|Friday, January 15, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin|
|Governor Talks Issues With CSAC Executive Committee|
|California Governor Jerry Brown spent about an hour with the CSAC Executive Committee this week in a free flowing discussion that covered everything from his budget proposal to education, transportation and criminal justice in the Golden State.|
“I think it’s great that the Governor is willing to spend an hour of his time with us to just talk things over,” said CSAC President and Amador County Supervisor Richard Forster. “His willingness to engage with counties indicates the strength of our relationship. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but the Governor is frank and candid with us about his goals and vision, and there are plenty of issues where we do find common ground.”
The Governor repeated his pledge to remain fiscally prudent and even passed around a copy of the graph he used at his budget press conference earlier this month. It shows the cyclical nature of California’s economy, and how state revenue is closely tied to some of the most volatile sources. The Governor said he does not intend to leave a deficit behind when he leaves office.
The Governor joined the Executive Committee immediately after he spoke at a statewide meeting about the California Water Action Plan that CSAC co-sponsored. The drought, El Niño and groundwater were also part of the discussion with CSAC’s Executive Committee. “Many counties are in the process of working on their sustainable groundwater management plans right now,” said Supervisor Forster. “And the Governor was genuinely interested in how we are managing that process.”
“Our Executive Committee also approved our advocacy priorities at this meeting,” said CSAC Executive Director Matt Cate. "We have a lot of work to do this year in the State Capitol on key issues facing counties. The Governor is interested in how counties are approaching these issues and he’s willing to listen to our point of view. He also understands that counties have an integral role in implementing some of the state’s most important programs like health care, public safety and sustainable water policies.”
|From Our Policy Sections|
|Make sure to look for these important stories in our policy sections below.|
CSAC-Sponsored Vital Records Bills Pass Health Committee
in Employee Relations and Administrative Services
BSCC Sets Public Meetings Re: Prop 47
in Administration of Justice
Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summits Held Across State
in Housing Land Use and Transportation
House Moves to Block WOTUS Rule
in Federal Issues Update
|Legislative Analyst Responds to Governor's Budget|
Living up to their usual high standards, the Legislative Analyst’s Office has released their overview of the Governor’s budget proposal. They note the $5.9 billion of increased revenue over a three-year period, which in turn raises school funding by about $4.3 billion over the same period, and they urge the Legislature to begin planning for the next recession by prioritizing reserves and one-time spending.
The LAO report notes that both state reserve funds together would total $10.2 billion by the end of 2016-17 under the Governor’s plan, which they find “appropriate.” They also think that “the Governor’s focus on infrastructure makes sense,” but they also urge the Legislature to exercise their discretion over which projects are funded.
The report also presents options for the Legislature to consider when spending about $7 billion in discretionary resources. As reported, the Governor’s plan would dedicate $3.1 billion to reserves, $2.3 billion to state buildings, deferred maintenance, and county jails, and about $600 million in ongoing commitments, including employee compensation, higher education, courts, and SSI/SSP and DDS increases.
Finally, as noted in an LAO blog post, the Governor’s office and the Legislative Analyst largely agree on how much revenue the state should expect for the first time in several years. The dispute has been at the center of negotiations for the past few budget cycles, with the Governor acting as a restraining force. Both sides will update their estimates after tax season, so the agreement might be short-lived.
|CSAC Executive Committee Fills Key Positions|
|The CSAC Executive Committee has appointed several county supervisors to a number of key positions that play integral roles in developing and implementing Association policy. Positions filled this week are CSAC Treasurer, policy committee Chairs and Vice Chairs, as well as the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors and NACo Western Interstate Region board seats.|
The following county supervisors will serve as chairs and vice chairs for CSAC’s five policy committees in 2016:
|CSAC Policy Unit Updates Its Name|
The CSAC “Government Finance and Operations Policy Committee” is now the “Government Finance and Administration Policy Committee” to better convey the breadth of diverse policy areas under the scope of the committee. This will better direct our members to the right resources, including on our website, and additionally aid county supervisors and county staff to identify the best contact for a particular subject matter. This does not change the scope of either the policy committee or the policy units or CSAC staff assignments.
The Executive Committee voted to make the change since over the years, the Government Finance and Operations Policy Committee had grown to accommodate many policy areas that fall outside of the established titles that were created for both the Committee and the sub-units under its purview.
In addition, policy units falling under the policy committee have also been retitled. “Revenue and Taxation” is now “Finance and Operations” and “Employee Relations” is now “Employee Relations and Administrative Services.” Your CSAC Government Finance and Administration staff is as follows:
|CSAC Institute Offers Executive Leadership Symposium|
|California county supervisors and administrative officers are invited to |
participate in the 2016 Executive Leadership Symposium from the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government.
The Executive Leadership Symposium is a three-day intensive, residential learning experience designed exclusively for county supervisors and county administrative officers (CAOs). Participation is limited to 35 supervisors and 20 CAOs.
