Friday, January 8, 2016   The CSAC Bulletin
California Counties Respond to Governor’s Budget

CSAC Applauds Fiscal Stability and Transportation Proposal

Governor Brown unveiled his budget proposal for the 2016-17 fiscal year on January 7 and it can generally be characterized as a "good news" budget for counties. The proposal balances a variety of competing needs with fiscal responsibility to create budget stability for the state. In turn, this proposal provides greater stability for counties that remain responsible for delivering numerous state programs and services.

“The Governor’s budget proposal recognizes that while revenue is up, there are still economic uncertainties and being prudent with the resources we have now is the key to long-term stability,” said CSAC Executive Director Matt Cate. “In the long run, stable funding remains essential to successfully develop and deliver the important programs and services we provide, including health care, behavioral health, public safety, transportation and more.”

California counties are also pleased that the Governor’s proposal includes a transportation funding and reform package which would generate $3.6 billion annually for state and local transportation infrastructure. “We thank the Governor for his commitment to address our massive transportation needs at both the state and local level,” said CSAC President and Amador County Supervisor Richard Forster. “The Governor’s budget proposal represents a solid baseline for ramping up discussions with Legislative leaders and the transportation special session conferees. This remains a top priority for CSAC as renewed debate is expected over the coming weeks.”

The Governor’s Budget Proposal also includes these highlights consistent with CSAC budget priorities:

--$250 million in General Fund revenue for improved jail capacity

--$170 million for Medi-Cal Administration Costs

--$3.1 billion plan for Cap and Trade auction revenues, including;

  • $150 million for CAL Fire to address forest health and tree mortality
  • $100 million for Climate Communities program for the state’s top 5 percent of disadvantaged communities for energy, transportation, water, waste reduction and other GHG reducing projects

--$29.3 million in Proposition 47 savings for mental health, substance abuse treatment, reduced truancy, and improved victim services

--One year for Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT)

Two of CSAC’s top priorities were included in the budget proposal: new transportation funding to address the significant funding backlog at both the state and local level as well as a revision of the MCO tax. Both of these issues remain a priority for the Governor and he intends to focus on them in the next month.

With revenues continuing to exceed projections, this is a “good news” budget with no cuts to existing county programs. However, the Governor cautions budget surpluses have historically been followed by significant deficits, and recoveries average five years, which has already been exceeded here in California.

From Our Policy Sections
Don't miss these important items in our policy areas!

Housing, Land Use and Transportation: Two new transportation funding packages on the table.

Health and Human Services: No HHS cuts in State budget.

Administration of Justice: Legislative Analyst releases report re: improving California's fine and fee system.

Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources: An update on marijuana legislation clean up bills.

Employee Relations: CSAC-sponsored vital records bills in committee.

Government Finance and Operations: Threat to property tax revenue in committee next week. 

From Our Blog: One Family, 58 Strong!
I know a lot of you have had the chance recently to spend time with your families for the Christmas and New Year holidays. In addition to savoring the new memories my family created this holiday season, I am also thinking about the upcoming year as CSAC President and what I would like to accomplish with my County Family.

If you know me at all, you know how important “family” is to me. That’s true for my personal family and in my professional life. In both settings, we rely on one another—we have to if we want to accomplish anything. My wife and I spend a lot of time with our grandkids — and not just because we love being with them, but also because I know my daughters and their husbands are there to help us when any issue arises with our family.

Read More of This Blog Posting
CSAC Co-Sponsoring Briefing on Water Action Plan
CSAC is co-sponsoring a day-long briefing on the California Water Action Plan that promises to be one of the most important discussions on water in the Golden State this year. Governor Brown released the action plan two years ago, and since then significant progress has been made on a number of key elements, including passage of Proposition 1 and enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Now other elements of the plan must move ahead to maximize investments and create a more resilient water system.

Co-sponsored by CSAC and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), the event on Thursday, January 14 in Sacramento will showcase what has been accomplished and what needs to happen next. It features a full day of panel discussions featuring a variety of stakeholders and experts. Governor Brown has been invited to speak that morning.

Please click here for a full agenda and here to register.
CDIAC offers two Seminars on Public Financing
The California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC), a branch of the State Treasurer's Office, is offering two seminars coming up that are must-attends for local government finance officials.

The first, Advanced Public Funds Investing: The Analytics of Investment Selection and Portfolio Decision-Making, is offered in collaboration with the California Municipal Treasurers Association in Riverside on January 27-28.

