|Friday, February 5, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin|
|Transportation Funding Issue at Critical Juncture|
|California’s transportation funding is at a critical juncture right now. The California Transportation Commission recently announced it was deprogramming (cutting) $754 million from the State Transportation Improvement Program because its fuel-based revenue is falling well below projections. This is due to gas prices continuing to fall and increases in vehicle fuel economy. The cuts are imperiling dozens of major projects up and down the state and further exacerbate an already dire need for maintenance on our highways, streets, roads and bridges. |
CSAC and our partners in the Fix Our Roads Coalition are pulling out the stops to convince the Legislature and Governor to address the issue with a comprehensive package of funding and reforms that will keep California rolling. This morning, Coalition partners conducted a news conference in Indio where Riverside County Supervisors Marion Ashley and Chuck Washington spoke about the impact of the recent cuts.
“This massive cut will leave hundreds of shovel-ready projects throughout the state in limbo,” said Supervisor Ashley. “Many of those projects could be shelved indefinitely. In my district, we have been waiting for a safety project on State Route 60 through the Badlands area which connects Moreno Valley to the Pass Area. Without state funding, we aren’t sure when this project will be completed. Yet, we will continue to see accidents involving trucks and cars until we can construct it. Not only is transportation funding a public safety issue, but cutting transportation dollars will have a massive negative ripple effect on jobs and economic activity throughout the state and in Riverside County.”
“Today there’s a backlog of deferred state highway maintenance of $59 billion,” added Supervisor Chuck Washington. “The funding shortfall to maintain the existing streets and roads system is $78 billion. We need long-term, stable funding for transportation or our network of roads and bridges will continue to erode. There’s no other option.”
The Riverside County Supervisors were joined at the news conference by several other local elected officials and representatives from labor organizations. Together, they are calling on the Governor and Legislature to enact a comprehensive package that includes new revenue from a variety of sources, substantial reforms that both reduce the time it takes to get a project approved, and protections so that any new revenue will be allocated as intended—to maintain California’s aging highways, streets, roads and bridges.
You can learn more about the transportation funding crisis and the failing condition our roads are in, the Coalition that formed to address the issue, and the principles we are hoping will guide the Governor and Legislature to a speedy and effective resolution by visiting this website.
|MCO Fix Update – The Roller Coaster Ride Continues|
|The Brown Administration is continuing negotiations with health plans on a Managed Care Organization(MCO) fix this week, with everyone hopeful for a deal and possible vote in the Legislature on Thursday of next week (February 11). However, we have written that same exact sentence more than four different times in the last six months. So, a large disclaimer about “at the time of this writing….” |
Once the deal is done, the Administration and stakeholders, including CSAC, will work with legislators to secure a two-thirds vote in the Special Session on Health Care. CSAC has actively supported the Governor’s efforts to fix the MCO issue, and has asked counties to weigh in with their local delegations on the importance of an MCO fix. View our “Call to Action.”
For more information and background on the MCO fix, visit CSAC’s Health Special Session webpage.
|From Our Policy Sections|
|Don't miss these important stories in our policy sections:|
Administration of Justice
BSCC Grants Available to Strengthen Police-Community Relations,
Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
FEMA Releases Disaster Deductible Proposal “Concept”
Employee Relations and Administrative Services
Recent Opinion Provides Clarity in the Case of Peace Officers Under Investigation
Finance and Administration
County Audit Authority for Small Special Districts
Health and Human Services
Webinar on "Whole Person Care" Feb 25
Housing, Land Use and Transportation
OPR Offering Additional CEQA Traffic Impacts Webinar
|National Service To Be Recognized in April|
The Corporation for National and Community Service invites County Supervisors from throughout the United States to participate in the fourth annual County Day of Recognition for National Service.
Scheduled for April 5, this year’s event will highlight the impact of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. Participating in the event is a way to spotlight the importance of citizen engagement, recognize the dedication of national service members, and inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.
|From our Blog: The People You Meet|
|One of the best things about my job as CSAC’s communications coordinator is the people I get to meet. |
We are in the process now of producing videos to celebrate the recipients of our 2015 Challenge Awards. These are all programs that exemplify best practices, innovation, and effective delivery of vital county services.
