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Monday, September 16, 2019

2019 Legislative Round Up

NOTE: With the Legislature having wrapped up its activities for 2019, UCC will publish its legislative update on an as-needed basis.

Now that the Legislature has completed its work for the year, attention now turns to the Governor's bill signing period, which ends on October 13th. We will present a comprehensive report that includes details for all measures on which UCC has positions on after the bill signing period. Until then, we provide highlights on a few priority measures below.

DJJ Fee Increase - SB 284, by Senator Jim Beall, would increase from $24,000 to $125,000 the fee counties pay for a specified cohort of youth who are placed in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

UCC - in conjunction with other county associations - continues to oppose the measure, given the primary concern that a considerable fee increase would merely divert local resources away from prevention and intervention strategies that permit counties to keep as many youth close to home as possible. The measure awaits the Governor's action. UCC Position: OPPOSE.

Union Agent-Represented Worker Privilege - AB 418, by Assembly Member Ash Kalra, was moved to the Inactive File at the end of session. This measure would have established a privilege between a union agent and a represented worker to refuse to disclose any confidential communication between the employee and union agent. UCC Position: OPPOSE.

Email Retention Requirement - AB 1184, by Assembly Member Todd Gloria, would require local agencies to retain email messages for a period of two years. This measure was approved by the Legislature and sent to the Governor. UCC Position: OPPOSE.

Surplus Lands - The Legislature approved AB 1486, by Assembly Member Phil Ting, a measure that amends the Surplus Land Act to impose additional requirements on the process that local agencies must use when disposing of surplus property. Several local government stakeholders engaged the author on a considerable number of amendments, many of which were incorporated into the bill in the final weeks of the legislative session. Note that an important provision was inadvertently struck from the bill during the last round of amendments and Assembly Member Ting has committed to a future clean-up measure, as outlined in a letter to the Daily Journal. (For a copy of the letter, please contact Jean Hurst.) UCC Position: CONCERNS

Independent Redistricting Commissions - The Legislature approved SB 139, by Senator Ben Allen, which would require counties with populations of 400,000 or more to utilize independent redistricting commissions for purposes of decennial drawing of district boundaries. UCC Position: OPPOSE

Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination- Assembly Member Mike Gipson made his AB 1544 a two-year bill last week. It is our understanding that the Newsom Administration asked the author for additional time to work on the measure, which seeks to create the Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act of 2019. UCC Position: NEUTRAL (Opposition removed after most recent set of amendments)

Governor Newsom and Local Leaders Reach Out to White House on Homelessness

Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he - along with a bipartisan coalition of elected mayors, city councilmembers, and county supervisors - sent a letter to President Trump, requesting federal assistance and investment in efforts to address the homeless crisis. Specifically, the letter includes the following requests:

  • Provide 50,000 more vouchers through the Housing Choice and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing programs for extremely low-income Americans;
  • Increase the value of vouchers to account for the high cost of rents in cities and counties; and
  • Create a program based on best practices to incentivize landlords to work with voucher holders to find stable housing.

The letter also endorses HR 1856, The Ending Homelessness Act of 2019, a measure by House Financial Services Chair and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, which would provide for 300,000 new housing vouchers nationwide and give preference to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.


Monday, September 9, 2019

Legislature Enters Last Week of 2019 Legislative Year Amidst Protests

This week's legislative activities will primarily be focused on floor sessions during which members will endeavor to move bills in their final stages of the legislative process to the Governor's Desk. During this afternoon's floor sessions, both houses of the Legislature were being shouted down or otherwise disrupted by very active opponents of a set of vaccination-related measures. What has proven to be a very contentious issue this year is an effort (SB 276) being advanced by Senator and pediatrician Richard Pan that would put in place a review process, when certain conditions are met, for medical exemptions for vaccines.

Briefly summarized, Senator Pan worked with the Governor's Office to amend the bill earlier this summer to address the Governor's stated concerns. It was widely understood that these amendments represented a "deal" and that the Governor was expected to sign the bill so long as it contained the agreed upon changes. Within minutes of the bill passing its penultimate step in its legislative process last week, the Governor tweeted a request for additional amendments beyond those he'd previously negotiated with the author. After much speculation about what would happen next, Senator Pan announced he would fast track a second bill (SB 714); it was amended on Friday and has since passed the Legislature on an accelerated timeline. (Note that the companion bill does little to address the larger concerns of the largely grassroots opponents and they remain vociferously opposed.) Late breaking news indicates that the Governor plans to sign both SB 276 and its companion bill in short order. While this policy issue is significant in and of itself from a public health perspective, many Capitol observers are puzzled by the Governor's about-face on the original SB 276 deal and are left to wonder what this incident may portend on other policy issues of consequence in the future.

DHCS Solicits Interest for CalAIM Workgroups

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is seeking participants for its initiative that seeks to improve and standardize the Medi-Cal delivery system. The public process is related to the expiration of the Medi-Cal 2020 Section 1115 waiver and the Section 1915(b) Managed Care Waiver in 2020. DHCS wants to solicit input on how to simplify and improve the Medi-Cal program. This initiative, dubbed the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM), is a multi-year DHCS initiative to implement overarching policy changes across all Medi-Cal delivery systems, with the objectives of:

  1. Reducing variation and complexity across the delivery systems;
  2. Identifying and managing member risk and need through population health management strategies; and,
  3. Improving quality outcomes and driving delivery system transformation through value-based initiatives and payment reform.

Population Health Management and Annual Health Plan Open Enrollment

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Accreditation

Enhanced Care Management (ECM) and In-Lieu-of Services (ILOS)

If you wish to be considered for participation in one or more of the above CalAIM stakeholder workgroups, please submit this Participation Request Form to CalAIM@dhcs.ca.gov by September 27, 2019.

DHCS will notify individuals who are selected to participate in a workgroup(s) by October 18.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Breaking News: Housing Mitigation Fee Bill Won't Move This Year

UCC was just informed that Assembly Member Tim Grayson has decided to hold his AB 1484 in the Senate, pending informational hearings over the break. Language addressing a number of the recommendations in the recent report to the Legislature on the impact of fees governed under the Mitigation Fee Act will be amended into the bill, which will then be moved to Senate Rules where it will stay until next year.

Rent Control Compromise Announced

News coming out of the Capitol on Friday night revealed that a compromise had been reached on a rent control agreement. Governor Newsom and legislative leaders announced a compromise on AB 1482, by Assembly Member David Chiu, a measure that would restrict rent increases. Under the agreement, rents would be limited to a 5 percent (plus inflation) annual cap through 2030. News reports suggest that the California Apartment Association would remove its opposition and the California Building Industry Association would also drop its opposition after amendments were included to exempt units that were built within the last 15 years. Language has not yet been amended into the bill to reflect the agreement.


Monday August 26, 2019

This Week in the Legislature: More Budget Trailer Bills and the Suspense File


Three weeks remain in the Legislature's 2019 session, and there are a few events to note for this week.

As suspected, the Legislature will consider additional trailer bills before session ends. The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee is scheduled to hear 11 bills at a full committee hearing tomorrow; at the time of this writing, substantive language has yet to be amended into the identified trailer bills. We will keep you apprised on budget trailer bill developments of consequence to urban counties.

The second important event taking place this week is the fiscal deadline, which means that all bills with cost impacts must pass the respective second-house Appropriations Committee. On Friday, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees will hold their suspense file hearings during which the disposition of hundreds and hundreds of fiscal bills will be announced. (Decisions about which bills will live to see another day are made behind the scenes.) There are three general outcomes for individual bills from the suspense file hearing: (1) a bill can be "held on suspense" (i.e., die in committee); (2) a bill can be passed out and on to the floor with no changes; (3) or a bill can be passed out with amendments that typically focus on reducing the fiscal impact of the measure. On the latter outcome, amendments may take a day or two to appear in print. We will be tracking the fiscal committees' actions at week's end.

Bill Update

Vote threshold for local special taxes and bonds - Last week, the Assembly took up Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1, a measure that would place before the voters of California a ballot measure to lower the vote threshold for approval of local special taxes and bonds to 55 percent. The measure, which as a constitutional amendment is not subject to regular legislative deadlines, requires a 2/3 vote for legislative approval. After a lengthy, impassioned debate, ACA 1 failed on a vote of 44-20 (with 15 members not voting).

Under current law, cities, counties, and special districts are currently subject to a 2/3 vote for bonds or special taxes (school bonds are subject to the 55 percent threshold). ACA 1 would authorize cities, counties, and special districts to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing for persons at risk of chronic homelessness, including persons with mental illness, or the acquisition of lease of real property for public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing with bonds, sales and use taxes, transactions and use taxes, or parcel taxes with 55 percent voter approval. ACA 1 is eligible for reconsideration this week.

UCC Position: SUPPORT


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Joint Oversight Hearing -- Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and Assembly Health Committee

Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) Funds: Oversight and Accountability

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 [See agenda and materials here.]

Purpose of Oversight Hearing

  • Determine whether the issues and concerns identified in the California State Auditor's 2017 report have been addressed and if processes have been put in place to ensure similar issues do not reemerge.
  • Clarify whether Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), and counties are aligned on data reporting policies, and procedures to ensure maximum effectiveness on MHSA.

Opening Comments by Legislators

  • Members concerned about critical questions raised in audit regarding accountability.
  • Mental health system is struggling, but not due to lack of funding.
  • We are getting a "failing grade" on our MH system report card.
  • Members interested in identifying why and where we are falling short, determining what is working, and how to best invest taxpayer dollars.

Key Themes

  • Considerable interest in (1) high fund balances (unexpended resources, primarily in Innovation account) and (2) what factors contributed to counties' high reserve levels as well as statutory changes that now define a prudent reserve.
    • Included discussion of inherent volatility of MHSA funding source.
  • Considerable interest in outcomes and determining whether MHSA investments are producing good results.
    • Included discussion of challenges and significant expense associated with building a new, comprehensive data collection infrastructure and system.
  • Prevailing opinion among members is that desired outcomes of MHSA investment are not defined.
  • Support for robust technical assistance strategy, strengthening innovation concepts, and regional partnerships/collaborations to support counties' efforts and deployment of best practices.
  • Broad appreciation for and recognition of successes in local planning process required by initiative, which has resulted in strong community partnerships and engagement of key stakeholders.
  • Acknowledgement that MHSA does not represent all county resources spent on MH population; recognition that MHSA funds are used extensively to leverage other fund sources - especially federal funds; and acknowledgement that county behavioral health systems are responsible for a variety of populations with complex needs in diverse settings.
    • A speaker made two important points: 1. The MH system responsibility does reside solely with counties; and 2. There is not an agreed-upon, statewide vision on strategy or desired outcomes. He used public health as a counterexample where with a measles outbreak, for example, local public health departments have a focused objective and strategy - i.e., ensuring all children and adults are vaccinated. The mental health system is much more complex, with responsibility spread across local governments, community providers, and commercial insurance. These dynamics arguable create more challenges.
  • Shared commitment among DHCS, MHSOAC, and counties for ongoing partnership, continuous improvement of communication, and relationship strengthening.
  • NOTE: While the hearing was focused on MHSA, members asked questions about 1991 and 2011 realignment, what counties are doing with those funds, and whether the delivery of other mental health services are working well.

Key Take-Aways

  • Today's hearing set an informational foundation for future discussions.
  • Members understand individual counties have numerous examples of positive and innovative programs and positive program outcomes.
  • Counties welcome improved collaboration with state partners on program effectiveness.
  • There is an interest in exploring ways to improve processes and continue to promote expenditures out of innovation account.
  • There is an openness to discussing exploring reasonable changes and operational improvements (e.g., allowing locals to reach in to prudent reserve for local disaster/emergencies).
  • Primary Prop 63 proponent - the Steinberg Institute - asserts that the goals of MHSA are very clear: (1) to address the needs of the homeless with mental health issues and (2) to invest in prevention and intervention efforts before mental health issues take root. They are advocating for outcomes as a way to strengthen the MHSA (and presumably to hold counties accountable).
  • Closing comments of two committees' chairs:
    • Assembly Member Cottie Petrie-Norris (chair of Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee) - appreciates work and passion of those who presented today. Her interest is ensure that the Legislature rely on data-driven, evidence-based practices.
    • Assembly Member Jim Wood (chair of Assembly Health Committee) - advocates for new mindset around mental health issues across the board; we need to address the issues holistically and across systems as too many silos remain.

Conclusion

  • We expect legislative interest and oversight in the area of MHSA to continue and, given today's conversations that included Realignment funding, the scope of oversight may expand to other areas of county funding.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Legislature Set to Hold Oversight Hearing Tomorrow on MHSA Funds

The Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and the Assembly Health Committee will jointly host a legislative oversight hearing tomorrow on Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Funds. Details are as follows:

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

10:00 a.m., State Capitol Room 447

(The hearing can be livestreamed here.)

The hearing will feature two panels. The first will focus on an overview of mental health funding and recent issues, while the second will address state/county oversight, accountability, and future directions. In addition to state representatives, the second panel will offer the perspectives of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association and the county behavioral health perspective through the San Bernardino County department director.

Oversight Hearing Materials

At this link, tomorrow's hearing agenda, a brief committee background paper, information on the 2017 state audit, an LAO overview handout, and other materials are available now for review.

UCC Will Follow Up

UCC will provide a summary of the hearing and our key take-aways by close of business tomorrow. Given the Legislature's interest in MHSA funding/reserve levels and associated programmatic outcomes, we think it is important that urban counties understand the context of ongoing policy conversations, as well as potential next steps in order to develop and execute an appropriate response.


Monday, Augst 19, 2019

Update from the Capitol: Legislature Returns for Final Five Weeks of 2019 Legislative Year

he Legislature returned to Sacramento last Monday for its last several weeks of the legislative year. Given that it is an odd-numbered year (i.e., non-election), the session runs through mid-September. (During election years, the session wraps up at the end of August.) The Governor will then have a 30-day window (through October 13) to make his final signing and veto decisions for legislation that reaches his desk in the closing weeks of session. It will be interesting to analyze his bill signing and veto actions this first year, especially given recent market events indicating that the long-overdue recession could be upon us within 18 to 24 months.

Bills we note some high-profile measures of interest:

Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act Alternate Transport - AB 1544 (Gipson)

AB 1544 would create a statutory structure for community paramedicine and triage to alternate destination programs.

UCC Position: OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED

DJJ Fee Increase - SB 284 (Beall)

This measure would increase from $24,000 to $125,000 the fee counties pay for a specified cohort of youth who are placed in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

UCC Position: OPPOSE

EMS Dispatch - SB 438 (Hertzberg)

UCC Position: NEUTRAL

University of California (UC) Equal Employment Opportunity Standards - ACA 14 (Gonzalez)

The measure would allow UC to use contract labor if authorized by a future statute, which means a bill would need to move through the Legislature and secure the Governor's signature to allow the use of contractors.

UCC Position: WATCH

Two-Year Bills of Note

Below we discuss two bills where further movement has been put on hold until 2020. Both have significant potential implications to counties, so it's important that UCC remain focused and engaged.

Limitation on Local Agency Associations' Activities - AB 315 (C. Garcia)

UCC Position: OPPOSE

The measure that would prohibit local agency associations from expending funds on any activities other than lobbying the Legislature or Congress or hosting an annual conference.

Elimination of Various Court-Related Fees - SB 144 (Mitchell)

UCC Position: OPPOSE


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Governor Newsom Announces Membership to Task Force on Homelessness

Urban counties will be well-represented on the Governor's newly appointed task force on homelessness. Today, the Governor announced the names of regional leaders and statewide experts who will advise the Administration on solutions to address the state's homeless crisis. As we've previously reported, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was tapped to co-chair the task force, along with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

The full list of advisors is as follows:

  • Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Co-Chair
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Co-Chair
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria
  • San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher
  • Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez
  • Arcata City Councilmember Sofia Pereira
  • County Welfare Directors Association of California Executive Director Frank Mecca
  • Corporation for Supportive Housing Associate Director Sharon Rapport
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty Policy Advocate Anya Lawler
  • County Behavioral Health Directors Association Executive Director Michelle Cabrera
  • Former U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Director Philip Mangano
  • Former Department of Social Services Director Will Lightbourne

The task force will examine best practices related to prevention, diversion, and intervention, as well as guide local governments as they prepare regional plans to address homelessness. The group will convene three meetings in the coming months: August in the Central Valley, September in Southern California, and October in Northern California. (When we have information on exact dates and locations for these meetings, we will pass it along.)

The Governor also announced plans to appoint working groups of other regional leaders, service providers, formerly homeless individuals, and academics around specific geographies or issues affecting homelessness, to work in collaboration with the task force.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Legislature Breaks for Summer Recess

Please note: Given the Legislature's summer recess, UCC will publish its next Legislative Update on Monday, August 12, 2019.

Last week's legislative schedule featured long hearings and packed halls as members wrapped up work in advance of their four-week summer break. Committees were operating under the pressure of legislative deadlines that required all bills to be considered by relevant policy committees before adjournment for summer recess.

When members return to Sacramento on August 12, the respective Appropriations Committees will be poised to undertake fiscal review of remaining necessary measures, and the houses will consider and take action on the hundreds of proposals headed to the respective floors. The Governor's signing period - which, of course, will be his first opportunity to signal how he's going to approach major policy decisions via the signature and veto process - runs from September 13 through October 13.

Below we provided an update on some key legislative measures of interest. (A copy of the latest bill report containing status information on UCC's priority measures can be found here.)