The second course, Municipal Market Disclosure and the Importance of Disclosure Policies will take place in San Mateo on February 18. For more information and registration, please click here.
CSAC Bids a Fond Farewell to Michelle Gibbons

On a sad note, today, January 8, is officially Michelle Gibbons’ last day with CSAC. She has been a critical partner on the Health and Human Services team and a wonderful asset for CSAC and counties. We wish her well in her exciting new role as Executive Director of the County Health Executives Association of California (CHEAC) and are pleased to still count her as a member of the county family. Should you wish to contact her, her new email is mgibbons@cheac.org.

Current Job Openings
Seekers:
For a full list of job openings posted with CSAC, visit our Public Sector Jobs Page on our website.

Employers:
Find out how you can post recruitment notices with CSAC here.



Berkeley (City of)
GENERAL SERVICES MANAGER

Brentwood (City of)
CITY TREASURER/DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES

Humboldt County
COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

Marin County

SENIOR CIVIL ENGINEER

Riverside County
LIABILITY CLAIMS PROGRAM SUPERVISOR

Sacramento County
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGER

San Diego County
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAMS

San Joaquin County
PUBLIC DEFENDER

Stanislaus County
CHILD WELFARE MANAGER





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.


Legislative Analyst’s Office Releases Improving California’s Fine and Fee System Report

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released a report looking at California’s criminal fines and fees system. This report was requested by the State Senate, specifically by the pro tem, Senator Kevin de León. The report: Improving California’s Criminal Fine and Fee System looks at the complexities of the current system and makes recommendations on how the system can be improved.

Key issues with the current fine and fee system are:

  • Difficult for the Legislature to control the use of fines and fees;
  • Revenue distributions that are generally not based on need;
  • Difficulties in distributing the revenue accurately;
  • A lack of complete and accurate data.

The LAO’s recommendations in the report include increasing legislative control over the use of criminal fine and fee revenue to ensure that its uses are in line with legislative priorities by (1) requiring that most criminal fines and fees revenue be deposited in the state General Fund, (2) consolidating most fines and fees into a single, statewide charge, (3) evaluating the existing programs supported by fine and fee revenues, and (4) mitigating the impacts of potential changes to the fine and fee system on local governments. These recommendations are opportunities for the Legislature to make ongoing improvements to the current system.

California District Attorneys Association – 2016 National Body Cam Technology & Policy Summit and Expo

The California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) is hosting their 2016 National Body Cam Technology & Policy Summit and Expo February 22-24, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Anaheim, CA. The two and a half day summit is composed of panels, training, and roundtable discussions to provide unbiased information for policy makers and leadership. The goal is to develop coherent, current, and sensible policies related to technology being made available to law enforcement. Key participants include members of the legislature, law enforcement, technical experts, and community social advocates. Topics include data storage; body cam case law; drone technology; privacy issues; public record requests; and chain of custody evidence. Law enforcement, policy makers, deputy district attorneys, mayors, and police chiefs are encouraged to attend.

For additional details and registration information please visit: https://registrations.cdaa.org/CalDA/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=NBC161302&WebsiteKey=6d235958-c66e-4899-ad63-691068eb13be

The following information reflects legislation that was introduced in the 2015 legislative session and did not pass out of the first policy committee. These bills need to pass out of the policy committee by January 15th and off the house of origin floor by January 30, 2016. The following are Administration of Justice bills CSAC is tracking.

Registered Sex Offenders: Local Ordinances

AB 201 (Brough) – Watch
As Amended April 21, 2015

AB 201 allows cities and counties to adopt ordinances, rules or regulations that are more restrictive than state law relating to the ability of people who are required to register as sex offenders to reside or be present at certain locations within the city or county. AB 201 also specifies that a local agency is not preempted by state law from doing so. AB 201 is set to be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on January 12, 2016.

Forfeiture

AB 595 (Alejo) – Request for Comment
As Amended January 4, 2016

AB 595 would authorize the Attorney General or district attorney of any county to file a petition of forfeiture prior to the commencement of the underlying criminal proceeding if the value of the assets exceeds $100,000. AB 595 would also allow a person claiming an interest in the property or proceeds to move for return of the property on the grounds that there is not probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture.

Parole Suitability: Notice

AB 898 (Gonzalez) – Pending
As Amended January 4, 2016

AB 898 would require the Board of Parole Hearings, in the case of an inmate who was convicted of the murder of a firefighter, to provide notice of the parole suitability hearing to the fire department that employed the fire fighter. AB 898 is set be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on January 12, 2016.

