SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is dismissing a proposal by Democratic allies in the state Senate, who want to seek a settlement of a federal lawsuit that could force the state to free thousands of prison inmates later this year.

The Democratic governor says in a statement Wednesday that it would be irresponsible to leave the state’s criminal justice policy in the hands of the private attorneys suing the state on behalf of inmates.

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He is insisting that the Legislature pass his own proposal to spend $315 million this year to lease empty cells in private prisons and county jails. Federal judges have ordered the state to reduce its prison population by 9,600 inmates by year’s end.

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Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says Brown’s proposal is essentially dead on arrival.

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