Invariably, the people who design and implement these programs are smart, hardworking, forward-thinking people who are committed to doing what they do better. They are heroes to the people who need the services they provide. And then once in a while, you get to meet a real hero.
Read More of this Blog Posting
|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.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICES
ASSISTANT TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
San Joaquin County
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Santa Clara County
DEPUTY COUNTY EXECUTIVE -- EMPLOYEE SERVICES AGENCY
WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES PROGRAM MANAGER
CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER
MANAGER, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES/LANDFILL DIVISION
|Administration of Justice|
|For more information, contact Darby Kernan at 916-327-7500, ext. 537, Stanicia Boatner at 916-327-7500, ext. 503 or Amalia Mejia at 916-327-7500, ext. 514.|
Board of State and Community Corrections Grants Available to Strengthen Law Enforcement-Community Relationships
The Board of State and Community Corrections is soliciting proposals for a $6 million grant designed to help law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve improve relationships. The Board voted February 4, 2016 to release a Request for Proposals describing the grant requirements that local law enforcement agencies, in partnership with community organizations, must meet to qualify for funding. The Strengthening Law Enforcement and Community Relations RFP is available beginning today, February 5, on the BSCC website.
The Governor has proposed $6 million in ongoing funding in the Budget Act of 2016 for competitive grants to assist law enforcement in building trust and enhancing community-police relationships, which, if approved, would allow the BSCC to finance qualifying proposals.
The RFP requires that 30 percent of successful grant funding must be passed through to the community groups and organizations with which the law enforcement agency is partnering. The maximum grant for a single law enforcement agency will be $600,000. Joint agency applications are eligible for up to $850,000. A 20 percent match is required. The grants are payable over two years.
Law enforcement agencies must notify the BSCC of their intent to apply by March 28, 2016. Proposals are due on April 1, 2016. The BSCC will hold two bidders’ conferences, tentatively scheduled for February 22 in Sacramento at the BSCC’s headquarters and February 23 in Los Angeles County, at a place to be determined.
Federal Funding for Victims Assistance – Request for Proposals
Last year, President Obama approved the "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015." This bill raised the Crime Victim Fund cap from $745 million to $2.361 billion, allowing awards to states through the VOCA Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program to quadruple for 2015. California’s funding increased from a little over $50 million to $232.7 million. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) has worked over the last year to develop grant programs to address the gaps in victims services. This includes a $40 million allocation to counties based on population and violent crime statistics. The letter describing the various increases can be found here. The OES , Cal OES is supporting some programs for a one-time, 24-month grant period only.
The various RFPs for one-time funding that counties and other providers can apply for to give direct services to victims can be found at the Cal OES website.
The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) is holding its State Advisory Committee meeting on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention February 10, 2016 from 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. Attached is a copy of the agenda.
Key areas of interest:
Please contact Juanita Flores, SACJJDP Assistant, at (916) 324-2626 for additional information about this notice, to submit written material regarding an agenda item or to request special accommodations for persons with disabilities. This agenda and additional information about the Board of State and Community Corrections may be found at www.bscc.ca.gov.
Counties across California are facing a wide range of public safety and justice challenges, ranging from providing services to the mentally ill and homeless populations, prison and jail reentry services, police community relations, and providing comprehensive services to victims of crime.
For additional information and to register for the webinar please click here.
|Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources|
|For more information, contact Karen Keene at 916.650.8181, or Cara Martinson at 916.650.8113.|
On January 20, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), that they are considering a “disaster deductible” concept that would require recipients of federal disaster assistance funds to meet a certain level of spending before receiving federal funds following a disaster.
According to information from NACo, this proposed concept would require recipients of FEMA Public Assistance (typically states; counties are sub-recipients) to meet a predetermined level of financial or other commitment before receiving federal disaster funds. At this point in time, FEMA is not formally proposing the implementation of a deductible, but the agency is soliciting comments on the deductible concept. These comments are due by March 21. The notice and request for comment can be found here.