Probable Cause Determination Pilot

AB 1106 (Jones-Sawyer) - Watch
As Amended January 4, 2016

AB 1106 would establish a 5-year pilot in six counties that would require a court to issue prompt probable cause determination hearings for out of custody defendants charged with a misdemeanor. AB 1106 is set to be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee January 12, 2016.

Child Witnesses: Human Trafficking

AB 1276 (Santiago) – Watch
As Amended January 4, 2016

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 is set to be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on January 12, 2016.

Victims Compensation: Claims: Appeals

AB 1563 (Rodriguez) – Request for Comment
As Introduced January 4, 2016

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
As Introduced January 4, 2016

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
As Introduced January 6, 2016

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.

County Jail Inmates: Involuntary Transfer

SB 171 (Gaines) - Watch
As Amended April 15, 2015

SB 171 would, with the approval of the county board of supervisors, authorize sheriffs with a jail capacity of over 80% to transfer sentenced inmates to another state , county or private facility with or without the consent of the inmate, and for the state to reimburse the county for all costs to house and transfer said inmates. SB 171 is set to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on January 12, 2016.

Crimes

SB 617 (Block) - Watch
As Amended April 29, 2015

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 is set to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on January 12, 2016.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

SB 807 (Gaines) – Watch
As Introduced January 4, 2016

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.

SB 810 (Gaines) - Request for Comment.
As Introduced January 4, 2016

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
As Introduced January 6, 2016

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.

Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
For more information, contact Karen Keene at 916.650.8181, or Cara Martinson at 916.650.8113.
Medical Marijuana

AB 21 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) – Support
AB 1575 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) – Pending—Request Comments


AB 21 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) would strike a provision of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) that was inadvertently included in AB 243 (Wood), one of the three bills that together established MMRSA. Health and Safety Code Section 11362.777(c)(4), as enacted by AB 243, provides that if a local government does not have land use regulations, or ordinances regulating or prohibiting marijuana cultivation in place by March 1, 2016, the Department of Food and Agriculture will be the default licensing entity for all such jurisdictions. AB 21 would strike this section. Eliminating the deadline will allow counties to utilize existing approval processes and timelines when considering their own approach to regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana.

The bill is being heard by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on the morning of Wednesday, January 13 and by the Senate Health Committee in the afternoon on the same day.

AB 1575 (Bonta, Cooley, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey and Wood) is another clean-up measure to MMRSA. However this measures addresses a wide range of issues including provisions which clarify that medical marijuana businesses, including existing collectives may operate for-profit; establishes a license category for non-traditional dispensaries that operate without a storefront; requires the Board of Equalization to form an advisory group to address medical marijuana businesses access to banking, and, allows research institutions and businesses to access limited amounts of medical marijuana for research purposes.

AB 1575 will very likely be amended to include other clean-up to MMRSA. It has yet to be assigned to a legislative committee.


Employee Relations
For more information, please contact Faith Conley at 916.650.8180, or Betsy Hammer at 916.650.8108.


CSAC-Sponsored Bills Pertaining to Vital Records to be Heard in Assembly Health Next Week

CSAC’s Employee Relations policy unit is co-sponsoring two bills related to vital records, and both will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, January 12. CSAC’s Government Finance and Operations Committee discussed the measures at its December 3 meeting.

AB 1238 (Linder) would authorize the State Registrar, a local registrar, or county recorder to accept electronic acknowledgement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the requester of a marriage, birth, or death certificate is an authorized person. Existing law requires a notarized affidavit in hard copy, but AB 1238 would allow local jurisdictions to provide consumers with the option to complete an online request for vital records – something that 33 other states currently allow. Requestors would have to complete a knowledge-based authentication method to definitively establish their identity as an authorized person. This option will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to request vital records, and will also reduce the costs incurred. Both consumers and records offices will benefit from the option to electronically request vital records.

AB 1546 (Olsen) would authorize a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage record to include a security feature equal or greater than intaglio print. The bill also directs the State Registrar to appoint a Vital Records Protection Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations to protect individual privacy, inhibit identity theft, and prevent fraud involving vital records while providing needed access to the information contained in those records by persons seeking it for a legitimate purpose. While many states require a set of certain security measures for vital records, California is one of only two states that also require specific intaglio printing, which is a type of texture, raised engraving into the paper. In mid-2015, the only company in the United States that met the security requirements abruptly and permanently closed. The state and counties have declining reserves of secure paper and limited options for purchasing additional supplies – many have rationed their provisions, while others refer applicants to the State Department of Public Health or have signed contracts with a Canadian company that meets the current standard. This bill will ensure that certified copies of vital records are available to all when needed, while maintaining high security standards.


