Senate cancels confirmation hearing for Jerry Brown prison appointees

Senate cancels confirmation hearing for Jerry Brown prison appointees
State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg asked federal judges to consider ordering the state to explore other prison options. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- One day after Gov.

Jerry Brown

unveiled a prison spending plan opposed by Senate leader

Darrell Steinberg

(D-Sacramento), the Senate canceled a confirmation hearing for two Corrections Department directors appointed by the governor.

Brown named Daniel Stone to head the division of parole and Jayde Virbel as the associate director of adult institutions in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Both appointees need to be confirmed by the Senate, and seemed to be on their way with a hearing in the Rules Committee set for Wednesday afternoon.

But that was before Brown went ahead with his plan to find new beds for thousands of inmates at a cost of more than $315 million to the state. Steinberg blasted it as "a plan with no promise and no hope," and presented his own alternative on Wednesday morning.

As the two Democrats tangle over prison policy, Steinberg has put the governor's appointees on hold, at least temporarily. Both Stone and Virbel have been removed from the docket of Wednesday's hearing.

"It's clear we have additional questions about the administration's ongoing corrections policy," said Steinberg spokesman Mark Hedlund. "It makes sense to wait before we consider those two appointments."

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