Wildfire Fund

Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1054 - a bipartisan measure co-authored by Assembly Members Chris Holden, Autumn Burke, and Chad Mayes- into law last Friday, after the bill moved through the legislative process at breakneck speed. Sold as a means to keep California's investor-owned utilities from a market downgrade, AB 1054 will establish a $21 billion wildfire fund to pay eligible claims from a covered wildfire; $10.5 billion of the fund will come from extension of an existing charge paid by utility customers and utilities will pay the remaining $10.5 billion. (Note that budget trailer bill AB 111 is joined to the now-enacted AB 1054.)

Eighty pages of amendments were incorporated into the bill on July 5, and the Legislature moved the bill quickly through the legislative process, with the bill landing on the Governor's desk on Thursday of last week. Many members expressed concern about the lack of thorough vetting of the bill, and others raised concerns that the bill rewards bad-acting utilities that have failed to appropriately maintain their infrastructure. (More than one legislator noted that a recent Wall Street Journal article indicated that PG&E had known for years that its lines could spark fires and didn't take steps to fix them.) However, after a hard push from the Governor's Office, which included testimony by Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos before legislative policy committees (a move not typically seen in the normal bill-vetting process), AB 1054 was approved by a Senate vote of 31-7 and an Assembly vote of 63-8, easily meeting the two-thirds vote requirement for passage of urgency legislation.

Legislative leaders have pledged to continue working on wildfire prevention issues during the final weeks of session.

Bills Linked to Health Care Budget Agreement

Several measures advancing in the second house tie to the overall health care budget agreement, as follows:

  • Affordability. AB 174, by Assembly Member Jim Wood (Assembly Health Committee chair), now requires Covered California to develop and prepare one or more reports to be issued at least quarterly and be made publicly available within 30 days following the end of each quarter for the purpose of informing the California Health and Human Services Agency, the Legislature, and the public about the enrollment process for the individual market assistance program, established in the 2019-20 Budget Act. The measure is in Senate Appropriations Committee. SB 65, by Senator Richard Pan (the Senate Health Committee chair), was amended to include the same reporting requirements as AB 174. SB 65 passed out of Assembly Health Committee this week and heads to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

  • Individual Mandate. AB 414, by Assembly Member Rob Bonta, directs the Franchise Tax Board to report to the Legislature regarding specific information resulting from California's minimum essential health coverage requirement and individual shared responsibility penalty.

  • Coverage Expansion. Senator Maria Elena Durazo's SB 29 was amended to expand Medi-Cal to undocumented seniors over the age of 65. The expansion is contingent on funding provided in the budget act; please note that the budget act provided funding to expand Medi-Cal to only undocumented young adults ages 19 through 25. The measure passed out of Assembly Health Committee this week and heads to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Emergency Medical Services Dispatch

SB 438, by Senator Bob Hertzberg, passed out of Assembly Health Committee this week with several amendments, including language to address the consent of local agencies to contract for dispatch, alternative to deeming approval of emergency medical dispatch or advanced life support applications from local agencies, and medical control. The specific language is not yet in print.

While the amendments address a number of concerns, county associations continue to have conversations with the author and sponsor about the medical control aspect of the bill. SB 438 is not required to undergo a fiscal committee review, so it heads directly to the Assembly Floor for consideration.

Increase to DJJ Fee

Although it was eligible for consideration on the Assembly floor last week, Senator Jim Beall's SB 284 was not taken up. This measure would increase from $24,000 to $125,000 the fee counties pay for a specified cohort of youth who are placed in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

UCC is part of a county coalition that remains concerned that a considerable fee increase would merely divert local resources away from prevention and intervention strategies that permit counties to keep as many youth close to home as possible. If approved by the Assembly, the measure - because it has not been amended in the second house - would move straight to the Governor for his review and action.

2019-20 State Budget Update

Now that we find ourselves a few weeks into the 2019-20 fiscal year, we wanted to provide (found at this link) you with the full list - including summaries of - all budget trailer bills associated with the state spending plan. This list includes two trailer bill measures sent to and signed by the Governor last week: AB 110 and AB 111. Also in budget-related news, the Department of Finance released a summary last week of the final 2019-20 state spending plan as enacted.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Legislature Facing Bill Deadlines as Summer Break Approaches:

It's the last week of session before the Legislature adjourns for a four-week summer break. Two legislative deadlines this week will require the Legislature, when it returns to Sacramento, to focus only on fiscal hearings for remaining bills and then moving bills out of the second house and back to the house of origin before passing them along to the Governor for his consideration and action. As a reminder - barring any rule waiver acrobatics (which has been known to take place in the last few weeks of session) - bills with a fiscal impact must be taken up and approved by all relevant policy committees by Wednesday, July 10; all non-fiscal bills must move out of policy committees by Friday, July 12. The Legislature returns for a final four-week stretch on Monday, August 12.

Given the Legislature's summer recess, we will provide a legislative update on priority bills of interest next Monday, July 15, and then will get back to our normal weekly publication schedule in August.

2019-20 Budget Update

Housing and Homelessness Budget Trailer Bill Advances to Governor:

The housing and homelessness trailer bill - AB 101 - was approved by both houses of the Legislature last week and now is on its way to Governor Newsom for his action. That measure distributes the $650 million in homelessness funding among local entities, dedicates considerable additional support to housing programs, provides for incentives to encourage cities and counties to adopt pro-housing policies at the local level, and specifies long-awaited details on the "stick" to encourage compliance with housing element law that does not include a tie to SB 1 transportation funding. We have prepared a more detailed update of the various provisions of the measure (here). Do not hesitate to get in touch with us should you have any additional questions.

Senate Budget Committee Meets to Take Up Two Late Trailer Bills:

The full Senate budget committee will meet this afternoon to hear two additional 2019-20 trailer bills: AB 110, which appears to make a technical, corrective change with respect to a date reference associated with various budget-related bills; and AB 111, which would establish the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety tied to the wildfire/utilities measure (AB 1054, Holden) being considered before the Legislature as we speak.

Legislative Measure of Interest

Limitations on Local Government Associations:

UCC is taking a close look at AB 315 by Assembly Member Christina Garcia, which appeared in print over the weekend as a "gut and amend." As now drafted, AB 315 would expressly limit local government associations' use of dues revenue from local agencies to legislative advocacy and education and publicly disclose those expenditures, as well as prohibit local government associations from incurring any travel-related expense, except for an annual meeting.

Given that AB 315 is still in the Assembly and would require considerable rule waivers to proceed this year, it is considered a two-year bill and will not be given a hearing this year. We understand that the impetus for this bill may be a response to an incident earlier this year at the Contract Cities Association Annual Municipal Seminar during which a physical altercation between two councilmembers from the City of Commerce took place, but have yet to receive official information from Assembly Member Garcia's office about her motivation for the bill.

UCC will continue to keep you apprised on this measure.

Elimination of Criminal Justice Fees:

As of last week, we learned that Senator Holly Mitchell's SB 144 will be two-year bill, presumably to allow for more opportunity to assess the fiscal impacts of the measure. As now drafted, this measure proposes to (1) eliminate several dozen provisions that currently authorize counties and local courts to assess various fees related to the operation of the criminal justice system and (2) vacate all associated debt for previously levied fees. A county coalition in opposition to the measure - which includes UCC - has made clear that financial impacts of fees on court users is worthy of consideration, but that there needs to be a contemporaneous acknowledgement and close assessment of the fiscal impacts associated with fee elimination as well as accompanying compensation for resulting revenue loss. The decision to put the bill on hold until 2020 affords more time to evaluate specific fiscal impacts on counties and courts alike and develop options for addressing the associated revenue loss.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Housing and Homelessness Budget Trailer Bill Advances

Late last week, we sent you a quick outline of the provisions of the housing and homelessness trailer bill. That bill - AB 101 - was heard and approved by the full Senate yesterday and will be taken up by the Assembly by the end of the week. We are still combing through the bill and have questions about some of its provisions, so we will send out an analysis soon. Stay tuned!

UCC Bills of Note

Emergency Medical Services Dispatch
SB 438, by Senator Bob Hertzberg, is set for hearing in Assembly Health Committee on July 9. County associations opposing SB 438 continue to have conversations with the author and sponsor about the measure.

Outstanding issues remain on contracting with public agencies. While recent amendments would allow these counties to keep their existing medical dispatch structure in place for the duration of their current contracts, any use of a private entity for medical dispatch in the future would be subject to the "consent" of all public safety agencies that provide prehospital emergency services. SB 438 does not provide a remedy should this consent not be reached, nor does it require those entities that do not consent to be willing to provide medical dispatch beyond their jurisdiction to ensure that there is no system fragmentation.

Additionally, conversations continue on medical control. While proponents have stated that SB 438 is not intended to undermine LEMSA medical control, the proposed language in Section 1798.8 to the Health and Safety Code alters existing medical control statute by placing limitations on how medical control is applied to the governance of EMS systems.

Further, SB 438 requires a public safety agency's emergency medical dispatch program (EMD) and advanced life support plan to only satisfy state guidelines and not the local EMS agency's policies and procedures, both of which should fall under the medical control of the local EMS medical director. It also establishes deemed approval of the public safety agency's EMD and advanced life support program if the local EMS agency does not deny their submission within 60 days.

Despite county opposition, SB 438 is anticipated to continuing moving through the legislative process.

General Assistance Eligibility
AB 1403, by Assembly Member Wendy Carrillo, would require counties to alter their locally established General Assistance (GA) eligibility levels to provide county-funded assistance to certain parents who are ineligible for CalWORKs benefits and who are currently statutorily ineligible for GA. Senate Human Services is hearing AB 1403 on July 9th. This week, the Urban Counties of California, the Rural County Representatives of California, the County Welfare Directors Association and the California State Association of Counties moved to an oppose position on the measure.

Increase to DJJ Fee
Senator Jim Beall's SB 284 would increase from $24,000 to $125,000 the fee counties pay for a specified cohort of youth who are placed in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) if the offense for which the youth is committed occurred when they were 15 years or younger. The bill's proponents contend that an additional financial incentive is needed to ensure that counties limit the number of DJJ referrals; counties, on the other hand, oppose the measure and assert that the incentives already in place are appropriately calibrated. Counties recognize the benefits of keeping as many youth as possible close to home during periods of rehabilitation and detention. However, it is imperative to have an alternative for specialized treatment and for populations with particularly high needs, and DJJ fills that important role in the juvenile justice continuum. An increase in the annual fee as contemplated SB 284 would simply take resources away from counties - resources that now are likely dedicated to the in-depth local prevention and intervention programming that permit counties to keep as many youth close to home as possible. Despite a county coalition - including UCC - in opposition to this measure, SB 284 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on June 25. Note (see analysis here) that there is no direct state cost impact nor any mandate implications. It is our understanding that the bill will be taken up on the Assembly floor this Friday. Given that the measure has not been amended in the Assembly, if it secures passage out of the lower house, it will move straight to the Governor for his review and action. Counties that oppose this measure are encouraged to reach out to the Governor's office as soon as is practical.

Elimination of Criminal Justice Fees
Senator Holly Mitchell's SB 144 is set for hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on July 9; it is possible that additional amendments - likely to restore fee authority for a select few programs, but leaving the majority of provisions unchanged - may be taken at that time. This measure proposes to (1) eliminate several dozen provisions that authorize counties and local courts to assess various fees related to the operation of the criminal justice system and (2) vacate all associated debt for previously levied fees. A county coalition in opposition to the measure has made clear that the policy conversation about fiscal impacts of court-related fees is worthy of consideration but that there needs to be an acknowledgement and close assessment of the fiscal impacts associated with fee elimination as well as an accompanying backfill to compensate counties for revenue loss. An additional complexity associated with the bill remains - whether and to what extent the elimination of fee authority would affect counties' fine and forfeiture Maintenance of Effort (MOE) obligations established as the result of trial court funding legislation (AB 227, 1997). UCC, as part of a county coalition, continues to focus on a respectful yet unwavering opposition effort unless and until the considerable and permanent revenue loss associated with its implementation is addressed.


Thursday, June 28, 2019

Details on Housing and Homelessness Budget Elements Finally Drop

Early this morning - on the very day the Governor is required to act on the 2019-20 state budget bill adopted by the Legislature on June 13 - reports of a final deal on housing and homelessness started to surface on Twitter. The final agreement, the details of which just came into print

(AB 101/SB 102) within the last hour, contains three main components. And, while different from the May Revision in terms of funding levels dedicated to local government recipients, it continues to offer a mix of carrots and sticks.

The proposal includes considerable General Fund support for housing and homelessness programs, incentives to encourage cities and counties to adopt pro-housing policies at the local level, and long-awaited details on the "stick" to encourage compliance with housing element law that - we are happy to report - does not include a tie to SB 1 transportation funding.

Funding

The package also reveals (finally!) how $650 million in homelessness funding will be allocated among counties, cities, and the Continuums of Care (COCs): $175 million in direct allocations to counties, $275 million to the 13 largest cities, and $190 million to COCs. Additionally, $10 million of the homelessness funding has been set-aside or "deferred" for future use. The measure places a two-year time limit on obligating homelessness funds; notably, these provisions are more stringent for counties than for cities or COCs.

Investments to various housing-related programs remain unchanged, as follows:

  • $250 million for the Local Housing Planning Support Grant Program

  • $500 million for the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program

  • $500 million for the Low-Income Tax Credit program

  • $500 million for the Mixed-Income Loan Program

Rewards

The second element of the deal would provide cities and counties "bonus points" for purposes of existing grant programs, including the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) and the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program, both of which are funded via the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). In order to qualify for the additional points, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) would have to designate a city or county as "pro-housing" based on a set of criteria that will be determined by a stakeholder process. The city or county must have voluntarily adopted ordinances that facilitate the planning, approval, or construction of housing such as streamlining, by-right zoning, capping impact fees, reducing parking criteria, etc.

Penalties

Finally, should a city or county fail to comply with housing element law, the trailer bill language empowers the state to take the following actions:

  • Require meetings between HCD and the local jurisdiction to, among other things, develop a written statement of findings and a timeline for compliance;

  • Permit a court - if the Attorney General brings a suit against the local jurisdiction for a persistent violation of housing element laws (AB 72, 2017) and the local jurisdiction remains out of compliance for twelve months - to:

    • Levy penalties that range from $10,000-$100,000 per month for the first three months; $30,000-$300,000 for the second three months; and $60,000-$600,000 for the third three months;

    • Direct the State Controller to intercept any available state and local funds (with the exception of those that are protected by the Constitution if the local jurisdiction fails to pay the fines imposed by the court;

    • Appoint an agent of the court with all the powers necessary to bring the jurisdiction's housing element into compliance in order to remedy identified deficiencies.

More Analysis to Come

In the interest of time, HBE is providing this brief outline of the main deal points contained in AB 101 and SB 102. Given the length and density of the measure, we will continue our close read and provide a more detailed analysis in the days to come. Please feel free to reach out to Jean Hurst (jkh@hbeadvocacy.com or 916-272-0010) should you have any questions.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Very Latest on Two Outstanding Budget Issues

As we reported as recently as yesterday, news on how homelessness funding will be divided among local entities remains frustratingly quiet. Within the last hour, we gleaned some insights when Los Angeles Times reporter Liam Dillon tweeted that Governor Gavin Newsom told the press today that he is:

Fighting with the Legislature on tying financial or other penalties to cities that don't comply with state housing laws. Not fighting with the Legislature on divvying up $650M in local homelessness money. Says the issue is Senate v. Assembly.

Another outstanding budget issue is the trailer bill to implement the program to clean-up unsafe drinking water. Dueling Senate and Assembly versions of trailer bill language exist, with the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee already having approved AB 100, also supported by Governor Newsom. The Assembly version, SB 101, contains language that authorizes the funds to be used to address contamination that does not exceed current safe drinking water standards. We will keep you posted on how these differences get ironed out.

Summary of Health Trailer Bill (Part II)

SB 104, which is a second health budget trailer bill, passed out of both houses of the Legislature yesterday and awaits the Governor's action. Provisions in SB 104 include the following:

  • Healthy California for All Commission. Revises the focus of the Council on Health Care Delivery Systems approved in the 2018 Budget Act, renaming it the Healthy California for All Commission. The Commission would be required to submit a report by July 1, 2020, an analysis of California's existing health care delivery system and options to transition to a unified financing system, including a single-payer financing system. Additionally, the Commission would be required by February 1, 2021, to submit a report to the Legislature and the Governor that includes options for key design considerations for a unified financing system, including a single-payer financing system. The bill would require those reports to be posted on the California Health and Human Services Agency's internet website.

  • Medi-Cal Expansion to Undocumented Adults. Expands full-scope Medi-Cal eligibility for adults age 19 to 25 regardless of immigration status, beginning January 1, 2020.

  • Medi-Cal Eligibility for Aged and Disabled Individuals Between 100 and 130 Percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Expands Medi-Cal eligibility to 138 percent of the FPL for aged and disabled individuals, beginning January 1, 2020.

  • Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Adjusts the reimbursement rate development methodology for Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

  • County Medical Services Program. Withholds 1991 Realignment funds from the County Medical Services Program until the program's reserves reach a level equivalent to two years of expenditures.

  • Maternal Mental Health: Medi-Cal Eligibility. Extends Medi-Cal eligibility from 60 days to 12 months after delivery for women in pregnancy-related Medi-Cal programs who are diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition. Suspends the program on December 31, 2021, unless the Director of Finance determines that General Fund revenues exceed expenditures by a sufficient amount for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years to fund programs subject to suspension.