NACo staff has noted these initial concerns with the concept:
|Employee Relations and Administrative Services|
|For more information, please contact Faith Conley at 916.650.8117, or Betsy Hammer at 916.650.8108.|
Recent Opinion Provides Clarity in the Case of Peace Officers Under Investigation
A recent Court of Appeal decision provides guidance on when peace officers must be notified of potential action against themselves prior to interrogation. Current law in the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (Government Code Sections 3300-3313) lays out the requirements that must be followed “when any public safety officer is under investigation and subjected to interrogation by his or her commanding officer, or any other member of the employing public safety department, that could lead to punitive action.” One requirement is that “the public safety officer under investigation shall be informed of the nature of the investigation prior to any interrogation.”
In the recent case, Ellins v. City of Sierra Madre, the Court interpreted what “prior notice” really means and what public agencies are required to provide peace officers. The case involves a police officer who used a confidential database to look up a former romantic interest, without any work-related need to do so. He then refused to participate in the subsequent interrogation, and was ultimately terminated. The Court states that the code “requires an officer to be informed of the nature of the investigation ‘reasonably prior to’ the interrogation – that is, with enough time for the officer to meaningfully consult with any representative he elects to have present.” However, the Court’s opinion also includes this important piece of information: “an employing department with reason to believe that providing this information might risk the safety of interested parties or the integrity of evidence in the officer’s control may delay the notice until the time scheduled for interrogation as long as it thereafter grants sufficient time for consultation.” This ruling confirms that public agencies have authority and responsibility to protect public safety and not compromise an investigation, while still respecting employees’ rights.
Attorney General Issues Opinion on Brown Act Requirements in the Face of Technical Difficulties
Attorney General Kamala Harris recently issued an opinion on the question of whether or not the Brown Act would be violated if a local agency is unable to post a meeting agenda online within the required timeline in the case of technical difficulties, such as a power failure, cyber-attack, or other third-party interference.
The conclusion is good news for counties that may have experienced technical issues: it is not necessarily a violation of the Brown Act if the agency has otherwise substantially complied, and the meeting may go on. In the official words, the opinion holds that “if technical difficulties prevent a local agency’s legislative body from posting a regular meeting agenda on the local agency’s website for a continuous 72-hour period before the scheduled regular meeting, but the legislative body has otherwise substantially complied with the Brown Act’s agenda-posting requirements, the legislative body may lawfully hold its regular meeting as scheduled.”
Legislative Analyst’s Office Issues Series on CalSTRS Funding Plan
The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) published an online series to analyze a 2014 plan to fund teacher pensions. Pensions are an ongoing concern for solvency and unfunded liabilities, but in 2014 the Governor and Legislature came to an agreement regarding the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). AB 1469 (2014, Bonta) increased contributions and attempted to set the program on track for sustainability. The CalSTRS website has additional details about the plan available here.
While CalSTRS covers teachers, there are some potential lessons learned that could be applied to other retirement systems. For example, problems with complexity and clarity in legislative intent present problems in the LAO’s opinion. Stakeholders interested in pension issues may wish to explore this series for its potential parallels to other pension challenges and opportunities.
|Finance and Operations|
County Audit Authority for Small Special Districts
CSAC wants to know how many special districts in your county rely on county auditing services to meet their annual audit requirements. A potential change to county audit authority for small special districts (defined as having annual revenues totaling $150,000 or less) may be the subject of legislation this year. Your feedback can greatly influence this measure as it develops and comments are requested.
Specifically, the proposed change would permit these very small special districts to seek an annual financial review with evaluations for risk factors conducted by the County Auditor. This would be performed in lieu of the audit, which current law permits to be deferred to two-year or five-year cycles if certain conditions are met. Some special districts have expressed that the delayed audit does not serve its intended purpose of reducing costs. Rather, it simply multiplies them by the number of years captured by the audit. Under the proposal, all costs to perform a financial review would be incurred by the special district, in an effort to reduce comparative audit costs to the special district.
Please send comments to Dorothy Holzem, CSAC Legislative Representative, or call (916) 650-8133, and share how many small special districts in your county rely on county auditing services.
Proposed Mosquito District Board Leaves County Authority Intact
Assembly Bill 1362 (Gordon) would give mosquito and vector control districts a new option in how trustees are appointed. Under current law, counties and each city within the jurisdiction of the district are granted an appointment to the district board but according to Assembly Member Gordon, this has created problems for some mosquito and vector control districts. AB 1362 would give cities the option to create a city selection committee and potentially decrease the overall size of the district board. The selection committee may not interfere with county appointments or select more appointees than there are incorporated cities in the district. CSAC is neutral on this measure.