Senate and Assembly Hold Joint Hearing on Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program

The Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP) was the subject of an oversight hearing on Tuesday, January 5. The Senate Veterans Committee met jointly with the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee to discuss this relatively new program and to hear about lessons learned from the first round of funding awards and where the program is headed in the future.

Members heard from three state agencies instrumental in implementing the program: California Department of Veterans Affairs, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and California Housing Finance Agency. State officials provided a presentation on the problem of veterans experiencing homelessness and some of the features of those with military experience that make veterans a unique population to serve. In 2013, AB 639 (Perez) was signed into law and in June 2014 Proposition 41 (both AB 639 and Proposition 41 were supported by CSAC) was passed by the voters, authorizing $600 million in bonding dollars to fund affordable housing for low-income and homeless veterans. This funding created the Veterans’ Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP) (see the HCD and Cal Vet websites about this program for more information). There are also considerable efforts related to homeless veterans at the federal level.

The first round of VHHP funding awards went out in summer 2015. The state agencies reported positive outcomes with some lessons to be learned from this initial experience. For example, feedback was received on the application process and scoring system, and adjustments were made to the classification of case management costs. Round two of funding is currently underway, with final awards for this funding round to be made in spring 2016.

State officials discussed other related programs and collaborative efforts, as well as some initial findings. Some geographical areas are more challenging to serve, like rural communities, and some populations present unique challenges, like veterans with military sexual trauma. Officials also noted that the existing legislation provides broad authority and no legislative changes are needed at this time. The program is on track to meet its goals.
Additional testimony was heard after the state officials completed their presentation. Testifiers included representatives from several organizations that had applied for or received funding from the VHHP program. Feedback was generally really positive, though some suggested improvements were noted.



Government Finance and Operations
For more information, please contact Dorothy Holzem at 916.650.8133, or Betsy Hammer at 916.650.8108.
Property Tax Revenue Threat Before Committee Next Week

SB 378 (Beall) will be heard by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday, January 13. CSAC is opposed to this bill unless amendments are taken to mitigate the potential loss of property revenue for counties.

This bill expands on existing “Prop 60/Prop 90” provisions related to homeowners’ (who are age 55 and older or permanently disabled) ability to transfer their existing property tax bills to residences of equal or lesser value, known as “base year value transfers”, and thereby lowering a person’s tax liability. The new proposal would allow homeowners to transfer to more expensive homes. A previous version of this bill would have cost local governments nearly $7 million in general fund revenue statewide, according to the Board of Equalization analysis.
CSAC is seeking amendments that would remove our registered opposition. First, CSAC is seeking to retain county budget authority by requiring that the proposed expansion must first gain approval following action by the Board of Supervisors. Alternatively, CSAC has requested state reimbursement for lost property tax revenue if the state wishes to subsidize an individuals’ desire to move to a more costly home, thereby holding counties harmless and securing anticipated revenue.
Health and Human Services
For more information, please contact Farrah McDaid Ting at 916.650.8110.

Governor’s Budget

On Thursday morning, Governor Brown released his January budget proposal. CSAC is pleased to report that no cuts to health programs were included in the Governor’s budget proposal and instead, the Governor remained hopeful that the Administration’s new MCO tax proposal would move ahead to eliminate the potential for a $1.1 billion gap in the Medi-Cal budget. CSAC’s full Budget Action Bulletin can be found here. The HHS section begins on page 16 and continues to page 21. The Governor’s full budget summary can be found here. The Department of Health Care Services also released a budget summary, which can be viewed here.