Governor Newsom Proposes $21 Billion Wildfire Fund

Late last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $21 billion insurance fund that electric utilities would use to pay claims from utility-caused wildfires. In a report to the Legislature as to progress on the recommendations of the Governor's Strike Force, the Governor outlined plans for a liquidity fund that would act as a source for loans for utilities to pay claims while waiting for regulators to decide if the utilities properly managed their infrastructure. The liquidity fund, which would total $10.5 billion, would be funded from the continuation of a charge on ratepayers' bills that dates back to the 2000 energy crisis. Utilities would be required to reimburse the liquidity fund and if a utility acted properly, the Public Utilities Commission would authorize the utility to charge customers for wildfire damage. A second option, the insurance fund, would build upon the liquidity fund option and would require an additional $10.5 billion from shareholders to match the $10.5 billion from ratepayers.

The fund proposals will be sent to the Legislature for its consideration, as they have three weeks to pass measures before a likely downgrade of bond ratings of the investor-owned utilities. Check out this Los Angeles Times story for more.


June 17, 2019

Legislature Passes Spending Bill Only Last Week; Some Trailer Bills Now Being Considered

On Thursday of last week, a full two days before its constitutional deadline, the Legislature approved AB 74, the main budget bill, authorizing a $150 billion state spending plan for 2019-20. The budget features significant investments in K-12 education and health care and boasts an unprecedented level of reserves, with all reserve accounts totaling $19.4 billion. AB 74 was the only budget-related bill considered by the Senate and Assembly before the June 15 deadline, but its passage was enough to ensure that legislators continue to get paid under the provisions of Proposition 25 (2010).

At the time of this writing, the Assembly is taking up more than a dozen implementing budget trailer bills on the floor. The full Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee just convened and is discussing AB 91, the federal tax conformity measure, which needs to be resolved in fairly short order. The issue of tax conformity is a considerable challenge, as the budget relies on $1.6 billion in state revenue, in part, to help fund an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). AB 91 requires a 2/3 vote, as it contains tax increases. It has been widely reported that the Assembly had been balking - as recently as late last week - at putting up the votes for this measure. What other matters the committee plans to take up today is not clear.

Trailer bills on housing and homelessness - including specific details on how homelessness investments will be divided among local governments - are among those that are still unavailable, and we understand that some trailer bills that have already been made public may require amendment prior to consideration by the respective houses.

Human Services Trailer Bill - We wanted to be sure to highlight recent amendments taken to the human services budget trailer bill (in identical measures AB 80 and SB 80). These measures were amended over the weekend to include penalties for counties that fail to come to a collective bargaining agreement with In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers. The language adds a new requirement in state law that any county that goes to mediation must hold a public hearing within 3 days of the fact-finding panel's public release of its findings and recommended settlement terms (Section 75).

Additionally, the language in AB 80/SB 80 (Section 76) authorizes a withholding of 1991 Realignment funds when all of the following conditions are met:

  • The parties have completed mediation and fact-finding.

  • The fact-finding panel has issued findings of fact and recommended settlement terms that are more favorable to the employee organization than those proposed by the public authority or nonprofit consortium.

  • The parties do not reach a collective bargaining agreement within 90 days after the release of the fact-finding panel's recommended settlement terms.

  • The collective bargaining agreement for IHSS providers in the county has expired.

Beginning July 1, 2019, any county that has not reached an agreement after the release of the fact-finding panel's recommended settlement terms released prior to June 30, 2019, shall have 90 days to reach an agreement with the employee organization. If no agreement is reached within 90 days, the withholding shall occur on October 1, 2019.

Penalty Amount. The amount of the 1991 Realignment funding withholding shall be equivalent to 1 percent of the county's 2018-19 fiscal year IHSS Maintenance of Effort requirement.

Notification. The Public Employment Relations Board shall provide written notification to the county and the employee organization within 15 days of determining that the county is subject to a 1991 Realignment withholding. The board shall also notify the Department of Finance and the State Controller of the withholding assessment.

Reporting. By January 10, 2020, the department shall report to the fiscal committees of the Legislature on the status of all in-home supportive services bargaining contracts in each county. The department shall also provide an update to the report on the status of the bargaining contracts no later than May 14, 2020. The department shall consult with the appropriate employee organizations and the California State Association of Counties to determine the status of bargaining contracts in each county for purposes of producing the reports required pursuant to this subdivision.

Sunset. The provisions sunset on January 1, 2021.

Housing Accountability Act - Request for Comment

SB 592, by Senator Scott Wiener, was gutted and amended on June 13th to make a number of changes to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA). Recall that the HAA prohibits a local agency from disapproving or conditioning approval in a manner that renders infeasible a housing development project that complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria in effect at the time the application for the project is deemed complete within the meaning of the Permit Streamlining Act (PSA), unless the local agency makes specified written findings based on a preponderance of the evidence in the record. Specifically, SB 592 would:

  • Provide that the HAA applies to any form of land use decision by a local agency, including a ministerial or use by right decision and a discretionary approval.

  • Require an application that is not subject to the PSA to be deemed or determined to be complete for purposes of the HAA at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.

  • Specify that a general plan, zoning, or subdivision standard or criterion is not "applicable" for purposes of the HAA if its applicability to a housing development project is discretionary or if the project could be approved without the standard or criterion being met.

  • Provide that disproving a housing development project for purposes of the HAA includes any instance in which a local agency takes action on the proposed housing development project application and disproves the project, or in the case of a ministerial project, if the local agency fails to comply with the time periods specified in the applicable law authorizing the ministerial project.

  • Require a local agency that determines an application that was revised after the agency's initial denial is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with applicable law to provide a similar written document within 30 days providing an explanation of the reasons for the decision.

  • Define a housing development project for purposes of the HAA to also include a single unit, including an accessory dwelling unit, or the addition of one or more bedrooms to an existing residential unit.

  • Specify that conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing include a reduction in the number of bedrooms or other normal residential features, or the substantial impairment of the housing development project's economic viability.

  • Authorize a plaintiff or petitioner who is the project applicant to seek compensatory damages for a violation of the HAA.

  • UCC is still reviewing the language and, at this time, looking for general feedback. How many land use decisions are urban counties making that would be included under the HAA if SB 592 were signed into law? We are trying to determine the magnitude of impacts and liability the measure would create for counties in addition to any fundamental policy flaws.


June 10, 2019

CEQA-Related Measures: Request for Comment

SB 25 (Caballero) - CEQA: Projects Funded by Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds or Other Public Funds

SB 25, by Senator Anna Caballero, would, until January 1, 2025, expedite administrative and judicial review of environmental review and approvals granted for qualified projects that are funded, in whole or in part, by opportunity zone funds or public agencies and that meet certain standards. Qualified projects could not be located in high or very high fire severity zones and must meet certain environmental and inclusionary housing standards. Specifically, the bill would establish special procedures for public participation in CEQA review of the project including, among others:

  • The project environmental review document includes a specified notice that the document is subject to the provisions of this bill.

  • The lead agency conducts an informational workshop within 10 days of release of the draft environmental review document and holds a public hearing within 10 days before close of the public comment period.

  • Require the lead agency to provide the draft environmental review document in an electronic format, certify the record within 45 days after the filing of the notice of intent to file an action or proceeding, and provide the record to a party upon written request.

The bill would also require the Judicial Council, on or before September 1, 2020, to adopt rules of court that apply an action or proceeding brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification or adaptation of an environmental review document for a qualified project or the granting of any project approvals, requiring lawsuits and any appeals to be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of the filing of the certified record of proceedings.

  • The author contends that this bill would only apply to development projects with a clear nexus to the public good and that if streamlined reviews can be granted for sports stadiums then the Legislature can expedite review of CEQA approvals for housing development projects too. The analysis points out however that by putting judicial review of these CEQA documents at the front of the line, SB 25 could delay access for other types of civil actions such as medical malpractice, wrongful death, or contract disputes and could place considerable burden on the courts. All UCC member counties do have designated opportunity zones in their jurisdictions - see attached spreadsheet for details by county. Does your county stand to benefit from expedited review of qualified projects?

SB 744 (Caballero): Planning and Zoning: CEQA: Permanent Supportive Housing

SB 744, by Senator Anna Caballero, would make changes to the existing use by-right approval process for supportive housing projects and, for No Place Like Home (NPLH) Projects that are not eligible for the use by-right approval process, establishes certain administrative review and expedited judicial review requirements. Specifically, SB 744 would:

  • State a policy to approve as a use by right proposed housing developments with a limit higher than 50 units does not constitute a "project" for purposes of CEQA.

  • Prohibit a local government from adopting an ordinance requiring a project that qualifies as a use by right under the supportive housing provisions to be subject to design review unless the design review is objective and strictly focused on assessing compliance with criteria required for supportive housing developments and the local government applies those objective design review standards broadly to development within the jurisdiction.

  • Prohibit a local government from requiring a supportive housing development to comply with objective development standards and policies that are not otherwise applied to other multifamily development within the same zone.

  • If a NPLH project does not qualify as a use by right, allow the development applicant to request that the lead agency prepare and certify the record of proceeding for the environmental review of the project in a specified manner, including preparing the record of proceedings concurrently with the administrative process and requiring all documents and other materials placed in the record of proceedings be posted online, and proscribes certain timelines for local agency action and for action or proceeding against a public agency decision.

  • Establish special procedures applicable to an action or proceeding brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification or adaptation of an environmental review document for a NPLH project or the granting of any approval of that project, including requiring the Judicial Council to amend the Rules of Court, by September 1, 2020, requiring lawsuits and any appeals to be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of the filing of the certified record of proceedings.

  • The author argues that SB 744 will streamline the supportive housing project review processes which will allow for a quicker dispersal of NPLH funds. Similar to SB 25 however, SB 744 could delay access for other types of civil actions such as medical malpractice, wrongful death, or contract disputes and could place considerable burden on the courts. Considering NPLH and planned or potential projects in your community, and the limitations on local decision making in terms of objective design review, does your county support this approach to streamlining environmental review?

Several Public Safety Bills of Note

SB 42 (Skinner): Getting Home Safe Act

SB 42, by Senator Nancy Skinner, would enact the Getting Home Safe Act with a goal of requiring jail inmate release protocols that would eliminate late-night releases and better ensure safe transition back into the community immediately upon discharge. While the policy objectives behind the measure are understandable, counties should consider the following requirements SB 42 would impose:

  • Provision of safe waiting area for persons awaiting release who otherwise have declined a voluntary stay in jail to facilitate a daytime release;

  • Provision of personal cell phone (no limitation on model) charging station in safe waiting area;

  • Provision of three days' supply of necessary medication (no limitation on type) for any person being released from jail after a stay of 30 days or longer.

Certain aspects of SB 42 that would have imposed significant local cost pressure were eliminated by the Senate Appropriations Committee, but remaining provisions of the bill are costly and, with respect to the pharmaceutical requirement, could expose counties to liability. The measure has been set for hearing on June 25 in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. We would be interested in hearing from individual counties about the expected operational impacts of this measure.

SB 144 (Mitchell): Elimination of Authority to Collect Court-Related Fees

SB 144, by Senator Holly Mitchell, proposes to eliminate the authority to charge a variety of court-related fees and eliminate any associated debt. The sponsors of the measure are seeking to address the disproportionate impacts court-ordered debt impose on low-income communities and communities of color. Concerns have intensified in recent years among policy makers and advocates regarding the extent to which court-imposed fines, fees, and penalties have risen in the past 20 or so years and about the disproportionate impact the resulting financial burden has had on low-income individuals and communities of color. Court-ordered debt and associated collection efforts often serve as a barrier to successful reentry.

Although this policy conversation is worth close examination, if enacted, SB 144 would have significant fiscal impacts on county governments as well as trial courts. UCC is part of a broad county coalition in opposition to the measure given the significant, permanent loss of county revenue. The coalition is requesting that the Legislature fully account for the fiscal implications associated with the bill's implementation and compensate counties on an ongoing basis for the lost revenue. The measure is set for hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 25.

SB 284 (Beall): Increase to DJJ Fee

SB 284, by Senator Jim Beall, would increase from $24,000 to $125,000 the fee counties pay for a specified cohort of youth who are placed in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). UCC is part of a county coalition in opposition to this measure. The bill's proponents contend that an additional financial incentive is needed to ensure that counties limit the number of DJJ referrals; counties, on the other hand, oppose the measure and assert that the incentives already in place are appropriately calibrated. Counties recognize the benefits of keeping as many youth as possible close to home during periods of rehabilitation and detention and work to achieve this objective in every instance. However, it is imperative to have an alternative for specialized treatment and for populations with particularly high needs, and DJJ fills that important role in the juvenile justice continuum. An increase in the annual fee as contemplated SB 284 would simply take resources away from counties - resources that now are likely dedicated to the in-depth local prevention and intervention programming that permit counties to keep as many youth close to home as possible. SB 284 will be heard tomorrow in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

AB 516 (Chiu): Authority to Remove Vehicles

AB 516, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would eliminate existing authority with respect to towing vehicles. Specifically, it would repeal the existing law that allows for towing of vehicles that: (1) have five or more delinquent parking violations, (2) are left on a road for 72 or more consecutive hours, or (3) have a lapsed vehicle registration in excess of six months. Further, the measure would repeal the existing law allowing for an immobilization of a vehicle that has five or more unpaid parking or traffic tickets.

The sponsors of the bill point to a recent report that highlights the disproportionate punishment these specific towing practices - which have termed "poverty-related" tows - place on low-income individuals. Advocates further point out the cascading effects that result from the loss of access to a vehicle - inability to get to work, putting employment at risk; inability to get children to childcare or school; and, in some instances, the loss of a person's only shelter.

UCC has not weighed in on AB 516, but we are seeking county feedback on local impacts. The measure has been double-referred to Senate Transportation Committee and Senate Public Safety Committee; no hearing dates have yet been set.


June 9, 2019

Summary of the 2019-20 Budget Conference Committee Actions

After delaying this afternoon's hearing start time a few times, the Budget Conference Committee convened close to 5 p.m. this evening to take action on dozens and dozens of deal points that represent resolution of outstanding 2019-20 budget items.

Attached please find the Summary of the 2019-20 Conference Committee Actions.


June 3, 2019

Budget Conference Committee Process Underway; Governor Calls for an "Early" Budget.

Last Thursday, the 10-member Budget Conference Committee began the process of attempting to reconcile the two houses' state spending plans. Beginning with overview presentations by the Legislative Analyst (handout) and Department of Finance officials, conferees received information on the state's general financial position as well as the principal differences between the houses' approaches to major spending items subject to the conferees' reconciliation.

Before breaking for the weekend, the Conference Committee had made a first pass through the education budget items and a portion of the resources and transportation issues. As is typical for the start of the conferees' process, no votes have been taken on any issues at this point. After finishing a first review of resources and transportation, which they will presumably wrap up later today, the conferees will have three additional budget areas to cover - health and human services; state administration and general government; and, finally, public safety, corrections, and the judiciary. Details on the budget items that await the Conference Committee's reconciliation can be found here. The committee is expected to reconvene late this afternoon to continue conversations.

UCC's letter to the Budget Conference Committee on priority budget issues can be found here.

Interestingly, Governor Newsom mentioned today during a summit on emergency management preparedness that he wants his first state budget done a week early - meaning by the end of this week. Given that the Budget Conference Committee has barely begun its review and that all bills must be in print for 72-hours before they can be voted on, this goal appears extremely ambitious. Remember, of course, that the Legislature is only required to pass the main budget bill before the June 15 constitutional deadline. Trailer bills, which contain implementing provisions for various aspects of the budget, can follow.

Finally, it bears repeating that a number of notable items are not slated to be heard before the Conference Committee (because both houses took the same action), including:

  • In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). Both houses approved the Governor's IHSS Maintenance of Effort (MOE) proposal with alternative trailer bill language being advanced by labor unions. Under this alternative proposal, a 4 percent inflator - as proposed in the Governor's January budget - would be implemented only in those counties with a collective bargaining agreement that pays above minimum wage. In those jurisdictions without an agreement in place (regardless of the wage specified), the higher 7 percent annual inflator would remain in place.
  • Transition of Medi-Cal Pharmacy Benefit from Managed Care to Fee-for-Service. Both houses adopted placeholder trailer bill language to require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), prior to implementation of the transition of the pharmacy benefit to fee-for-service, to engage quarterly with stakeholders during 2019-20 that may be impacted by the transition, to provide a comprehensive transition plan, and to provide a comprehensive fiscal analysis of the costs and savings to the Medi-Cal program and to impacted providers.
  • Expand No Share of Cost Medi-Cal to Seniors. Both houses adopted placeholder trailer bill language to increase the income eligibility for aged and disabled individuals from 100 to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for no share of cost Medi-Cal and approved annual funding.
  • Restoration of Optional Medi-Cal Benefits. Both houses restored all of the optional Medi-Cal benefits that were eliminated in 2009 and have not been restored, including audiology, chiropractic, incontinence products, optician and optical lab, podiatry and speech therapy.
  • Funding for Local Health Departments for Infectious Disease Prevention. Both houses adopted the Governor's May Revision proposal to provide $40 million to local health departments and tribal governments for infectious disease prevention.
  • CalWORKs Grant Increases. Both houses adopted modified grant increases to raise grants to 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for assistance units of one and 48 percent for all other assistance units, toward to goal of ending deep poverty for all assistance units plus one, per the 2019 budget agreement.