Participants in the 2012 and 2014 Symposium found it an invaluable learning experience and opportunity to reflect on the practice of leadership.
Those who participated in 2012 with Marty Linsky will remember what a thought-provoking and energizing session it was. CSAC is proud to announce that Marty will be joining us again as the instructor in 2016. Marty is well-known in local, state and federal governments around the world as a challenging and insightful leadership instructor. For many years he has served as faculty chair of the world-renowned Senior Executives in State & Local Government program at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. We are lucky to have him come to California Counties.
This promises to be an outstanding learning and networking opportunity and we strongly encourage you to participate.
The Symposium is Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12, in San Jose. Space is very limited, so please send in your registration soon. The deadline is January 22. Visit http://www.counties.org/post/2016-executive-leadership-symposium for detailed information and the registration form.
|Current Job Openings|
For a full list of job openings posted with CSAC, visit our Public Sector Jobs Page on our website.
Find out how you can post recruitment notices with CSAC here.
Berkeley (City of)
ADMINISTRATVE AND FISCAL SERVICES MANAGER
Central Sierra Child Support Agency
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
San Mateo County
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PARKS
Santa Cruz County
DIVISION DIRECTOR, SOCIAL SERVICES PROGRAMS
|Administration of Justice|
Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Sets Proposition 47 Public Meetings
The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) has set four more public meetings on the implementation of Proposition 47. The meetings are part of a statewide tour that began in October to explain the agency’s duties and to gather public input on funding priorities for anticipated state savings resulting from the voter initiative.
The following information reflects legislation that was introduced in the 2015/16 legislative session. Bills introduced in the 2015 session must pass out of the house of origin by January 30, 2016. The following are Administration of Justice bills CSAC is tracking.
Parole Suitability: Notice
AB 898 (Gonzalez) – Support
AB 898 would require the Board of Parole Hearings, in the case of an inmate who is convicted of the murder of a firefighter, to provide notice of the parole suitability hearing to the fire department that employed the firefighter at the time of the incident. AB 898 passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it needs to be heard and passed by January 22nd.
Child Witnesses: Human Trafficking
AB 1276 (Santiago) – Watch
AB 1276 adds human trafficking to the list of offenses which permits a child witness to testify at trial out of the presence of the defendant and jury by way of closed-circuit television and increases the permissible age of the child witness from 13 years old and under to 17 years old and under. AB 1276 passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it needs to be heard and passed by January 22nd.
Victims Compensation: Claims: Appeals
AB 1563 (Rodriguez) – Request for Comment
AB 1563 would require decisions of the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to be made within 6 months of the date the board receives an application that contests a staff recommendation to deny compensation in whole or part. AB 1563 additionally would require the board to notify the applicant in writing, within 6 months of the date the board received the application, if the board determines that there was insufficient information to make a decision.
Vehicles: Driving Under the Influence: Alcohol Abuse Programs
AB 1571 (Lackey) – Request for Comment
AB 1571 would require that enrollment in an approved driving-under-the-influence program take place within 30 days of a DUI conviction. AB 1571 would also require the court to refer a first offender whose blood contained a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15% or more and a controlled substance to the 9-month DUI program.
Employment: Human Trafficking Training: Mass Transportation Employers
AB 1595 (Campos) – Request for Comment
AB 1595 would require a private or public employer that provides mass transportation services in the state to train its new and existing employees in recognizing the signs of human trafficking and how to report those signs to the appropriate law enforcement agency by January 1, 2018.
SB 617 (Block) - Watch
SB 617 would allow a crime punishable as a misdemeanor, to be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. SB 617 was amended in the Senate Public Safety Committee to add exemptions so corporations cannot benefit from this new process, added a 3-year sunset and additional reporting requirements. The measure is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee where it needs to be heard and passed by January 22nd.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
SB 807 (Gaines) – Support
SB 807 would further limit the exposure to civil liability of an emergency responder for damages to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, if the damage was caused while the emergency responder was performing specific emergency services and the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was interfering with the provision of those emergency services.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Fire Interference
SB 810 (Gaines) - Request for Comment
SB 810 would make it unlawful to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system in a manner that prevents or delays the extinguishment of a fire or in any way interferes with the efforts of firefighters to control, contain, or extinguish a fire. SB 810 would additionally make a violation of this prohibition punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed 6 months, by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine.