Survey Seeks County Input on Elections Funding
California Forward is exploring ways to increase cooperation between California’s state and local governments in funding election administration. The organization is participating in an election funding working group that includes CSAC, the Future of California Elections, the League of Women Voters of California, the California Budget & Policy Center, the Secretary of State’s office, Verified Voting, and several county elections officials. The project is intended to inform potential options and solutions for approaches to funding elections.
Counties who have not already done so are encouraged to participate in the survey by clicking here.
|Health and Human Services|
|For more information, please contact Farrah McDaid Ting at 916.327.7500, ext. 558.|
Don’t Miss Our Whole Person Care Webinar on February 25
CSAC, CAPH, CBHDA, CHEAC, CWDA, LHPC, SEIU California and the Corporation for Supportive Housing will be hosting a webinar to provide information to local officials interested in the Whole Person Care (WPC) Pilot opportunity presented in the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver. The webinar will provide an overview of the WPC Pilot elements and key dates and timelines. Counties, health plans, and providers are encouraged to have their implementation teams participate. Please click here to register.
Peer Respite Grants Now Available
The California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) is administering the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act (SB 82, Statutes of 2013) which provided $142.5 million (General Fund) for capital outlay for Mobile Crisis, Crisis Stabilization and Crisis Residential services. As provided by SB 75, Statutes of 2015 (Committee on Budget), up to $3 million of the original appropriation may be used for capital outlay for Peer Respite sites.
|Housing, Land Use and Transportation|
|For more information, please contact Kiana Valentine at 916.650.8185, or Chris Lee at 916.650.8180.|
ABX1 16 (Patterson) – Request for Comments
ABX1 16, by Assembly Member Patterson, would create a five-year pilot project whereby two counties, one in northern California and one in Southern California, would assume responsibility for the state highway system within the county, including funding programmed for the maintenance and improvement of those state facilities. The bill provides an incentive for counties to participate by allowing any savings on the projects to maintain or improve the state facilities to be allocated to priority local projects that fit within the guidelines of the funding source. It is unclear how any cost overruns would be handled.
Counties would see their maintained centerline mileage increase from a low of about 4% in San Francisco City and County to a high of about 93% in Orange County if they were to assume responsibility for the state highways within their borders.
The author’s office has asked for CSAC’s feedback on the measure, including soliciting counties that may be interested in participating in such a pilot program. We would appreciate any comments or expressions of interest in participation that counties may offer.
Late last week the Strategic Growth Council released the Notice of Funding Availability for the 2015-16 Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program. The final AHSC guidelines are available online here. Concept applications are due March 16 and applicants invited to submit a full application will be notified the week of April 20. Full applications will be due on June 20 and awards will be announced in September.
The SGC’s series of workshops on the AHSC program will continue next week in southern California. Interested participants can also sign up for consultation with SGC staff regarding the eligibility of a specific project that is ready to apply for funding and other questions.
The workshops will include a presentation regarding the AHSC Program Guidelines and requirements for Concept Application, with a question and answer session after the presentation. The morning session will last from 9:00-11:30 am.
According to the SGC, staff will be available on the afternoon of each workshop for small group or one-on-one consultations on a first come, first served basis. The consultations will be 20 minutes in length and will be used to focus on projects that are ready to apply for the 2015-2016 AHSC Program, discuss project eligibility, and answer questions specific to the applicant's project. For consultation times, AHSC Program Staff will follow-up to confirm the exact time of the appointment. Applicants with projects in or benefitting Disadvantaged Communities (as defined by CalEnviroscreen 2.0) will be given priority for consultations. However, our goal is to provide consultations to all who request an appointment.
Upcoming workshop dates and locations are listed below:
Office of Planning and Research Offering Additional CEQA Traffic Impacts Webinar
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research will host an additional webinar to discuss its Revised Proposal on Updates to the CEQA Guidelines on Evaluating Transportation Impacts in CEQA (Implementing Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg, 2013), released on January 20, 2016. OPR notes that registration for the webinar is limited to 500 participants. This webinar and one from this week will be recorded and available for viewing on our website following the live presentation.