Wildfire Commission's Draft Report Released

The much-anticipated draft report from the Commission on Wildfire Cost and Recovery was released last week, outlining broad recommendations for managing the wildfire liabilities, including changes to the state's liability law and a larger catastrophic wildfire fund to more widely spread the costs of damages among utility investors, ratepayers, and homeowner's insurance companies. While the report has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, a statement by Governor Newsom, Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was released indicating their interest in focusing on "an equitable resolution on the prudent manager standard, bridge financing and to allow cost recovery for electricity providers who act responsibly and in the public's best interest."

Notably, the Governor and legislative leaders did not embrace the Commission's draft recommendation on changes to the inverse condemnation doctrine, stating "We are committed to continuing the exploration of the impact of strict liability on the costs to ratepayers, on wildfire victims, and on the solvency of our utilities. If the trend of massive, catastrophic wildfires persists, we may need to pursue additional changes."

See this Los Angeles Times story for more background.

Priority Bills and Requests for Comments

Now that the first major bill deadline has passed, we have a better sense of the universe of measures that will occupy our advocacy efforts in the coming weeks and months. As policy hearing committees get set, we will be reaching out, where appropriate and needed, for assistance. In the meantime, we highlight one measure of significant consequence as well as two housing, planning, and development-related measures that require a close read and for which we'd appreciate some specific feedback.

SB 144 (Mitchell): Criminal Justice Fee Elimination

Senator Holly Mitchell's SB 144 would eliminate dozens of criminal justice related fees and discharge all debt associated with previously levied fees. Although amendments taken in the Senate somewhat narrow the scope of the bill, the permanent revenue loss for counties statewide is nevertheless expected to be considerable (in the range of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars annually). There are several challenges with the assessing the fiscal impacts associated with the measure: first, it is extraordinarily difficult to untangle the complex layers of court-related fees, fines, and penalties that have resulted from decades of legislative action and, secondly, there is significant diversity in the manner and location of court-ordered debt collection such that no one entity can provide a clear and complete fiscal assessment of the bill's implications.

However, given the significant stakes associated with eliminating fee authority without an accurate understanding of what it would mean to programs and services supported by this revenue, UCC continues to oppose the measure with other county partners solely on fiscal grounds. The coalition's specific advocacy request is that the state evaluate and compensate local governments for any associated revenue loss. When the measure was on the Senate floor for debate last week, several Senators raised the fiscal arguments that individual counties and county associations have identified as well as the need for an accompanying backfill. An additional complexity associated with the bill remains - whether and to what extent the elimination of fee authority would affect counties' fine and forfeiture Maintenance of Effort (MOE) obligations established as the result of trial court funding legislation (AB 227, 1997). The measure awaits assignment to a policy committee in the Assembly.

AB 1763 (Chiu): Density Bonus - Request for Comment

AB 1763, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would revised state density bonus law to require a city or county to award a developer additional density, concessions and incentives, and height increases if 100% of the units in a development are restricted to lower income households. The author is arguing that existing zoning - density and height - are often too low for affordable housing developments to pencil out. Alternatively, some local agencies are arguing the concessions and incentives provided in AB 1763 go too far. UCC staff has also heard that some cities/counties already provide for density bonus for 100% affordable developments in their communities and this bill undermines those specific efforts.

Existing law: Requires cities/counties to provide concessions and incentives to developers that seek a density bonus on top of the city/county's zoned density in exchange for including extremely-low, very-low, low, and moderate income housing in an otherwise market rate project. Specifically, a city/county must grant a density bonus when an applicant for a housing development of five or more units seeks and agrees to construct a project that will contain at least any one of the following:

  • Ten percent of the total units for lower income households;
  • Five percent of the total units of a housing for very low income households;
  • A senior citizen housing development or mobile home park;
  • Ten percent of the units in a common-interest development for moderate-income households; or
  • Ten percent of the total units of a housing development for transitional foster youth, disabled veterans, or homeless persons.

AB 1763: Would specifically require cities/counties to award the following concessions and incentives when a developer seeks and agrees to construct a housing development that will contain 100% of the total units for lower income households:

  1. Four incentives and concessions;
  2. A density bonus that is 80% of the number of units for lower income households;
  3. For housing development within one-half mile of "a major transit stop," the city, county, or city and county, shall:
    1. Not impose any maximum controls on density;
    2. Allow a height increase of up to three additional stories or 33 feet; and,
    3. Allow an increase in the allowable floor area ratio of up to 55% relative to the underlying limit or 4.25, whichever is greater.
  4. For a housing development within one-half mile of "a high quality transit corridor" a city, county, or city and county, shall:
    1. Not impose any maximum controls on density;
    2. Allow a height increase up to two additional stories, or 22 feet; and,
    3. Allow an increase in the floor area ratio of up to 50% relative to the underlying limit or 3.75, whichever is greater.
    • How would AB 1763 impact your county's existing density bonus program?

SB 182 (Jackson): Local Government Planning: Zoning: Wildfires - Request for Comment

SB 182, by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, would impose certain fire hazard planning responsibilities on local governments and requires cities and counties to make specified findings on fire standards prior to permitting development in a very high fire hazard severity zone (VHFSZ).SB 182 is a significant proposal that clearly mandates a number of new requirements on cities/counties. However, there is seemingly broad agreement among local governments, the State, and Californians generally that local and state planning efforts must adapt to higher severity and frequency of wildfires and other related disasters. Complicating matters is the ongoing struggle to adequately address the affordable housing crisis. Limiting development in certain areas could increase pressure to build more, and more densely, in other areas.

Among other things, SB 182 would (we encourage you to read the bill and analysis closely as this is only a snapshot of the proposed impacts to counties):

  1. Requires each city or county, upon the next revision of the housing element or local hazard mitigation plan on or after January 1, 2020, whichever occurs first, to review and update its safety element to include a comprehensive retrofit strategy that includes specified contents.
  2. Requires a city or county with VHFHSZ within its jurisdiction to amend the land use element of its general plan upon the next revision of the housing element on or after January 1, 2021. This amendment of the land use element must include the locations of all VHFHSZ within the city or county, the data and analysis described in the Office of Planning and Research's (OPR's) most recent publication of "Fire Hazard Planning- General Plan Technical Advice Series," and other specified goals, objectives, and implementation measures. Defines "very high fire risk areas" to be the VHFHSZ in both the State Responsibility Area (SRA) and the Local Responsibility Area (LRA).
  3. Provides for review and comment on draft findings by the Board and local fire agencies on whether the city or county has implemented the standards or made adequate progress, defined to mean the city or county is taking concrete steps reasonably calculated to achieve funding and implementation of the applicable standard by December 31, 2025.
  4. Requires cities and counties, within 12 months after revision of their general plan as described above, to develop Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) overlay zones in their zoning ordinances to ensure consistency with the jurisdiction's amended general plan.
  5. Prohibits cities and counties from approving any new residential ministerial or discretionary permits, discretionary entitlements, tentative subdivision or parcel maps, or development agreement in VHFHSZ unless the city or county finds that the project and all structures within the project are protected from wildfire risk in accordance with specified "wildfire risk reduction standards" contained in this bill, or standards adopted by a local jurisdiction that exceed those standards.
  6. Defines three tiers of "wildfire risk reduction standards," based on the size of the development.
  7. Directs each regional housing needs allocation plan to consider allocating a lower proportion of housing to those jurisdictions that contain a greater amount of land within the VHFHSZ. A council of governments, or HCD for cities or counties without a council of governments, may lower the proportion of housing allocated to those jurisdictions if appropriate due to the risk to life and safety from catastrophic wildfire.
  8. Requires a lower proportion of housing to a jurisdiction if the council of governments or HCD determines makes specified findings.
  9. Clarifies that local governments may impose more stringent standards than those set out in the bill, and clarifies that a local government may issue a final subdivision map without making the findings in the bill if the tentative map or parcel map met the required standards when it was deemed complete.
    • SB 182 purports to strike the right balance between the need to plan for wildfires and the need to provide local agencies appropriate land use controls so communities can continue to grow and develop in their unique ways. How has your county been monitoring and reacting to SB 182 and the larger conversations regarding disaster preparedness? Staff recommends that UCC get to a support, or support in concept position. Would your county support that position? If not this bill, what other solutions can UCC offer?

May 28, 2019

Budget Conference Committee Process Poised to Begin This Week

The stage is now set for the final three weeks of the 2019-20 state budget cycle. The full Senate and Assembly budget committees met last week so budget subcommittees could report out on major actions, establishing each house's version of the spending plan. Last Friday, each house announced its members on the Budget Conference Committee, the body responsible for harmonizing the Senate and Assembly's versions of the budget in the lead up to final negotiations with the Governor prior to the June 15 deadline.

Senate Counties represented by member
Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Chair Los Angeles
Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) Orange
Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama
Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley
Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) Alameda, Contra Costa
Assembly Counties represented by member
Assembly Member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Vice
Chair
San Francisco
Assembly Member Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) Riverside, San Bernardino
Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) Sacramento, Yolo
Assembly Member Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) San Bernardino
Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) San Diego

It is our understanding that the Budget Conference Committee will begin meeting later this week - reportedly Thursday, May 30 - to begin the reconciliation process. We also understand that one of the conferees will not be available to meet in person until June 3, so it is possible that the initial conference committee convenings will be limited to informational and/or overview conversations and that no action will be taken.

Items of significant consequence before the Budget Conference Committee include the following: expansion of Medi-Cal to undocumented adults, the Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax, subsidies and premiums for individuals enrolled in Covered California, funding for the health care workforce, Whole Person Care, Proposition 56, the homelessness and housing package, as well as some big-ticket education issues. Funding for the Master Plan on Aging is also before the Conference Committee.

Notable items not slated to be heard before the Conference Committee (because both houses took the same action) include:

  • In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). Both houses approved the Governor's IHSS Maintenance of Effort (MOE) proposal with alternative trailer bill language being advanced by labor unions. Under this alternative proposal, a 4 percent inflator - as proposed in the Governor's January budget - would be implemented only in those counties with a collective bargaining agreement that pays above minimum wage. In those jurisdictions without an agreement in place (regardless of the wage specified), the higher 7 percent annual inflator would remain in place.

  • Transition of Medi-Cal Pharmacy Benefit from Managed Care to Fee-for-Service. Both houses adopted placeholder trailer bill language to require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), prior to implementation of the transition of the pharmacy benefit to fee-for-service, to engage quarterly with stakeholders during 2019-20 that may be impacted by the transition, to provide a comprehensive transition plan, and to provide a comprehensive fiscal analysis of the costs and savings to the Medi-Cal program and to impacted providers.

  • Expand No Share of Cost Medi-Cal to Seniors. Both houses adopted placeholder trailer bill language to increase the income eligibility for aged and disabled individuals from 100 to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for no share of cost Medi-Cal and approved annual funding.

  • Restoration of Optional Medi-Cal Benefits. Both houses restored all of the optional Medi-Cal benefits that were eliminated in 2009 and have not been restored, including audiology, chiropractic, incontinence products, optician and optical lab, podiatry and speech therapy.

  • Funding for Local Health Departments for Infectious Disease Prevention. Both houses adopted the Governor's May Revision proposal to provide $40 million to local health departments and tribal governments for infectious disease prevention.

  • CalWORKs Grant Increases. Both houses adopted modified grant increases to raise grants to 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for assistance units of one and 48 percent for all other assistance units, toward to goal of ending deep poverty for all assistance units plus one, per the 2019 budget agreement.

Legislature Under "House of Origin" Deadline Pressure

The Senate and Assembly will hold lengthy floor sessions this week as they face the last few days of the house of origin deadline, which requires that - by Friday - all bills pass out of the house in which they were introduced; so Senate Bills (SBs) must be approved by the full Senate and move to the Assembly, and Assembly Bills (ABs) must be approved by the full Assembly and move to the Senate. We understand that the Senate disposed of approximately 160 bills last week, leaving about 80 measures to act on this week; in the Assembly, the lower house moved almost 180 bills to the Senate last week, but still has nearly 250 measures to deal with this week.

Policy committee hearings are on hiatus until June 3 to allow for focused floor sessions; when they resume, the committees will be taking up bills that have passed over from the house of origin (i.e., the Assembly will be assessing Senate bills and the Senate will be assessing Assembly bills).

At the time of this writing, both houses are on the floor debating a variety of issues. There are a number of measures of significant interest to UCC, and we continue to actively engage on your behalf. We will report out next week on how UCC's top priority bills fared.


May 21, 2019

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Named Co-Chair of State Homeless Task Force

At an event in Oakland today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will join Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to co-chair California's Homelessness and Supportive Housing Regional Advisory Task Force. They will offer recommendations on regional initiatives - divided by Northern California and Southern California, with Mayor Steinberg leading efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region, and Supervisor Ridley-Thomas focusing on Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

Also joined by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and others, the Governor used as his backdrop for this important announcement the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center, a transitional housing facility that provides county-funded Whole Person Care and AB 109 services. The location is an appropriate setting to highlight the need for state-local partnerships to address the issues associated with chronic homelessness. The Governor also spoke about the need for a statewide plan to address homelessness that involves regional solutions with specific goals supported by state investments and highlighted his May Revision proposals to increase funding to address homelessness, Whole Person Care, and services for homeless UC and CSU students.

Governor Newsom announced that he has also appointed Tom Insel, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who served as director of the National Institute on Mental Health from 2002 to 2015, to serve as California's mental health czar.

Please join us in extending our appreciation to Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for agreeing to take on this leadership role. We also appreciate the fact that the Governor's joint appointment of a city and county leader as co-chairs represents an important recognition of the collaboration and partnership needed to address the complex and challenging issue of homelessness in our counties. UCC looks forward to supporting the efforts of the Task Force.


May 20, 2019

Focus Needed in Affected Counties on IHSS "Alternative" Trailer Bill Language

The Senate adopted the Governor's IHSS Maintenance of Effort (MOE) proposal with alternative trailer bill language being advanced by labor unions. Under this alternative proposal, a 4 percent inflator - as proposed in the Governor's January budget - would be implemented only in those counties with a collective bargaining agreement that pays above minimum wage. In those jurisdictions without an agreement in place (regardless of the wage specified), the higher 7 percent annual inflator would remain in place. Given remarks last week from the chair of Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1, we expect similar action out of the Assembly tomorrow.

Counties are urged to make direct contact with their legislative delegations to raise the precedent-setting legal and policy issues contemplated in this proposal. Please note the proposal affects any county with an expired contract, no matter what wage is being paid. UCC partnered with CSAC in sending a letter to the Assembly raising legal and constitutional issues with the proposal today - ahead of the Assembly action, which will occur tomorrow.

We have several weeks until the final trailer bill language will be adopted; UCC will be working on a coordinated advocacy strategy to ensure the Governor's budget proposal is included in the final budget deal.

Update on Appropriations Committees' Suspense File Actions

The Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees met late last week to dispense with more than 1,000 high-cost bills (355 in the Senate, 721 in the Assembly) pending on their suspense files. Moving quickly through the lists, the chairs of the respective committees broke some hearts and raised some spirits. There were quite a few surprises, too. For example, in both committees, the respective chairs (Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez and Senator Anthony Portantino) announced bills that would not be heard in committee and were considered two-year bills, including some of the session's most controversial measures.

Below we note several important actions from the committees on bills of interest to UCC. You can find the full list each committee's actions (Assembly here and Senate here). To gauge the significance of these actions (and the breadth of the proposed spending contemplated in the collection of bills before the lower house), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Gonzalez announced that her committee's action to move 472 bills (some with amendments to narrow the scope and cost) on to the floor reduced the overall costs from $30.7 billion down to $12 billion.