Criminal Procedure: Human Trafficking
SB 823 (Block) – Request for Comment
SB 823 would create a presumption that if a defendant or person who has been arrested, convicted, or adjudicated a ward of the juvenile court for committing any offense while he or she was a victim of human trafficking shows evidence that the arrest, conviction, or adjudication was the result of his or her status as a victim of human trafficking, the defendant or person has met the requirements for relief.
|Employee Relations and Administrative Services|
|For more information, please contact Faith Conley at 916.650.8117, or Betsy Hammer at 916.650.8108.|
CSAC-Sponsored Bills Pertaining to Vital Records Pass Health Committee Unanimously
As reported in last week’s Bulletin, CSAC’s Employee Relations Policy Unit is co-sponsoring two bills related to vital records. Both bills were heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, January 12. CSAC Legislative Representative Faith Conley testified in support of both bills (see video here), and both bills received unanimous approval from the committee. Next, the bills will head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 1238 (Linder) would authorize records officials to accept electronic verifications that requestors of vital records, such as birth or death certificates or marriage licenses, are authorized persons. Existing law requires a notarized affidavit in hard copy. AB 1238 would allow local jurisdictions to provide consumers with the option to complete a knowledge-based authentication method to definitively establish their identity as an authorized person, reducing the amount of time it takes to request vital records and also reducing the costs of the process. The process would also be friendlier to military personnel, people experiencing homelessness, and former California residents who now live elsewhere. The bill simply provides an option for counties, and does not require counties to offer the electronic request process.
AB 1546 (Olsen) requires the State Registrar, in consultation with the County Recorders’ Association of California and other stakeholders, to study the security features used in paper for vital records. Current law requires vital records to be printed on special paper with nine different security features, including intaglio printing. The State Registrar would then report findings and recommendations to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. This bill helps ensure counties won’t have to rely on one paper provider, which puts recorders and health departments at risk of supply issues similar to the one experienced in 2015.
U.S. Supreme Court Takes on Union Mandatory Fees
A California case about union dues is being heard by the United States Supreme Court. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA) concerns a lawsuit filed by ten California teachers who are suing to overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), which allowed states to require all employees represented exclusively by a public-employee union to pay “fair-share” or “agency” fees. In California, employees who do not wish to pay for the political portion of their union’s activities must still pay these mandatory “fair share” dues or “shop fees”, which are meant to cover the costs of theoretical benefits that all employees receive because the union cannot exclude them from activities like collective bargaining. Employees can opt out of paying for the union’s political activities, like campaign contributions. The Friedrichs case challenges the construct that employees should be required to pay any dues to a union if they prefer not to do so.
CSAC is closely monitoring the case, which could have major implications on public sector unions and employers in California. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday, January 11; a decision is expected in summer 2016.
|Housing, Land Use and Transportation|
|For more information, please contact Kiana Valentine at 916.650.8185, or Chris Lee at 916.650.8180.|
Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summits Held Across State
Former CSAC President and Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan joined the Office of Traffic Safety as the Deputy Director of Outreach and Community Engagement. In this new role, he is working with local governments to ensure that they are aware of the transportation safety programs and funding opportunities available through the Office of Traffic Safety as part of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) process. Upcoming SHSP regional safety summits will provide county representatives, including Supervisors, public health professionals, engineers and others, with an opportunity to:
Summits will be held across the state on the following dates:
|Federal Issues Update|
|On Tuesday, January 12, President Obama delivered his seventh and final State of the Union address. In a break from tradition, the president did not lay out a lengthy list of policy initiatives. Instead, he used this opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of his administration and offered an optimistic outlook for the future. For the remainder of his presidency, Obama pledged to continue working on issues such as climate change, campaign finance reform, and expanding educational opportunities, among other things. Of particular interest to counties, the president expressed his desire to work with both parties on criminal justice reform, as well as on prescription drug abuse.|
Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
On the legislative front, the House this week approved a joint resolution (SJ Res 22) designed to block the Obama administration’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The “resolution of disapproval,” which would prevent the regulation from having any force or effect, cleared the Senate in November on a 53 to 44 vote. The measure now heads to President Obama, who is expected to promptly veto it.
While the Republican-controlled Congress has attempted to use various means to kill the WOTUS rule, past attempts have fallen short in the Senate, where 60 votes are generally needed to pass legislation. The latest effort, however, was done by using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows the upper chamber to adopt by a simple majority a resolution overturning an executive branch regulation. Since the CRA’s passage in 1996, the law has been used only once to nullify an agency action.
Looking ahead, and in light of the expected presidential veto, congressional Republicans will likely renew their efforts to thwart the WOTUS rule via the annual budget and appropriations process. In the meantime, and on the legal front, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will need to decide whether it ultimately has authority to hear a legal challenge to the regulation or whether a pending WOTUS lawsuit will be subject to review in U.S. District Court. In October, the Sixth Circuit issued a ruling that halted nationwide implementation of the WOTUS regulation.
Following this week's brief legislative session, House and Senate Republicans headed to Baltimore, Maryland, for their annual issues conference. During the retreat, GOP members discussed key issues facing their party and were hoping to outline a united legislative blueprint for the year. However, the two chambers were split in what they expect to accomplish this year. For his part, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) stated his preference for an aggressive schedule focused on conservative policy priorities. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) favors a much less ambitious agenda, one that focuses primarily on processing the 12 annual spending bills and avoiding a government shutdown. It should be noted that House Democrats will hold their own retreat in Baltimore later this month.