State Announces Legal Framework for Medicaid Waiver Renewal Complete

On December 30, the Department of Health Care Services announced that the Special Terms and Conditions (STCs), the legal document between the state and federal governments, for California's Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver is complete. The STCs are available on DHCS’ website: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Documents/MC2020_FINAL_STC_12-30-15.pdf

The STCs reflect the high-level agreement that was announced at the end of October, which includes:

  • $6.2 billion in federal funds over five years
  • Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal (PRIME): a successor to the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program that will provide $3.27 billion for designated public hospitals and $466.5 million for district and municipal hospitals. The funding declines in years 4 and 5 of the waiver. Additionally, the STCs include 5% penalties if the state fails to meet alternative payment methodology targets in years 4 and 5. PRIME proposals will be due to DHCS by February 1, 2016 or 30 days after approval of PRIME protocols.
  • Global Payment Program: intended to incentivize primary and preventive care to the remaining uninsured through a value-based payment structure. A combination of Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) funding and $236 million in federal funding from the prior Safety Net Care Pool. The non-DSH funding in years 2 through 5 will be determined following an independent assessment of uncompensated care due to be completed in the spring of 2016.
  • Dental Transformation Initiative: up to $750 million total over five years to improve preventive care and continuity of care. These incentive funds do not have a local match requirement.

The STCs contain significantly more detail about the dental initiative than had previously been available. There is an optional project that would allow counties to receive funds for local collaboration on a dental pilot. A county, a city and county, a consortium of counties, a Tribe, an Indian health program, UC or CSU campus can apply to be a pilot site for the Local Dental Pilot Program. Interested counties should review STC paragraph 109 and Attachment JJ, Project 4. The Local Dental Pilot Program is intended to address one or more of three domains through alternative programs, potentially using strategies focused on rural areas including local case management initiatives and education partnerships. The three domains are pediatric oral disease prevention, caries risk assessment and management, and dental health homes. Lead entities may submit applications to DHCS 60 days after the applicable protocols are approved by CMS (if the protocols are approved by March 1, applications would be due May 1, 2016.).

  • Whole Person Care: up to $300 million per year for five years for county-based pilots to target high-risk populations. The goal of the pilots is to coordinate health, behavioral health and social services to improve beneficiary health and well-being. Pilot sites will identify target populations, share data between systems, coordinate care in real time, and evaluate individual and population progress toward better health outcomes. Applications will be due to DHCS by May 15, 2016 or 45 days after DHCS issues the Request for Applications (RFA) for the WPC pilot, whichever is later. For WPC Pilot details, see STC paragraphs 110-126.

DHCS and CMS will be working over the next several weeks to craft attachments to the terms and conditions, which will contain important details and protocols for effectuating the program elements described above. The STCs include 42 attachments, 20 of which need to be completed over the next 60 days. Outstanding attachments include:

  • All attachments related to PRIME (Attachments Q, R, S, II)
  • All attachments related to Global Payments (Attachments EE, FF)
  • All attachments related to WPC Pilots (Attachments GG, HH, MM)

CSAC will provide a more detailed guide to the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver in the coming weeks. There will also be implementing legislation vetted in the Legislature in 2016.

Senate “No Place Like Home Initiative” Announced

This week, the Senate introduced their bipartisan “No Place Like Home” Initiative to address homelessness in California. Members kicked off the initiative with two press conferences, one in Los Angeles – which can be viewed here - and the other in Sacramento.

The initiative seeks to divert between $120-130 million in MHSA funds annually, over 20 to 30 years to service a $2 billion housing bond to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness. Other key components include:

  • $2 billion bond to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness
  • $200 million, over 4 years, to provide supportive housing in the shorter-term, rent subsidies, while the permanent housing is constructed or rehabilitated
  • Support for two-special housing programs to assist families: Bringing Family Home” pilot project, a county matching grant program. CalWORKs Housing Support Program which provides housing and support services for CalWORKs families in danger of homelessness.
  •  An increase in SSI/SSP grants, which are currently among the lowest in the nation.
  • A one-time investment to incentivize local governments to boost outreach efforts and advocacy to get more eligible people into SSI/SSP.

The Governor’s budget did not address the Senate’s proposal; however we anticipate much more discussion and will remain engaged as the legislative session proceeds.

CHFFA and Peer Respite Grants

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. 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.

CHFFA has been a tremendous partner to counties, and has proceeded with emergency regulations for the Peer Respite option, including a grant application package as well. The CHFFA Board discussed this issue at their January 5th meeting. The Board not only unanimously adopted the emergency regulations for Peer Respite, they also made a motion to set aside up to $3 million specifically for Peer Respite.

As such, it will have its own separate pool of funds. Any unused Peer Respite funds would then be used for Crisis Residential, Crisis Stabilization, and Mobile Crisis. Peer Respite will be part of Round 5. This round will open up for applications on January 8th and will have its own application.