Passed (as is or with amendments)

  • AB 849 (Bonta): This bill would establish criteria and processes to be used by local jurisdictions when they adopt or adjust the boundaries of the electoral districts that are used to elect members of the jurisdictions' governing bodies. It passed out of Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments to limit its application to cities and counties only (i.e., exempting special districts). UCC Position: Oppose unless amended

  • AB 1279 (Bloom): This bill, which would require "by-right" approval of certain housing developments in high-resource areas, moved out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee with no amendments and moved to the Assembly Floor. UCC Position: Concerns

  • ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry): This constitutional amendment, would lower the vote threshold for the approval of local general obligation bonds and certain special taxes from two-thirds to 55%, moved out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee with no amendments and moved to the Assembly Floor. UCC Position: Support

  • SB 139 (Allen): This measure, would require counties with a population range over 750,000 to establish an independent redistricting commission to adopt the county's supervisorial districts following each federal decennial census. (Counties with a population of more than 250,000 and less than 750,000 residents would not be subject to this requirement unless an appropriation is made, as specified.) The Senate Appropriations Committee approved this measure with amendments relative to the process for screening and selecting panel applicants. UCC Position: Concerns

  • SB 144 (Mitchell): Senator Mitchell's measure that would eliminate authority to charge and collect past debt on all court-related fees moved out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, with as-yet-unknown amendments to narrow the scope of the bill. UCC will be seeking additional county analysis of the measure once amendments are in print. UCC Position: Oppose unless backfill for county revenue loss provided

  • SB 330 (Skinner): This measure, would enact the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, to make temporary changes, until January 1, 2030, to various housing statutes involving permitting and other local approval processes. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the measure with amendments that have yet to be specified; UCC will reevaluate the measure once those amendments appear in print. UCC Position: Oppose unless amended

Held in committee (dead)

  • AB 141 (Cooper): This measure would have established a process for reimbursing eligible county costs associated with the trial of Joseph DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer. There is a concurrent effort to secure funding in the state budget for this purpose, despite the bill's demise. UCC Position: Support

  • AB 1332 (Bonta): This measure would have enacted the Sanctuary State Contracting Act, to prohibit, with limited exceptions, any state or local agency from entering into a new contract or agreement or extending an existing contract or agreement with any person or entity that provides a federal immigration agency with any data broker, extreme vetting or detention facilities services unless there is no reasonable alternative. UCC Position: Oppose

Two-year bill (no further action until 2020)

  • AB 964 (Medina): Presumably owing to considerable implementation costs - in the tens of millions of dollars for both one-time and ongoing costs - Assembly Member Medina's measure that would have imposed a blanket (retroactive and prospective) requirement that counties provide in-person jail visitation by 2025 was made a two-year bill. UCC Position: Oppose

  • AB 1568 (McCarty): This bill would prohibit a city or county from applying for state grants, except for specified transportation funding, if the city or county is found to be in violation of state housing law. The Assembly Appropriations Committee made AB 1568 a two-year bill. UCC Position: Oppose

  • SB 50 (Wiener): Possibly the most surprising announcement coming out of last week's Appropriations Committee decisions was the Senate's announcement that Senator Scott Wiener's controversial SB 50, which would mandate higher density housing development around transit, was being made a two-year bill. The stars seemed to have been aligned for the bill's success when Senator Wiener was named as chair of a new Senate Housing Committee, when labor came on in support, and when his bill moved out of Senate Governance and Finance Committee after considerable negotiation with the chair. Alas, Senator Portantino's concerns could not be overcome. After the announcement that the bill would be held, Governor Newsom tweeted out his disappointment and Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins released the following statement after calls to release the bill from committee: "I will not circumvent the decision made by the Appropriations Committee Chair on SB 50. Regardless of my own personal feelings about this critical issue, part of my job as leader of the Senate is to uphold the authority and decisions of committee chairs and take into consideration the views of committee members. To be clear, the bill is not dead, and this is the first year of a two-year session. Short of significantly amending the bill and limiting its applications in large swaths of the state, there was no path to move forward this year. More work needs to be done, and there is no better leader on housing to do that work than Senator Wiener." Check out this Los Angeles Times article for more. UCC Position: Oppose unless amended

HCD Offers Free Technical Assistance to Help Address Homelessness

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) reminds counties and Continuums of Care (CoCs) that free technical assistance is still available for the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program and the California Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) grant program. Eligible recipients can request assistance by completing the request forms on the HCD website.

Updated UCC Bill List

So that you can track all the measures on which UCC has an active position, we have posted our current bill list here. Please note that in two instances - AB 931 (Boerner-Horvath) and SB 15 (Portantino) - UCC is now neutral due to more recent amendments; both bills remain on our active bill list, as UCC had opposed a prior version. Please let us know if you have any questions on these or any other measures that are before the Legislature.


May 13, 2019

Get Ready for a "Suspense-ful Week"

With policy committee meetings on hiatus until June 3rd, the Legislature will be focused this week on fiscal and budget committee hearings. Both Appropriations Committees have regular hearings this week (today in the Senate and Thursday in the Assembly), and each will hold its respective suspense file hearing on Thursday, where the fate of all high-cost bills will be announced.

All Budget, All the Time

With the Governor's May Revision having been released last week, the stage is set for a hectic few weeks during which the Legislature and Administration will need to land on final state budget. (The constitutional deadline for enacting a state budget is June 15.) Here are some additional insights on various aspects of the Governor's May Revision:

Housing and Homelessness - More May Revision Details.

As we've reported previously, the Newsom Administration has placed a high priority on addressing the state's housing and homeless crisis. The Governor's January budget proposal and yesterday's May Revision includes a significant investment of state resources and the Senate and Assembly have developed their own frameworks, setting up a conversation for the Governor and legislative leaders during budget negotiations. Draft trailer bill language on the Governor's "Homeless Aid for Planning and Shelter Program" was posted this morning.

Previously, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 adopted the Assembly's housing and homelessness proposal, including $600 million for homelessness, split $300 million to Continuums of Care (CoCs) and $300 million to the 13 largest cities. Last week, the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 also adopted $600 million, but split funding $400 million to CoCs and $200 million to the 13 largest cities. On the housing front, each proposal includes funding for housing planning and production grants, long-term housing productions strategy, and expanded housing tax credits, among others. As both houses have adopted plans, the various housing and homelessness proposals will go to conference committee for discussion.

Local Revenue Impact: Diaper and Menstrual Products Tax Exemption

The May Revision includes a long-sought sales and use tax exemption for diapers and menstrual products beginning January 1, 2020, incorporating two current legislative measures - AB 66 (Gonzalez) and AB 31 (C. Garcia) - with an interesting tweak. The bills have a five-year sunset, while the Governor proposes to sunset the bills on December 31, 2021.

Local revenue losses associated with the exemption are not proposed to be backfilled, but are considerable, totaling about $82 million for 1991 realignment, 2011 realignment, Proposition 172, local Bradley-Burns, and local transactions and use taxes for counties and cities over the two-year period. For more detail, check out the draft trailer bill language for diapers and menstrual products.

Increase to DJJ Fee Now in Budget Proposal Form

As noted in previous updates, the Legislature is considering a measure (SB 284, by Senator Jim Beall) that would, for a specified population referred to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), increase the per-youth fee counties are required to pay from $24,000 to $125,000 annually. The stated purpose of the measure is to create a further incentive to keep youth locally for programming and services. County associations opposing the measure have argued that the bill would not, in fact, achieve its stated objective. Instead, it has the potential to jeopardize local programs because it would likely redirect resources now invested in local services to cover the costs associated with higher fees. Counties have long argued that DJJ is the placement of last resort used only in those instances where no further local programming options exist to manage the needs of a very narrow population of youth who qualify for DJJ intake. SB 284 passed the Senate floor last week and awaits referral to a policy committee in the Assembly.

A very similar proposal - the "Keep Youth Closer to Home Act" - was on last week's agenda before the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on public safety issues. Note that Senator Beall sits on that budget subcommittee. Very few details were provided, but the proposal would put in trailer bill language the same policy changes contemplated in SB 284 by increasing the DJJ placement fee by the same magnitude for all but those youth most at risk of transfer to adult court. Additionally, the subcommittee considered an accompanying proposal to extend the county age of jurisdiction to mirror that of DJJ (up to 25 years old). Both proposals were left open, but at the crux of this policy conversation appears to be the intent to fully realign juvenile justice system responsibilities to counties.

For UCC's summary of the May Revision, please click here.


May 9, 2019

Governor Gavin Newsom released his 2019-20 May Revision today. Click the link below for UCC’s Summary of the most significant elements of the revised budget proposal.

UCC Summary of the May Revise 2019-20 5.9.19.pdf


May 8, 2019

May Revision Release Planned for Thursday; Governor Makes Early Announcement

In a prelude to his May Revision release, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced his "parents' agenda," a number of proposals intended to assist low-income families. Specifically, the Governor will propose to provide a sales tax exemption for diapers and menstrual products, double the proposed income tax credit for young children from $500 to $1,000, invest $50 million in CalWORKS Stage 1 child care, and dedicate about $80 million in Proposition 64 revenues to child care.

The proposed sales tax exemption for diapers and menstrual products has an estimated cost of $44 million, according to fiscal analyses of similar legislative measures pending in the Legislature. Obviously, a portion of the revenue loss associated with the proposed exemption would impact county revenues - including 1991 and 2011 realignments, Proposition 172, the Bradley-Burns local rate, and local transactions and use tax rates - without specific language to backfill those losses. Further, the two sales tax exemption measures currently before the Legislature - AB 31 (Garcia) for menstrual products and AB 66 (Gonzalez) for infant and toddler diapers - include a sunset of 2025. At this time, the specific details of the Governor's proposal are unclear.

For more on this morning's announcement, check out the Los Angeles Times article here.

The Governor reportedly will release his May Revision to the 2019-20 state budget this Thursday morning. Expect a summary from us that same day.

Legislature to Make Major Bill Decisions Next Week in Suspense File Hearings

The months of April and May feature several major legislative deadlines. This week is the last week for policy committees to meet until June 3, and next Friday (May 17), is the deadline for the fiscal committees to move bills out and on to the floor for their respective house's consideration. That means that before the end of next week each Appropriations Committee must make final determinations about which bills will come off the "suspense file" (the spot where high price tag bills sit until the committee determines which bills live to see another day). Stay tuned, we will provide updated information about the Suspense File outcomes the week of May 20.

April 29, 2019

Major Steps on Legislation Aimed at Local Zoning for Affordable Housing

As we've reported previously, the California State Senate has been considering two measures aimed at streamlining the housing development approval process and modifying local zoning practices that took two different approaches - SB 4 (McGuire) and SB 50 (Wiener). Last week, the Senate Governance and Finance Committee combined those two measures with a series of significant amendments that represents a compromise between both approaches.

SB 4 was held in committee, and SB 50 - with substantial changes - will continue to move through the legislative process. The SB 50 amendments will limit the scope of the measure including its impacts on smaller counties and coastal and historic areas. The Los Angeles Times reported that under the negotiated agreement, "communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco and 13 other counties with populations larger than 600,000 would have to allow four- to five-story apartment buildings near rail lines, and smaller apartments and townhomes in wealthy neighborhoods near job centers."

Despite the amendments, it's unclear what the path forward for SB 50 looks like. Prior to the amendments, the City of Los Angeles did a study to understand how SB 50 would impact its current zoning and plan for community development. The report found that, "SB 50 would likely encompass approximately 63% of the City's developable area. Approximately 43% of the developable area would be eligible for incentives under SB 50." Local governments will likely continue to have significant concerns with what many see as a fundamental challenge to local control. Constituencies concerned about gentrification also turned out in mass for the hearing, and it remains uncertain whether the amendments will eliminate their opposition to the measure. The next stop for SB 50 is the Senate Appropriations Committee.

We will provide further analysis once the amendments to SB 50 are in print.

Good Tax News

According to the Legislative Analyst's Office tax tracker, April personal income tax revenues - to-date - have exceeded budget estimates by about $2.5 billion with three collection and four refund days left in the month. This means year-to-date personal income tax revenues are more in line with the Administration's proposed budget estimates. Corporate tax receipts are also up; as of April 25, corporate tax collections are almost $3.3 billion, compared with proposed budget estimates of $2.5 billion. For more economic news, the Department of Finance released its April Finance Bulletin, noting state revenue receipts for March.

Bills to Watch

AB 1356 (Ting): Mandatory Cannabis Retail Licenses - The Assembly Business and Professions Committee approved AB 1356 (Ting) last week, which - as amended by the committee - would force local jurisdictions to approve licenses for medical and recreational cannabis retailers. Specifically, AB 1356 would require cities and counties where voters supported Proposition 64 to issue a minimum number of retail cannabis licenses - at least 25 percent of on-sale general alcohol licenses in the jurisdiction. A jurisdiction could have fewer licenses if voters approve an ordinance on the ballot and jurisdictions with existing local ordinances would be exempted. AB 1356 will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 235 (Mayes): Wildfire Fund - This bill would create the California Wildfire Catastrophe Fund Authority as a means for electric utilities to provide coverage for utility liability costs from wildfires when those costs exceed available insurance. This type of fund was referenced in Governor Newsom's strike force report on wildfires and climate change and is being discussed by the Commission on Wildfire Cost and Recovery, established by last year's SB 901. While the bill has information on how much utilities must contribute to the fund, the bill does not contain provisions relating to potential contributions by ratepayers or shareholders. The Commission on Wildfire Cost and Recovery will be issuing a report with recommendations to the Legislature due July 1. Governor Newsom has asked the Legislature to act before it adjourns for summer recess on July 12. AB 235 will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 144 (Mitchell): Elimination of Criminal Justice System Fees -This bill would eliminate dozens of criminal fees and discharge all debt associated with previously levied fees, passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee last week. Testimony in opposition to the bill - led by county and law enforcement associations - focused not on the policy behind the measure but on the notion that the policy conversation must be accompanied with an accounting and replacement of revenue that would be lost. Some committee members expressed concern about the implications of eliminating fees tied to particular programs and services. The measure will be heard on May 6 in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

2019-20 Budget Update - Rundown of Last Week's Budget Subcommittee Discussions

With the Governor's May Revision expected to be released as early as the end of next week - and no later than Tuesday, May 14 - we wanted to bring you up to speed on some recent budget subcommittee discussions on topics of interest.

Pharmacy

The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 on HHS discussed Medi-Cal pharmacy issues last Thursday. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) provided an overview of the transition of Medi-Cal prescription drug benefits to fee-for-service and on the DHCS role with the California Pharmaceutical Collaborative (CPC). The Legislative Analyst's presentation highlighted that much of the savings to the state from the movement of the Medi-Cal pharmacy benefit come from 340B. Subcommittee chair Senator Richard Pan told DHCS that the despite the Administration's ability to proceed with moving the pharmacy benefit without legislative approval that the Legislature wants to be "very, very, very involved." He expressed concerns about legislative oversight and approval. Senator Pan also indicated he had heard from many of his colleagues about how the pharmacy proposal impacts 340B and asked if this is just a proposal to eliminate 340B. DHCS indicated that they would be releasing a savings estimate related to the pharmacy benefit change as part of the May Revision. Several organizations testified during public comment including the California Hospital Association, the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, the California Primary Care Association, and health plans.

Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver

DHCS also provided an update on the Medi-Cal 2020 waiver to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 during its Thursday hearing. The conversation was focused on specific components of the existing waiver - Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal (PRIME), the Global Payment Program (GPP), Dental Transformation initiative (DTI) and Whole Person Care. Senator Pan asked questions about the program evaluations and specifically asked to see them. Speakers during public comment raised some concern about the expiration of the waiver and continuation of individual program components. SEIU talked about how important the waiver is to public hospital financing - public hospitals put up the non-federal match and the waiver provides $2.5 billion in federal funding. DHCS made clear that while the waiver is expiring - and they don't intend to seek another waiver - the department is looking at other authorities and options to continue the programs funded through the current waiver. Conversations with stakeholders about the next waiver will begin in later summer/early fall 2019.

Proposed Reorganization of Division of Juvenile Justice

Also last week, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety discussed the Governor's proposal to move the state's youth detention system - the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) - out from under the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and in to a new unit under the Health and Human Services Agency. The Governor's stated objective is to better align DJJ's rehabilitative goals and mission with the more therapeutic focus of the HHS agency. This proposed move is consistent with his Administration's focus on addressing childhood trauma more broadly as evidenced by the appointment of the first-ever Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris who has spoken extensively about the effects of toxic stress on children and the negative outcomes that result later in life.

As reported previously, the Administration's more detailed vision of the DJJ reorg appeared in trailer bill language just in time for last week's hearing in the Assembly budget subcommittee. Appearing on behalf of the Administration were current DJJ director Chuck Supple as well as Dr. Mark Ghaly, the recently appointed HHS Secretary. Both spoke of the Administration's desire to cultivate a culture of success and healing that's better positioned to support transition of youth to adulthood and a life without further system involvement. Also participating in the panel presentation were various representatives of a stakeholder group that is floating a set of far-reaching juvenile justice reforms (see pages 18-19 of the subcommittee's agenda).

No action was taken on the Governor's proposal, but it is clear - both from members' comments and the expressed positions of various reform-minded advocates who offered public testimony - that there will be a push to ensure that the reorganization represents more than a change of name and address. Instead, there is a desire for system redesign and transformative change, which many advocates indicated could only be achieved if youth prisons were fully eliminated. Stay tuned for more details on this policy discussion.


April 22, 2019

April Revenues Looking Good

Tax Day was last week and the state's coffers are filling up quickly! The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) April 2019 tax tracker indicates strong personal income tax receipts over the last week, with current collections about $2.5 billion over the projection for the month. The State Controller's Office (SCO) tax tracker has similar results, with the additional data point of day-to-day comparisons with the previous fiscal year indicating a strong April. Final April revenue results will not be known until early May, when the large volume of returns, refunds, and withholding has been processed.

DJJ Reorganization Language Released

The Administration released trailer bill language late last week that provides details on the Governor's proposed move of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to the California Department of Health and Human Services. Commencing July 1, 2020, the successor organization - the Department of Youth and Community Restoration - would approach its work with a much greater focus on therapeutic and healing objectives, as set forth in proposed new Welfare and Institutions Code Section 1710. The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety will consider the Governor's proposal in a hearing this afternoon. Recall that the Legislative Analyst's Office put out an extensive assessment of the DDJ reorg proposal two weeks ago, which offers important and relevant details on the history and different organizational models of DJJ since the state's original youth offender agency was established in 1961. The LAO's report found that there may be some potential benefits to the proposed organizational change, but could not come to any firm conclusions given that - at the time of publication - further details on the plan and purpose of the proposal were not yet available. Stay tuned for more discussion on this topic.


April 16, 2019

Legislative Spring Recess Begins

After a busy week in the Capitol, the Legislature broke for a 10-day spring recess last Thursday; members will return to Sacramento on April 22. The Legislature will face two significant legislative deadlines almost immediately upon their return: all bills with a fiscal impact must clear relevant policy committees by April 26; non-fiscal bills must move out of policy committees by the end of the following week (May 3). UCC will provide an update on priority legislative bills next week.


April 9, 2019

Upcoming Legislative Spring Break Followed by Major Legislative Deadlines

The Legislature will meet this week for its final four days of business before adjourning for a week-long-Spring Break. When the members return on April 22, they will face two back-to-back legislative deadlines: all bills with a fiscal impact must clear relevant policy committees by April 26; non-fiscal bills must move out of policy committees by the end of the following week (May 3). There is both a large volume of bills as well as major policy changes that the Legislature will be asked to consider in the coming few weeks. We will keep you posted on the measures of greatest consequence.

