a reluctance to try to figure out what adjustments are needed," Cooley said.

His bill is supported by Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully, who appeared at the press conference with him.

Cooley and Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, introduced another measure, Assembly Bill 601, to allow parole violators to be returned to state prison for up to one year.

Republican lawmakers have proposed another 10 bills pegged as a realignment reform package.

Successes

  • Fiscal Prudence
  • My City Hall
  • A Model Government

Ken's conservative financial habits reflect the values of his home life with Sydney, his wife of 36 years, who has served for many years as bookkeeper for Cordova Neighborhood Church.

His habit of care with money was deepened and reinforced by his 18 Year private sector business career as In-House Counsel to State Farm Insurance, one of America’s most successful financial enterprises. The stewardship of Ken’s city with tax dollars makes it a rarity — 8 yrs of balanced budgets, every year a surplus, never yet dipped into our reserves, chosen as an All America City during his second term as Mayor...

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Government works best when it is connected to those it serves.

I believe that, and during my 1st term as Mayor in 2005, I did something to make that idea a part of my city’s history and identity.

While still under construction, I opened our future City Council Chamber to City residents for an event I called ”My City Hall”. City residents – young and old - had one evening to enter the shell of our under construction City Hall...

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International study into effective governance makes City of Rancho Cordova its first stop.

The People’s Republic of China has 10 study missions now underway around the globe to explore how a variety of modern democratic societies manage change through deliberative government institutions. Rancho Cordova was singled out as the first stop for the team that is conducting its survey here in the United States. The clip that folllows was aired on Sacramenmto area television as the local news crews profiled the team from China’s visit to Rancho Cordova City Hall.

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