A few counties presently operate Peer Respite sites, including Santa Cruz and Los Angeles. Several rural and suburban counties are interested in this model because it provides a very sustainable and much needed crisis mitigation service using trained Peers. As noted by SAMHSA and many others, Peer Respite is an evidence-based service.

Housing, Land Use and Transportation
For more information, please contact Kiana Valentine at 916.650.8185, or Chris Lee at 916.650.8180.

Transportation

Governor Reintroduces Transportation Funding Package; New Assembly Proposal Unveiled

The Governor released his 2016-17 budget proposal yesterday, which included a reintroduction of the Administration’s September 2015 transportation funding and reform package . The proposal would spend an additional $3.6 billion annually for ten years on maintenance and rehabilitation of state and local transportation systems and investments in transit. At the same time, the Governor reemphasized his concern for the state General Fund, including avoiding any solutions to transportation funding that would impact the General Fund (read: transferring truck weight fees back to transportation projects from their current use to pay bond debt service – a key Republican ask in both houses).

Since the CSAC Annual Meeting, we have been given a glimmer of hope with respect to finding a new, robust transportation funding solution in 2016. At the time of this writing, we understand the chairman of the Transportation Conference Committee, Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez is working diligently with his legislative colleagues to find a compromise and that Senator Jim Beall is working with his caucus and Republican colleagues on revisions to his existing $4.5 billion proposal. Moreover, Assembly Member Jim Frazier introduced AB 1591 Wednesday, a nearly $8 billion funding plan.

CSAC remains committed to finding points of consensus to bring all parties together on a final package that is robust enough to not only stop the decline of our freeway and street and road conditions, but also result in actual improvements. Finally, while General Fund budget surpluses have continued, low gas prices have meant continued deterioration of funding available for local street and road maintenance. CSAC will also advocate for an administrative fix the price-based excise tax rate-setting process to avoid an additional decrease of over 2 cents and ensure greater stability in the future.

SCA 7 (Huff) – Support in Concept

SCA 7, by Senator Bob Huff, would amend the state constitution to devote certain motor vehicle fees and taxes to transportation purposes. Cities and counties have documented $78 billion ten-year shortfall in funding needed to maintain California’s local streets and roads, including essential components like sidewalks, bike lanes and storm drainage infrastructure. The local system comprises over 80% of California’s road mileage and is an important component of mobility for both vehicles, as well as transit buses, bicycles and pedestrians that also use this right-of-way.

CSAC supports protecting any new revenues raised as part of the ongoing special session on transportation infrastructure. We support SCA 7 in concept and are working with the legislators ensure that placing restrictions on vehicle license fees (or other user fees that might ultimately be included in a new funding plan), which have traditionally funded a broad array of general local government services, does not result in any unintended consequences for counties or the constituents they serve.

SCA 7 is set for hearing before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on January 12.

Help Recruit Volunteers for the Road Charge Pilot Study

5,000 participants from across the state are needed to ensure California can complete a robust study of the implications of charging drivers for the miles they drive instead of the gallons of fuel they purchase. This is a perfect opportunity for county supervisors and staff to get an insider’s perspective on how a road charge might work.

Remember: volunteer drivers will be able to choose one of the five mileage reporting methods California will be testing, volunteers will not pay any out-of-pocket costs, and no money will be exchanged during the pilot. Interested participants can sign up online here.

Caltrans is also requesting that counties include a button on their websites with a link allowing interested constituents to proceed to the volunteer sign up page. Please contact Brady Tacdol at Caltrans if your county would be willing to include the link on its website.

Land Use

AB 57 Implementation: Trainings Offered for New Wireless Permitting Law

The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, States of California & Nevada Chapter (SCAN) invites CSAC members to participate in two upcoming trainings on new wireless shot clock rules. SCAN will facilitate meetings in Fountain Valley on January 21 and at San Francisco City Hall on February 4. Information is available online here. Both meetings are open to SCAN non-members.

Effective January 1, 2016, local governments must approve or deny applications for new wireless facilities or co-locations within time periods established by the FCC. A new California law (AB 57 – Quirk, 2015) offers wireless companies a “deemed approve” provision that the industry had previously sought through federal regulation. Applications are deemed approved if the city or county does not make a decision within 90 or 150 days for co-locations and new wireless facilities, respectively.

CSAC opposed AB 57 throughout the entire legislative process and requested the Governor’s veto. Unfortunately, the bill was signed into law last fall. We would appreciate feedback from county planning departments about any experiences you encounter, positive or negative, in implementing the new law.