News on No Place Like Home (NPLH)

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has announced that it received an over-subscription of applications for the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program in the Large County grouping and an under-subscription of applications in the Medium and Small County groupings for Round 1.

In order to expedite the construction of supportive housing for persons with serious mental illness, HCD plans to use the remaining balance in the Medium and Small County groupings to fund additional eligible projects in the Large County grouping up to the $177,971,488 total funding available under Round 1. In Round 2, HCD will adjust the allocations for each county grouping to account for the reallocation. Please see the memo from HCD explaining their thinking.

Bill Would Establish Cannabis Dispensary Quota

AB 1356, by Assembly Member Phil Ting, was amended last week to include language that would require local jurisdictions, if 50 percent of its electorate voted in favor of Proposition 64 (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act), to issue a minimum number of local licenses for retail cannabis. The minimum number of licenses would be 25 percent of the local jurisdiction's alcoholic beverage sales licenses. A local jurisdiction could have a lower level of retail cannabis licenses if an ordinance is submitted to and approved by local voters. AB 1356 also indicates that its provisions are in furtherance of Proposition 64, which authorized the Legislature to amend its provisions with a 2/3 vote of the Senate and Assembly if the bill furthers its provisions and intent. AB 1356 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on April 23.

Two Significant EMS Bills to Watch

Community Paramedicine and Triage/Alternative Destination Programs for EMS

Assembly Member Mike Gipson has reintroduced his bill to create a statutory structure for community paramedicine and triage to alternate destination programs. AB 1544 is substantially similar to AB 3115 from 2018; Governor Brown vetoed the latter measure. AB 1544 requires - for Local Emergency Medical Services Agencies (LEMSAs) that establish a community paramedicine or triage to alternative destination program - that a public agency, such as a city fire department, be given the first right of refusal to operate such a program. The main difference between AB 1544 and the previous measure is that the right of first refusal for public agencies to provide services has been extended to community paramedicine; AB 3115 only applied right of first refusal to triage to alternate destination. By requiring the county LEMSA to provide the first right of refusal for operating an alternate destination or triage program only to public agencies, AB 1544 restricts the county's authority to implement the program in the safest and most effective way. Many of the same organizations that raised concerns with AB 3115 have weighed in with opposition, including UCC, CSAC, RCRC, Emergency Medical Services Administrators Association of California, and the County Health Executives Association of California. The measure will be heard on April 9 in Assembly Health Committee.

EMS Dispatch

SB 438, by Senator Bob Hertzberg, was substantially amended on March 25. As now drafted, the bill would permit public safety agencies to act outside of the medical control of the LEMSA medical director in the response and delivery of prehospital emergency care. This change would fragment the EMS system, could result in considerable variation in the care provided to patients, and would put patient safety at risk as deviations from LEMSA policies and procedures may occur without any ability for the LEMSA to issue corrective action. The measure also requires delegation of 911 call processing or emergency notification duties to be with another public agency, which would eliminate private entities from providing that service. A number of county organizations are opposing the measure. SB 438 attempts to overturn 22 years of Supreme Court precedent established in County of San Bernardino v. City of San Bernardino (1997 15.Cal. 4th 909). The bill will be heard April 10 in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.


April 3, 2019

Assembly Health Committee Hears Medical Bills

The Assembly Health Committee held a special order of business to consider Medi-Cal related legislation on April 2, 2019, including four bills that expand eligibility: AB 683 by Assembly Wendy Carrillo would make eligibility changes to relax asset limits for certain individuals; Assembly Member Jim Wood will be presenting a trio of bills (AB 715, AB 1042, and AB 1088) that would make changes to eligibility for seniors and persons with disabilities for purposes of expanding coverage and eliminating the share of cost for individuals with incomes between 100 and 138 percent of federal poverty.

Senate Housing Committee To Take Up Major Housing Proposals this week

In another special order of business, on Tuesday, the Senate Housing Committee will be taking up two significant housing proposals:

SB 4 (McGuire) - Housing This bill would provide streamlined approvals for projects within ˝ mile of a rail or ferry terminal in cities with populations of 50,000 or more and in all urban areas in counties with a population of 1,000,000 or more, and
SB 50 (Wiener) - Housing development incentives This bill would require local governments to grant an equitable communities incentive that reduces specified local zoning standards in "jobs rich" and "transit rich" areas, when a development proposal meets certain requirements.

Two Public Safety Measures Warrant Close Fiscal Assessment

SB 144 (Mitchell) - Eliminate Authority to Charge Various Criminal Fees

Senator Holly Mitchell recently unveiled extensive amendments to SB 144; in its introduced form, the bill expressed legislative intent to eliminate a range of court- and county-imposed fees that support various aspects of the local criminal justice system and to vacate any uncollected debt associated with previously imposed fees. As now drafted, this measure amends dozens of provisions across a variety of code sections. While UCC continues to analyze the specific implications of SB 144, we ask that counties begin to undertake a local assessment of associated fiscal impacts. It's likely that the broad county family will raise concerns about this measure - not so much related to the policy underpinnings (i.e., a desire to reduce the financial burden on users of the court system - which is a valid policy consideration), but to call for backfill of related revenue should the various fee authorities be repealed. As noted previously, the broad topic of the financial implications of court-imposed fines, fees, and penalties will be the subject of significant policy conversation this year. There's a great deal at stake for courts and counties alike.

SB 284 (Beall) - Increase to DJJ Placement Fees

Senator Jim Beall is authoring SB 284, which would increase the annual fee paid by counties for sending youth to the state's Division of Juvenile Justice. There is a long history to the sliding scale fees counties pay for DJJ commitments. Under current law, counties are charged an annual rate of $24,000 per youth; Senator Beall's measure would increase the fee to $125,000 annually. The stated purpose of the measure is to create a further incentive to keep youth locally for programming and services.

From the county perspective, DJJ is the referral of last resort. With investments in the local juvenile justice system over the last two decades and a shared commitment to the benefits of keeping as many youth as possible close to home during periods of rehabilitation and detention, the census at DJJ has dropped precipitously - from a high in the late 1990s of close to 10,000 to fewer than 800 youth today. It is important to have an alternative for specialized treatment and for populations with particularly high needs, and DJJ fills that important role in the juvenile justice continuum. An increase in the annual fee as contemplated in Senator Beall's bill would simply take resources away from counties - resources that now are likely dedicated to the in-depth local prevention and intervention programming that we deploy to keep as many youth close to home as possible.

SB 284 cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee this week and awaits hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 8. We encourage counties to assess local fiscal impacts. A 2018 fact sheet (see pgs. 4-5) provides details on DJJ commitments by county (as of 2016), which could be a useful resource. UCC will be opposing this measure.


March 26, 2019

California's HHS Agency Secretary Appointed

Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced hiring Dr. Mark Ghaly as the Health and Human Services Agency Secretary; he will take the helm of the agency on April 8, 2019. Dr. Ghaly is currently director of health and social impact for Los Angeles County and involved with the County's Whole Person Care Pilot. He was deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services overseeing community health and integrated programs from 2011 to 2018. Prior to his work in Los Angeles, he worked at a San Francisco Department of Public Health Clinic. Dr. Ghaly is a pediatrician. Additionally, the Governor announced that Michelle Baass will remain at Agency in her current role of Undersecretary.

Counties Should Assess Impact of Pretrial Services Data Collection and Transparency Measure

Senator Bob Hertzberg has introduced SB 36, a measure that would require any county that uses a pretrial risk assessment tool to collect and report specified information collected through the tool, including outcomes from and recommendations made by the tool. Data collection would be required for every individual who is assessed using the tool. Senator Hertzberg also was the architect of last year's far-reaching bail reform measure (SB 10), which is currently being held in abeyance until voters have an opportunity to consider a referendum at the November 2020 general election.

SB 36 enumerates information that must be made publicly available associated with the pretrial risk assessment tool being utilized locally as well as numerous specific elements that pretrial services agencies would be required to collect and retain. In addition, the bill would require all agencies to regularly - no less frequently than every six months - validate risk assessment tools and would require the Judicial Council to maintain a list of agencies that have satisfied this requirement. Further, the Council would be asked to report on agencies' compliance with transparency provisions. SB 36 is set for hearing in Senate Public Safety Committee on March 26. Counties are encouraged to analyze the potential impacts of the measure; Senator Hertzberg's office has indicated that this measure is being approached as an effort separate from the bail reform - and therefore not subject to the stay pending voter consideration - that would apply to all pretrial services agency, as defined in the bill.

In related news, the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) has published an Effective Pretrial Practices Implementation Toolkit, which offers a range of pretrial resources and suggested practices that tie back to the provisions of SB 10.

Counties Urged to Oppose AB 1568 (McCarty): Conditioning Receipt of SB 1 Funds on Housing Production

Assembly Member Kevin McCarty has introduced AB 1568, a measure that seeks to require counties and cities to produce increasing percentages of their share of the regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) at all income levels or forego that year's allocation of SB 1 transportation funding. Obviously, such a proposal is particularly concerning as voters have affirmed their willingness to increase revenues for transportation so long as they were protected for transportation purposes in two recent elections: the passage of Proposition 69 in June 2018 (to dedicate and protect SB 1 funds for transportation purposes) and the defeat of Proposition 6 in November 2018 (which sought to repeal SB 1 and make it nearly impossible to increase revenues for transportation in the future). While AB 1568 has not yet been set for hearing (it's been referred to both the Assembly Housing and Community Development and the Assembly Transportation Committees), we recommend getting on the record early with your opposition.


March 19, 2019

February Cash Report: Still Running Low

The Department of Finance (DOF) released its March Finance Bulletin last week, noting state revenues for the fiscal year continue to lag budget estimates. While the month of February brought in $128 million more than anticipated, year-to-date revenues are still down by $2.218 billion, due in large part to lower than expected personal income tax receipts. The Administration has indicated that the shortfall could be attributable to changes in federal tax law that created a disincentive to pay state taxes before the end of the year. While the Administration's estimate anticipated lower December revenues as a result of the federal tax changes, they anticipated that those revenues would be made up in January, which has not been the case.

As we move closer to the all-important April 15 tax deadline, the Department of Finance, State Controller's Office, and Legislative Analyst's Office will begin tracking state revenues daily. This data gives us a good indication of the state revenue picture prior to the release of the May Revision.

Despite 2017 Deal, Bill Would Require In-Person Jail Visitation

Assembly Member Jose Medina recently amended AB 964 to require counties to offer in-person jail visitation in all local detention facilities. In 2017, there was a legislative push to require in-person jail visitation statewide, but counties were able to successfully negotiate language as part of the 2017-18 budget that effectively grandfathered in all facilities as of January 1, 2017; that agreement allows counties - that as of that date offered video or other remote visitation - to continue the practice. Assembly Member Medina's bill would rewrite those provisions; specifically, it would (1) require all counties to offer only in-person visitation and (2) specify that any county not offering in-person visitation as of January 1, 2020 to comply with the in-person visitation requirement by January 1, 2025. The bill, as now drafted, represents a significant unfunded mandate for several counties. The bill has yet to be set for hearing. UCC will work with its county partners to identify costs and oppose this costly proposal.

Legislators Seek to Authorize Public Banks

Assembly Members Miguel Santiago and David Chiu recently announced legislation to enable local governments to charter their own public banks. The bill (the not-yet-amended spot bill AB 857) is modeled after North Dakota's Bank of North Dakota, the nation's only public bank. Instead of a state-owned bank, however, local governments would be able to establish a public bank that the authors suggest would better serve low- and moderate-income households, small businesses, and nonprofits. The bill is sponsored by the California Public Banking Alliance, a joint effort by public banking activists across the state.


March 11, 2019

Housing Trailer Bill Release

Today, Governor Newsom released draft trailer bill language on his proposal to spend $750 million to address housing production. While it is unusual for a Governor to send a press release on proposed trailer bill language, the 10-page document finally shares the specifics of the Administration's January budget proposals on housing.

The draft includes $750 million in supports and incentives to help jurisdictions plan and zone for housing targets, as well as modernization of the state's Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Specifically, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will establish new, higher short-term statewide housing goals for jurisdictions. HCD will adjust statewide targets for 2020 and 2021. Incentives will be provided to jurisdictions to accelerate their three-year RHNA targets to reach them in two years.

$750 million is proposed to be provided to help jump-start housing production with $250 million in grants for technical assistance and staffing to adjust local plans to meet new RHNA goals; half will be provided to regions and half to cities and counties. The remaining $500 million is proposed to be provided to regions for distribution to cities and counties as incentives as they meet milestones of planning and zoning.

The trailer bill language also includes intent language to require HCD and the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to engage stakeholders and propose an improved RHNA process and methodology. HCD is also tasked with engaging stakeholders to develop proposals to link transportation and other non-housing funds with housing goals by the end of 2022. Then, beginning July 1, 2023, SB 1 local transportation funds may be withheld from any jurisdiction that does not have a compliant housing element and has not zoned for its updated housing goals. Any SB 1 revenues withheld would then be redistributed to compliant entities.

The first hearing of the Governor's housing proposals is this week when the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 meets to discuss the Department of Housing and Community Development.

LAO Releases Analysis of Governor's 2019-20 Budget Proposals Impacting 1991 Realignment

The Legislative Analyst's Office released a report last week assessing the Governor's budget proposals that impact 1991 Realignment. The LAO findings and recommendations include the following:

  • The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Maintenance of Effort (MOE) changes are a reasonable approach to bringing 1991 Realignment into financial balance. Because the IHSS MOE proposal shifts additional IHSS costs to the state budget over time, the LAO is recommending that the Legislature plan for the state budget impact of a growing senior population.

  • Whether realignment revenues will be sufficient to cover counties' costs over the long term remains unclear. The LAO is recommending that the Legislature monitor-through the annual budget process-whether realignment revenues generally cover program costs over time.

  • The LAO highlights that the Governor's proposal (AB 85 redirection) would redirect revenue currently supporting counties' public health activities. The LAO is recommending the Legislature consider the impact on public health funding when evaluating the Governor's proposal.

  • The LAO finds it reasonable to limit the County Medical Services Program (CMDP) revenue growth until reserves are reduced.

  • The LAO is recommending the Legislature consider the continued viability and purpose of CMSP going forward.

  • The LAO is recommending that the Legislature assess the alignment of funding for county health and mental health with county responsibilities (essentially asking whether revenues and responsibilities match).


March 5, 2019

CA Supreme Court Rules in Closely Watched Public Pension Case

The California Supreme Court narrowly ruled today that the Legislature's 2012 rescission of a program allowing public employees to buy pension service credit was constitutional. The case, Cal Fire Local 2881 v. California Public Employees' Retirement System, was closely watched for its potential impact on public pension systems and the so-called "California Rule," the long-standing legal premise that pension benefits are a vested right that cannot be reduced or eliminated without compensation. The pension reform package enacted in 2012 - also known as The Public Employees' Pension Reform Act or PEPRA - included provisions that eliminated employees' ability to purchase additional years of service credit for retirement at a discount, also known as "air time". In a unanimous decision, the Court concluded that unlike other pension benefits, the ability to purchase air time was not a contractual right. And, avoiding addressing the "California Rule," the Court ruled that its decision did not affect those broader protections for public pensions in California.

Legislature Turns Attention to Mental Health Issues

Issues related to mental health were discussed in a variety of forums. The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on health and human services met for its first hearing of the year last week; subcommittee Chair Joaquin Arambula announced mental health will be a major focus of discussion this year. He specifically mentioned an interest in focusing more on early intervention and prevention services and on reexamining the expenditure of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds on prevention activities.

Additionally, Assembly Member Mark Stone - during a hearing last week on delivering mental health services to foster youth placed out of county - voiced concerns about the mental health delivery system, including his perception that currently more emphasis is placed on controlling utilization than on being creative in delivering services to children and youth. He also highlighted unspent county MHSA reserves at a time when kids are still facing hurdles to services.

In a jointly organized effort, the Assembly and Senate Health Committees are exploring issues around mental health coverage in the Medi-Cal program. During a hearing held last week, members heard presentations on the current Medi-Cal mental health delivery system; the prevalence of mental health conditions in California with a focus on the Medi-Cal population; and background information on what the Medi-Cal mental benefit consists of, how mental health services are delivered, administered and financed, and how quality is measured and ensured. This week, the two committees will meet jointly for a second time to examine how well the Medi-Cal mental health benefit is delivered. Members will hear about what works well and what needs improvement in the delivery of the Medi-Cal mental health benefit, with a focus on how to improve the delivery of services and how to better integrate the delivery of physical and mental benefits in the overall Medi-Cal health care delivery system.

Assembly Considers Housing and Homelessness Proposals

Several Assembly committees met last week for a joint hearing on the Governor's budget proposals related to affordable housing and homelessness. Members of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, Assembly Local Government Committee, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration heard testimony from representatives from the Department of Finance (DOF) and Legislative Analysts' Office (LAO) on the Administration's incentive-based approach to increasing the production of housing affordable at all income levels.

The LAO did raise some concerns with the Governor's proposals. Specifically, the LAO recommended that the Legislature consider the Governor's proposals in the context of existing programs and their efficacy in helping spur local housing development. Based on prior LAO research and analysis, they argued that the exiting RHNA process hasn't proven highly effective in terms of producing more housing and therefore they question the added value of additional short-term housing production goals. Moreover, financial incentives are not as valuable in terms of helping produce more housing compared to direct subsidy for actual housing projects.