You can register for the Feburary 9 webinar, which will be held from 3-5 PM online here.
Please ensure you have GoToWebinar installed on your computer before the webinar starts. Also, if you register and are unable to attend, please cancel your registration to make your space available for another attendee.
In the two-hour webinar, OPR will:
Additional information regarding the revised proposal is available on OPR’s website.
|Federal Issues Update|
|As the nation's capital continued to dig out from a historic blizzard, both chambers of Congress returned to action this week. In the lower chamber, Republicans attempted to override the president's veto of legislation (HR 3762) that would have repealed key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and stripped federal funding from Planned Parenthood. As expected, the final vote of 241 to 186 was well short of the required two-thirds majority. However, despite the setback, Republicans are still expected to target the law in 2016.|
Energy Bill Stalled
Across Capitol Hill, the Senate resumed their debate of a broad energy bill (S 2012) that would, among other things, raise energy efficiency standards for commercial and federal buildings. The measure, which once enjoyed bipartisan support, stalled as lawmakers squabbled over the extent of an emergency aid package for Flint, Michigan. For their part, Democrats threatened to filibuster unless the chamber considered an amendment to provide assistance to help the beleaguered city deal with its lead-tainted water supply. Republicans, while sympathetic to the blight of the Flint residents, have countered that the cost to the federal government is too high. Some also believe it effectively constitutes an earmark.
In other developments, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on January 21 released a drought-relief discussion draft. The measure, entitled the California Long-Term Provisions for Water Supply and Short-Term Provisions for Emergency Drought Relief Act, is an updated version of legislation (S 1894) that the senator introduced in the first session of the 114th Congress.
S 1894, along with a competing House-passed measure (HR 2898), was used as the basis for last year’s bicameral drought negotiations, which ultimately broke down late in the session. The new draft is likely to serve as the centerpiece for discussions aimed at producing a consensus drought-relief bill.
On the operational side, Senator Feinstein’s draft places an emphasis on real-time monitoring and updated science to inform decision-making on pumping rates. According to the senator, the discussion draft provides “maximum assurances” that the bill would not violate any environmental law, including the Endangered Species Act or the biological opinions for salmon or smelt.
In addition to provisions governing the operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, the legislation would authorize significant funding for a variety of programs, including water storage, desalination, and recycling programs. Specifically, the measure would authorize $100 million for research, design, and construction of desalination projects. Among other things, the bill also would increase funding for WaterSMART grants (from $350 million to $500 million) and would authorize additional funding for Title XVI recycling programs and various water storage projects.
Senator Feinstein is currently accepting comments on the new draft bill and has indicated her intent to introduce the measure sometime in the near future.
On the transportation front, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) introduced legislation (HR 4441) on February 3 to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for six years. With the current extension of FAA authority slated to expire at the end of March, there is a strong impetus to act on a new long-term funding bill. However, the measure – entitled the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act – includes a controversial proposal to establish an independent, non-profit corporation that would be in charge of modernizing and providing U.S. air traffic control services.
The T&I Committee is slated to hold a legislative hearing on February 10 to further discuss the bill. The committee also has tentatively scheduled a full committee markup on February 11. However, disagreements over the future of air traffic control operations could significantly delay negotiations.
Obama Budget Likely DOA
Looking ahead, the Obama administration will formally submit its fiscal year 2017 budget request to Congress on February 9. With Republicans squarely in control of both chambers of Congress, the expectation is that the president's spending proposal will essentially be dead on arrival. However, release of the tax and spending blueprint will represent the first official step in the budget and appropriations process for the fiscal year that begins on October 1. In addition, the budget will serve as a benchmark for congressional Democrats as they push their party's federal spending priorities.
For their part, House and Senate GOP leaders are optimistic that they will be able to work through the regular appropriations process instead of relying on stopgap funding measures and massive omnibus packages. Notably, the last time all twelve appropriations bills were completed prior to the start of the new fiscal year was in 1994. Fueling much of the optimism is the two-year budget agreement passed by Congress last fall, which raised discretionary spending caps through fiscal 2017.