DOF was clear that much of the specific policy is still under development, so there appears to be plenty of time and opportunity to help craft solutions that leverage existing programs while investing revenue in creative ways to truly act as incentives at the local level.


February 26, 2019

Bill Introduction Deadline Yields a Bumper Crop

The bill introduction deadline has come and gone with a whopping 2576 bills introduced.

While many are in "spot" bill form (bills without substantive content), a number of measures are re-introductions of bills previously vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

UCC staff is busy reviewing all measures and will keep counties apprised as to bills of interest.


February 20, 2019

GOVERNOR SIGNS AB 72 AND AB 73

Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first two bills into law last week. AB 72 and AB 73 that allocate $131.3 million to various fire recovery and safe drinking water initiatives as well as establish the Disaster Response-Emergency Operations Account for purposes of continuous appropriation to state agencies responding to disasters.

If there are insufficient agenda items to justify a meeting (such as during the Legislature’s recess), you will be notified that the call is cancelled.

LAO REPORT - ANALYSIS OF GOVERNOR'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROPOSALS

February 19, 2019, the LAO released its analysis of the Governor's 2019-20 criminal justice-related budget proposals. The Governor's budget includes a total of $18.2 billion in expenditures for the operation of judicial and criminal justice programs, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Some of the major spending proposals include a $217 million increase in General Fund support for the judicial branch. To read the LAO's full report, click here.

ASSEMBLY JOINT HEARING - Wildfire Impacts on Watershed Lands

Last week, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 and the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources held an informational joint hearing on the Wildfire Impacts on Watershed Lands.

There were three panels that discussed a variety of topics including the impacts of the recent fires in California and climate change more generally.

LAO Report on Watershed Management

UC Davis Report on the Effects of Climate Change

Managing Watershed in an Era of Climate Change - Pacific Forest Trust slides


February 13, 2019

Highlights from Governor Newsom's Inaugural State of the State

Governor Gavin Newsom presented his first State of the State this morning before a joint convening of the Assembly and Senate along with an array of statewide elected officials, members of the Supreme Court, and other dignitaries. Highlights of his address (enumerated basically in the order in which they were presented) include the following:

  • Redeployment of National Guard - The Governor plans to reduce the National Guard's presence at the California/Mexico border. One third will remain focused on preventing the smuggling of guns and drugs through existing border checkpoints; another third will begin preparing for the upcoming fire season by supporting CAL FIRE's fire prevention and suppression efforts; and the final third will be reassigned to the Guard's Counterdrug Task Force with a focus on illegal cannabis grows in the north part of the state

  • Rescaling High Speed Rail - He proposes to refocus the High Speed Rail project to complete only the rail link between Merced and Bakersfield, describing the change in scope as a way to reinvest in and revitalize the Central Valley. The Governor will appoint his Economic Development Director, Lenny Mendonca, as the next chair of the High-Speed Rail Authority. Governor Newsom also proposes new transparency measures to ensure careful monitoring of the expenditure of taxpayer dollars on this project.

  • Delta Tunnels - In a departure from Governor Brown's vision for the state's diverse water needs, Governor Newsom expressed his opposition to the two-tunnel Water Fix, instead committing to a single-tunnel approach. To help implement his vision, the Governor is planning to appoint a new chair of the California water board, Joaquin Esquivel, who was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Brown in March 2017.

  • Clean Drinking Water - Without offering a detailed plan, the Governor spoke passionately about the need to address the water crisis in certain areas of the state and to ensure that all communities have reliable and clean water available for daily use.

  • PG&E Bankruptcy - The Governor is directing his PG&E strike team to present a comprehensive strategy within 60 days to respond to the bankruptcy and ensure continuity of safe and affordable power, justice for fire victims, fairness for employees, and protection for ratepayers. He also mentioned important changes and innovations in the energy market, including alternative energy sources and Community Choice Aggregators. Finally, the Governor highlighted the need to look more holistically at how best to develop a sustainable long-term energy strategy.

  • Homelessness - To support ongoing efforts of counties and cities to tackle the homelessness crisis, the Governor will promote a statewide strategy for addressing this far-reaching and complex problem. To lead this effort, he is appointing Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg as chair of a Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing.

  • Housing - After expressing his concern that cities and counties are not doing enough to meet housing demand and/or increase supply, the Governor expressed a willingness to explore solutions with local government. He plans to meet next week with 47 cities that are out of compliance with planning requirements. He also reiterated his interest in relaxing CEQA requirements for housing projects as well as his support for training and appropriately compensating a trained workforce to meet associated building needs. Finally, acknowledging the defeat of Proposition 10 last fall, the Governor expressed interest in hearing the best ideas on rent stability and rent control as part of the overall suite of solutions for affordable housing.

  • Aging Issues - Recognizing the "graying" of the California population, the Governor will take two important actions. First, he proposes a new Master Plan on Aging that will address person-centered care, the patchwork of public services, social isolation, bed-locked seniors in need of transportation, the nursing shortage, and demand for In-Home Supportive Services. Secondly, he is appointing former First Lady Maria Shriver to lead a newly established Alzheimer's Prevention and Preparedness Task Force.

  • Healthcare Affordability - The Governor promoted his budget proposal to impose a state-level individual healthcare mandate to replace the now-eliminated federal mandate. He also highlighted his other health-related budget proposals - increasing rates and addressing provider shortages; expanding Medi-Cal coverage to all Californians up to the age of 26, regardless of immigration status; and reducing prescription drug prices.

  • California's Workforce - The Governor plans to appoint a Commission on California's Workforce & Future of Work, with a goal of developing ideas and recommendations for expanding worker opportunities without impinging on innovation or flexibility.

  • Privacy and Monetizing Data - Acknowledging the work the state has done in the context of consumer privacy, the Governor floated the idea of a "data dividend" whereby Californians would have the ability to capture a monetary benefit for the use of their personal data.

The Governor closed by running through a range of other major policy issues that he didn't specifically address today but plans to talk about more in the months to come, namely climate change, tax reform, criminal justice system reforms, paid family leave, universal pre-school, free community college, and re-imagining the DMV. His address was a bit longer than his predecessors - running about 45 minutes as compared to 20 - 25 minute range typical of Governors Brown and Schwarzenegger.


February 5, 2019

Governor Newsom Press Release on Lawsuit against City

In the first move of a promised battle between Gov. Gavin Newsom and local governments over California's housing affordability crisis, the state sued the city of Huntington Beach on Friday and accused it of failing to allow enough new homebuilding to accommodate a growing population. Click here to see the article for more details.

LAO Analysis of Budget

The LAO concludes that the budget situation continues to be positive, and estimates that the Governor has $20.6 billion in discretionary resources to allocate among spending and reserves. The Governor's budget makes prudent choices in allocating these resources. Although the Governor proposes using a smaller share of resources for reserves than recent budgets, he uses almost half of the available resources to pay down some of the state's outstanding liabilities and focuses his spending commitments on one-time purposes.

The LAO does note that the Governor's housing proposals spread limited resources to broader income levels, including middle-income Californians. The Legislature may want to consider whether it prefers to target the state's limited housing resources toward the Californians most in need of housing assistance. For a full copy of the report click here.


January 22, 2019

Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Guidelines

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has just released the draft Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) Guidelines.

Senate Bill 3 (Chapter 365, Statues 2017) authorized the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 (Proposition 1) and was adopted by voters on November 6, 2018. It authorizes the issuance of bonds in the amount of $1.5 billion for the Multifamily Housing Program (MHP). The MHP provides funding to assist with new construction, rehabilitation and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for lower income households.

HCD is accepting public comments on the proposed guidelines from

January 11, 2019 through February 11, 2019.

UCC Summary of the Governor's January Budget

On January 10, 2019, Governor Newsom presented the State Budget Proposal for 2019-20.

Some of the major proposals include additional savings to the Rainy Day Fund, universal pre-school and universal health care.

Key proposals include:

  • Additional funding to the Rainy Day Fund to prepare for recession.

  • IHSS MOE - The Governor's budget provides funding to restructure and lessen the impact of the IHSS MOE on counties.
    As part of addressing child poverty, provides $56 million to local child support agencies to restructure the budgeting methodology and bring underfunded counties' allocation up to a more equitable level.

  • Provides property tax backfill to those counties impacted by the recent wildfires.

  • Provides $500 million in additional funding to local governments for homelessness programs.

  • Provides major proposals to change local control on projects for affordable housing, proposed changes to the regional housing needs assessment, and waives CEQA for certain housing projects.

Attached is UCC's Summary of the Governor's Budget proposal.


January 11, 2019

UCC Summary of the Governor's January Budget proposal for 2019-2020

On January 10, 2019 Governor Newsom presented the State Budget proposal for 2019-20. Some of the major proposals include additional savings to the Rainy Day Fund, universal pre-school and universal health care. Click here to see a copy of the UCC's Summary of the Governor's Budget proposal.


January 7, 2019

Legislature Reconvenes and Governor Inauguration

Today, is the first day of the 2019-20 Legislative session which includes the inauguration of the new Governor - Gavin Newsom. To listen to his full speech, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEpvfnq50tg&feature=youtu.be

The Governor's budget is expected to be released on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

Senate and Assembly Committee Assignments

Both houses have announced key committee assignments. Here are some of the highlights:

Senate Changes

The Senate has separated the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee into two separate Committees with Senator Wiener as the Chair of Senate Housing and Senator Beall as Chair of Senate Transportation.

Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Chair Tom Umberg

  • Senate Environmental Quality, Chair Benjamin Allen

  • Senate Human Services, Chair Melissa Hurtado

  • Senate Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration, Chair Maria Elena Durazo

To review the full list of the Senate Assignments click this link: https://sd39.senate.ca.gov/news/20181221-senate-leader-atkins-announces-committee-assignments-2019-2020-legislative-session

Assembly Changes

  • Assembly Human Services, Chair Eloise Reyes

  • Assembly Labor and Employment, Chair Ash Kalra

In addition, Assembly Local Government Committee made some changes to the committee members including adding several newly-elected members: Assembly Members Tasha Boerner Horvath, James Ramos, Luz Rivas, and Robert Rivas.

To review the full list of the Assembly Assignments click this link: https://files.constantcontact.com/cfeaa6dd101/0fcb628f-f116-4f26-a02b-e7d407414ec3.pdf

CalHFA Special Needs Housing Program Announcement

On November 29, the California Housing Finance Agency announced that it was revising the schedule for the wind-down of the Special Needs Housing Program. By way of background, earlier this year CalHFA announced it was winding down the program which affects 16 counties. However due to concerns from counties, CalHFA has revised the wind-down as follows:

  • Counties who entered into contracts with CalHFA with more than $15,000 and have projects in the pipeline have the following timeline:

  • January 3, 2020 - Deadline for counties to submit applications for viable SNHP projects.

  • June 30, 2022 - Deadline for construction loan closing.

Bill Introductions

AB 139 (Quirk-Silva) - Emergency and Transitional Housing Act of 2019

This bill would make several changes to the housing element and planning laws for cities and counties. This bill would require RHNA assessment to include the identification of public and private nonprofit corporations known to the local government that have legal and managerial capacity to acquire and manage emergency shelters and transitional housing programs and the various resources that can be used to open and maintain one or more shelters to meet the identified need. Requires local governments to assess special housing needs in the housing element and requires HCD to analyze these assessments.

Status: Introduced on 12/12.


December 12, 2018

Legislature Convenes Organizational Session

On December 5, 2018, the Legislature met for an organizational session and swore-in the new members for the 2019-20 Legislative Session. Assembly Member Rendon was elected the Speaker of the Assembly and gave remarks remembering victims of the wildfires and gun shooting and detailed the priorities for the next legislative session including addressing homelessness and climate change. Senate Pro-Tem Atkins also gave remarks and noted the disparities in California and detailed the issues which included education, housing and homeless and climate change.

The Legislature will reconvene on January 7, 2019.

Bill Introductions

Here are some of the major bills of interest that were introduced last week. This does not include the many spot bills that are considered placeholders.

AB 11 (Chiu) - Community Redevelopment Law of 2019

This bill would authorize a city or county, or two or more cities acting jointly, to propose the formation of an affordable housing and infrastructure agency by adoption of a resolution that meets specified requirements, including that the resolution of intention include a passthrough provision and an override passthrough provision.

Status: Introduced on December 3, 2018.

AB 38 (Wood) - Fire Safety

This bill would require the State Fire Marshall to develop and the CBSC to review, building standards for very high fire hazard severity zones. This bill would require beginning in 2020 for all newly constructed building and transferred buildings in very high fire severity zones to comply with the building standards.

Status: Introduced on December 3, 2018.

AB 68 (Ting) - Land use: Accessory dwelling unit

This bill would prohibit an ordinance from imposing requirements on minimum lot size, lot coverage, or floor area ratio, and would prohibit an ordinance from establishing size requirements for ADUs that do not permit at least an 800 square feet unit and at least 16 feet in height to be constructed.

Status: Introduced on December 3, 2018.

AB 69 (Ting) - Land use: ADU

This bill would authorize HCD to submit written findings to a local agency as to whether the local ordinance complies with state law, and to notify the AG if the ordinance violates state law. This bill would require a local agency to consider the department's findings and would authorize the local agency to amend its ordinance to comply with state law or adopt a resolution with findings explaining why the ordinance complies with state law.

Status: Introduced on December 3, 2018.

SB 5 (Beall) - Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program

This bill would establish in state government the Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program for economic development and affordable housing. Every city and county may apply to the authority to participate in the program and authorizes the committee to approve or deny applications.

Status: Introduced on December 3, 2018.

SB 50 (Wiener) - Planning and zoning: housing development: equitable communities incentive

This bill would require a city or county to grant upon request an equitable communities incentive when a development proponent seeks and agrees to construct a residential development that satisfies specified criteria. The incentives include a waiver from maximum controls on density, waiver from parking requirements, and three additional incentives or concessions. In addition, a development that is located within one-half mile radius or one-quarter mile radius of a major transit stop receives additional waivers from height and floor area ratio (FAR) requirements. This bill is similar to SB 827 (Wiener, 2018).

Status: Introduced on December 3, 2018.

Assembly Budget Blueprint for 2019

The Assembly Budget Chair, Assembly Member Ting, released the Assembly Budget Blueprint for 2019 which includes the following priorities: Focus on one-time investments, keep promises made, pursue long-term goals and get the most from your government.

The Blueprint includes the following goals of interest to counties:

  • Improve the 911 system and appropriate the $200 million for forest management.

  • Continue CalWORKs grant increases to reduce Deep Poverty.

  • Renew and extend the MCO tax and eliminate possible IHSS hour reduction.

  • Invest in programs to expand affordable housing and prevent homelessness.

For a copy of the Blueprint click here.

Cannabis Regulations Submitted for Final Approval

On December 3, 2018, the Bureau of Cannabis Control submitted the final set of regulations to the Office of Administrative Law. Most of the proposed changes from the last version remain; including the ability to deliver cannabis in any county have been retained in this version.

For a full text of the regulations click here.


November 20, 2018

LAO Fiscal Outlook Report

On November 14, 2018, the Legislative Analyst's Office released the Fiscal Outlook for 2019-20. The LAO notes that the state's constitutional reserve will be $14.5 billion by the end of 2019-20 and projects that the Legislature will have an additional $14.8 billion in resources available to allocate in the 2019-20 budget process.

The LAO estimates that the major expenditures in 2019-20 will be Medi-Cal ($1.4 billion increase), DDS ($300 million increase), and IHSS ($100 million increase). The LAO also notes that spending in employee compensation and retirement increases by $2 billion in 2019-20.

The report also provides details on the outlook for the IHSS program and notes the following:

  • Growth in Caseload. The LAO notes that in recent years IHSS service hours is higher than historical growth trends and the LAO assumes that overall caseload will increase by 5.8 percent annually and hours per case will increase by 2.5 percent annually.

  • Rising Statewide Minimum Wage Increases Hourly Cost of Care. The enacted statewide minimum wage will increase wages for IHSS providers. The LAO projects that the major costs will begin when wages increase to $12 per hour and above, beginning in 2019, and notes that the cumulative costs of the minimum wage increases to total about $1.5 billion General Fund per year.

  • Expiration of MCO Tax Triggers 7-percent Reduction of IHSS Service Hours. Due to the expiration of the MCO Tax, the LAO assumes that the General Fund support for the restoration of service hours will not be included beginning in 2019-20.

No Place Like Home - Draft Resolutions

  • On October 30, 2018, the California Department of Housing and Community Development issued amendments to the No Place Like Home (NPLH), Noncompetitive Allocation and Competitive Allocation Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs).

  • Authorizing Resolutions associated with those NOFAs have been revised to reflect the date of the amended NOFAs. Please use the revised samples -- use of the older versions may result in a County or Development Sponsor needing to re-execute their Authorizing Resolutions.


November 13, 2018

Election Results for Ballot Propositions

Proposition 1 - Bonds to Fund Veterans and Affordable Housing - Passed

Proposition 2 - No Place Like Home - Passed

Proposition 5 - Senior Property Reduction - Failed

Proposition 6 - Repeal of Fuel Tax – Failed

New Assembly Republican Minority Leader Announced

Last week, Brian Dahle who has been the Assembly Republican Minority leader stepped down to run for a vacant Senate seat, and it was announced that Assembly Member Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), would be the new leader.

Housing for a Healthy California - Draft Guidelines Released

On November 8, 2018, the Department of Housing and Community Development released draft guidelines for the Housing for a Healthy California Program (HHC). This program was enacted through legislation (AB 74, 2017) and the start of the program was contingent on receiving funding. In the homeless package adopted this year, the Legislature provided funds through SB 2 (Atkins, 2017). Half of the funds from the first year are split between the California Emergency Solutions and Housing program and the Housing for a Healthy California Program.

This new program would provide funds to counties for acquisition, new construction or rehabilitation, administrative costs, capitalized operating subsidy reserves (COSR), and rental subsidies for existing and new Supportive Housing target populations.

HCD will be holding workshops on these guidelines on the following dates and times:

November 16 - Sacramento
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
2020 W. El Camino Ave
Sacramento, CA 95833
Room 402A/B

November 19 - Webinar
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Webinar Link

November 27 - Riverside
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Housing Authority
5555 Arlington Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504
1st Floor Conference Room

November 30 - Visalia
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tulare County Health & Human Services
4031 W. Noble Avenue
Visalia, CA 93277

Comments are due on these draft guidelines by December 8, 2018.

SB 10 - Judicial Council Request for Comments

The Criminal Law Advisory Committee proposes adoption of two new California Rules of Court: rule 4.10, which sets forth the proper use of pretrial risk assessment information, and rule 4.40, which addresses review and release standards for Pretrial Assessment Services for persons assessed as medium risk. These proposed rules are intended to fulfill the Judicial Council's obligation under Penal Code section 1320.24(a) to adopt rules and forms, as needed, to implement specific elements of Senate Bill 10. Here is the link to the Invitation to Comment and additional information.


October 24, 2018 - LAO Report on 1991 Realignment - The Legislative Analyst's Office released the report "Rethinking the 1991 Realignment" on October 15, 2018. This report reviews the 1991 Realignment structure and provides recommendations for changes to 1991 Realignment.

The LAO noted that 1991 Realignment no longer meets many LAO principles and that today counties' share of some program costs exceeds their ability to control these costs. The LAO outlined options for improving 1991 realignment as follows:

  • Reduce County Share for IHSS. The LAO notes that although counties are expected to cover the majority of their share due to additional General Fund Assistance in the short term, those revenues will not be enough to cover increased IHSS costs in the coming years. The LAO states that ending the 2017 IHSS MOE and giving counties responsibility of between 20 and 25 percent of the costs would reduce county costs by $800 million. The LAO suggests swapping the IHSS costs for another program.

  • Increase County Share for Other Programs. The LAO suggests that since counties are responsible for almost all mental health treatment that they also be in charge of treatment for individuals found incompetent to stand trial (IST) in felony cases. Currently, counties are only responsible for misdemeanor forensic court commitments.

The LAO report also recommends updating growth allocations and increasing funding to address existing shortfalls in some of the social services, health and mental health programs. For a copy of the report click here.


October 24, 2018 - Cannabis Regulations Updated - Mobile Delivery - The three regulatory agencies released a new version of the Cannabis regulations on Friday, October 19, 2018. While we are still reviewing the changes, of note is some minor changes to the mobile delivery section of the regulations. Click here for the regulations.

Specifically, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) regulations still provide that cannabis can be delivered to any jurisdiction but only under the provisions outlined in the regulations. However, that still allows for delivery in jurisdictions that have banned delivery.

In addition, there is new language on technology platforms in the regulations that detail their operation. BCC notes that a number of Bureau licensees engage in delivery services that are facilitated by technology platforms. However, use of such platforms has created confusion in customers as to whether a Bureau licensee is conducting the commercial cannabis activity.

Moreover, some technology platforms may create the impression that they hold a Bureau license. The regulations clarify that technology platforms cannot deliver cannabis and that any delivery must meet existing requirements.


October 24, 2018 - Homelessness Funding - NPLH NOFA Released - On October 15, 2018, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced the availability of approximately $400 million in Round 1 Competitive Allocation funds for the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program.

The NPLH program provides deferred payment loans to counties or their Development Sponsors for the development of permanent supportive housing for people living with serious mental illness who are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or are at-risk of chronic homelessness.

The NPLH NOFA and application materials are posted to the NPLH program webpage.

The workshop schedule is expected to be released sometime this week.


October 24, 2018 - SB 2 Planning Grant Guidelines Released - HCD released the SB 2 (Atkins, 2017) planning grant guidelines. SB 2 establishes a permanent source of funding intended to increase the affordable housing stock in California. The legislation sets-a-side 50 percent of the revenue in the first year to make grants available to local governments. The grants will be available to update a variety of planning documents and processes to streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production. Comments on these guidelines are due by November 7, 2018.


October 2, 2018 - FCC Proposal for Small Cell Siting - On September 26, 2018, the FCC adopted the order for the siting of wireless facilities. This proposal is very similar to SB 649 (Hueso, 2017) which was vetoed by the Governor. Specifically, this proposal would do the following:

  • Requires a shot clock for all small cell wireless facilities to be approved by local governments within 60 days for collocation and 90 days for new construction of facilities.

  • Allows additional equipment to a structure of up to 3 cubic feet of antenna and 28 cubic feet of additional equipment.

  • Limits the fees local governments can charge as follows: $500 for the single up-front application that includes up to five wireless facilities, with an additional $1000 for each facility beyond five and $270 per facility per year for all fees.

  • Does not allow local governments to negotiate for other in-kind benefits instead of charging the fees.

The order related to the shot clocks and permitting will take effect in 90 days after it is published in the federal register, and the declaratory ruling section which provides the cap on fees would become effective immediately.

Click here for the FCC press release.


October 2, 2018 - HCD Proposed Guidelines on SB 35 (Wiener, 2017) - The Department of Housing and Community Development released proposed guidelines to SB 35 (Wiener) on September 28, 2018. SB 35 requires the availability of a streamlined, ministerial approval process for developments in jurisdictions that have not yet made sufficient progress towards their allocation of their RHNA.

Public workshops will be conducted on the following dates:

October 12, 2018 - Webinar

October 15, 2018 - Redding

October 23, 2018 - San Mateo

October 29, 2018 - Buena Park

Click here to see the attached guidelines and summary for more details.


September 26, 2018 - FCC Proposal for Small Cell Siting - On September 5, 2018, the FCC released a new proposed order for the siting of wireless facilities. This proposal is very similar to SB 649 (Hueso, 2017) which was vetoed by the Governor. Specifically, this proposal would do the following:

  • Requires a shot clock for all small cell wireless facilities to be approved by local governments within 60 days for collocation and 90 days for new construction of facilities.

  • Allows additional equipment to a structure of up to 3 cubic feet of antenna and 28 cubic feet of additional equipment.

  • Limits the fees local governments can charge as follows: $500 for the single up-front application that includes up to five wireless facilities, with an additional $1000 for each facility beyond five and $270 per facility per year for all fees.

  • Does not allow local governments to negotiate for other in-kind benefits instead of charging the fees.

UCC submitted comments to the FCC last week (click here) and to view the full proposal click here.


September 5, 2018 - Legislature Adjourns 2017-18 Legislative Session - On Friday, August 31, 2018, both houses of the Legislature adjourned the 2017-18 Legislative Session. The Governor now has 30 days, October 1, to act on all of the measure that have been enrolled. Below please find some of the key bills that the Legislature passed in the last few weeks of session.


September 5, 2018 - Wildfire Conference Committee Report Adopted - On the last night of session both houses adopted the Conference Committee Report (SB 901), which included $1 billion over 5 years for vegetation management, provisions for securitization of the debt for PG&E, and different standards for wildfires after 2019, while the 2017 wildfires will use the existing process for negligence.


August, 22, 2018 - Last Week of Legislative Session - We are entering the last week of the Legislative session, with Friday, August 31, 2018, as the last day of the legislative session. There are many issues still to be resolved including the Wildfire Conference Committee, and some key bills.


August, 22, 2018 - Wildfire Conference Committee - Last Thursday, the Committee held a hearing on inverse condemnation which was heavily attended on both sides. The Governor's proposal was presented by the PUC and there was a local government panel which included County Supervisor Diane Dillon. Many of the legislators questioned whether they could even make changes to inverse condemnation due to a legislative counsel opinion which said it may be unconstitutional.

Counties, including UCC testified that we believe it is unconstitutional and that we would support other changes including safety and preparedness issues which can be addressed immediately.

There are two more hearing scheduled for this week on Tuesday and Thursday.


August 7, 2018 - Legislature Returns from Summer Recess - The Legislature is back for the last four weeks of the legislative session with a busy schedule during the month of August. The Conference Committee is holding two hearings this week and both Appropriations Committees are meeting this week.


July 17, 2018 - Homeless Emergency Aid Program Preliminary Information - The Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) was created by the 2018-19 Budget and provides $350 million to the Continuums of Care to address homelessness. This program is being administered by the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council which had their first meeting since the Budget was passed last week.

Preliminary information on the program is as follows:

  • Notice of Funding Available to be released in August or September.
  • Applications will be due by December 31, 2018.
  • Funding to be provided by January 31, 2018.

July 10, 2018 - Legislative Summer Recess - The Legislature is on their summer recess, which began on July 5, 2018. They will reconvene on August 6, 2018.


July 5, 2018 - Governor Signs Budget - On June 27, 2018, the Governor signed the main budget bill and most of the trailer bills.


June 26, 2018 - New Trailer Bills - The following new trailer bills were heard by both Budget committees on Monday, June 25th 2018:

AB 1815/SB 849 - Proposition 56

This bill provides for various changes in health departments including programs funded under Proposition 56, dental programs, and the quality assurance fee.

AB 1822/SB 856 - Cap and Trade

This bill provides for the allocations for the Cap and Trade Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund which includes $40 million to the Transformative Climate Communities and $25 million to the organic waste programs.

AB 1823/SB 857 - IHSS: provider orientation

This bill would require that existing law regarding the structure, time, and manner of the access of exclusive representative to a new employee orientation applies to IHSS provider orientations in Merced, Orange, and Los Angeles counties.

AB 1827 (Cmte on Budget) - NPLH - Amended

This bill would place the NPLH program on the November ballot to validate the approval to use Proposition 63 funds. This bill was amended to remove the provision that would have allowed the Legislature to make changes to this program by a majority vote.


June 19, 2018 - Budget Adopted by Legislature - On Thursday, June 14, 2018, both houses of the Legislature passed the main Budget Bill and several trailer bills. This package includes the following:

  • Homeless package of $50 million, with $350 million through the Emergency Aid Program going to the Continuums of Care.

  • Reduced funding for child support request down to just $3 million with Budget Bill language regarding the allocation of the funds.

  • Mandate repayment on AB 3632 for counties still included.
    Incompetent to Stand Trial proposal includes requirement to get approval from two state agencies.

  • No Cap and Trade agreement - delayed until later this year.
    Denied 340 B Drug Pricing Proposal.

  • $15.5 million for county administration in IHSS.

  • Continuum of Care Reform - some additional funding for the Resource Family Approval Process and Level of Care Assessment.

Click here for the UCC Budget Summary and here for the list of Trailer Bills. All Trailer Bills except for No Place Like Home and AB 195 Fix were adopted June 18th.


June 12, 2018 - Budget Conference Committee Actions - The Budget Conference Committee met late on Friday, June 8th to close out the items in Conference. The major items of note to the urban counties are as follows:

  • Homelessness package of $609 million, with $350 million through the Emergency Aid Program going to the Continuums of Care.

  • Reduced funding for child support request down to just $3 million with Budget Bill language regarding the allocation of the funds.

  • Mandate repayment on AB 3632 for counties still included.
    Incompetent to Stand Trial proposal includes requirement to get approval from two state agencies.

  • No Cap and Trade agreement - delayed until later this year.
    Denied 340 B Drug Pricing Proposal.

  • $15.5 million for county administration in IHSS.

  • Continuum of Care Reform - some additional funding for the Resource Family Approval Process and Level of Care Assessment

  • AB 195 fix - No official action but agreement to put proposal in TBL for discussion.


June 5, 2018 - House of Origin Deadlines - Friday, June 1st was the deadline to pass bills out of the house of origin. Here are some major actions:


AB 1804 (Berman) - CEQA: Infill Exemption - PASSED

UCC Position: Support.



AB 1912 (Rodriguez) - Public employees' retirement: joint powers agreements - PASSED

UCC Position: Oppose.



AB 2843 (Gloria) - Mental Health Services Fund - FAILED

UCC Position: Oppose.



AB 2890 (Ting) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - PASSED

UCC Position: Oppose.



SB 828 (Wiener) - Land use: housing element - PASSED

UCC Position: Concerns.



SB 831 (Wieckowski) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - PASSED

UCC Position: Oppose.



SB 1302 (Lara) - Cannabis: local jurisdiction: prohibition on delivery - SENATE INACTIVE FILE

UCC Position: Oppose.



SB 1303 (Pan) - Coroner: county office of the medical examiner - PASSED

UCC Position: Oppose.


May 30, 2018 - Appropriations Actions - On Friday May 25th, both houses took up the Appropriations Suspense Files. Here are some major actions:

AB 1804 (Berman) - CEQA: Infill Exemption - PASSED

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor.

UCC Position: Support (S1).



AB 1912 (Rodriguez) - Public employees' retirement: joint powers agreements - PASSED

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor.

UCC Position: Oppose.



AB 1964 (Maienschein) - Organized Day Camps - HELD

Status: Pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee - on suspense.

UCC Position: Oppose Unless Amended.



AB 1971 (Santiago) - Conservatorship - PASSED

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor.

UCC Position: Pending.



AB 2069 (Bonta) - Medicinal cannabis: employment discrimination - HELD

Status: Pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee - on suspense.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).



AB 2258 (Caballero) - Local agency formation commissions: grant program - PASSED

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor.

UCC Position: Support (S2).



AB 2843 (Gloria) - Mental Health Services Fund - PASSED

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).



AB 2890 (Ting) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - PASSED AS AMENDED

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).



AB 3037 (Chiu) - Community Redevelopment Law of 2018 - HELD

Status: Pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee - on suspense.

UCC Position: Oppose Unless Amended (OUA1).



AB 3147 (Caballero) - Fee mitigation act: housing developments - HELD

Status: Pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee - on suspense.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).



SB 828 (Wiener) - Land use: housing element - PASSED AS AMENDED

Status: Pending on the Senate Floor.

UCC Position: Concerns.



SB 831 (Wieckowski) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - PASSED


Status: Pending on the Senate Floor.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).



SB 1303 (Pan) - Coroner: county office of the medical examiner - PASSED

Status: Pending on the Senate Floor.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).



SB 1469 (Skinner) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - HELD

Status: Pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee - on suspense.

UCC Position: Oppose (O1).


May 22, 2018 - Cannabis Emergency Regulations Extended - The Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health and California Department of Food and Agriculture have proposed to readopt their emergency regulations that are currently in effect, extending the time those regulations are in effect for another 180-day period. The three licensing authorities are proposing some changes to the regulatory provisions to provide greater clarity to licensees and to address issues that have arisen since the emergency regulations went into effect.

Highlighted among the proposed changes is that applicants may now complete one license application and obtain one license to conduct medicinal and adult-use cannabis activity. Additionally, licensees may continue to engage in commercial cannabis activities with other licensees regardless of designation as this provision is no longer limited by time.


May 16, 2018 - Governor's May Revision Released - On Friday, May 11, 2018, the Governor released his May Revision and proposed a total budget of $199 billion. The Governor stated that while California is receiving higher revenues, the state must continue to be fiscally prudent with no pricey promises. The May Revision reflects the receipt of $8 billion in higher revenues through 2018-19 compared to the January Budget. From this amount the Governor's May Revision proposes $4 billion in one-time General Fund spending focused on infrastructure, homelessness and mental health. The remainder of the surplus is going into the Rainy-Day Fund.

Major changes:

  • $359 million in one-time funding to address homelessness which includes a $250 million grant program to cities and counties for emergency assistance, additional funding for programs in CalWORKs, and funding for the Statewide Council on Homelessness.

  • Proposal to place the No Place Like Home on the November ballot for approval.

  • Proposal to eliminate the 340B drug pharmacy program remains in the May Revision.

  • $254 million in mandate reimbursement for the AB 3632 program related to mental health for counties.

  • $24 million in additional funding for county administration of the IHSS program.

For the full UCC Summary, click here.


May 8, 2018 - Organic Waste Regulations

In the first week of May, CalRecycle released a new version of the organic waste regulations (SB 1383). Public workshops on the regulations are being held this week. The new regulations still have several issues of concern for counties including significant enforcement duties, reporting, and limited waivers for lack of infrastructure.

For more on the regulations, click here.


May 1, 2018 - Legislative Deadlines - Final Actions

The week ending April 27th was the final week for bills with a fiscal impact to pass out of policy committees. Here are some major actions taken by the Legislature:


AB 1911 (Lackey) - Child abuse reporting: cross -reporting among local agencies - Failed

This bill would require each county, by January 1, 2029, to establish a private and secure online database for purposes of cross-reporting substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect among agencies and individuals authorized to receive that information. This bill would provide that the database reflect a real time, Web-based information sharing system that allows rapid and secure electronic transmission and receipt of mandated cross-reports ensuring that the proper agencies receive the report and provide a detailed history of past incidents.

Status: Failed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 17, 2018.

UCC Position: Concerns.



AB 1912 (Rodriguez) - Public employees retirement - Passed

This bill would specify that if an agency to a Joint Powers Agreement participates in a public retirement system, all parties both current and former to the agreement, would be jointly and severally liable for all obligations to the retirement system.

Status: Passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 24, 2018.

UCC Position: Oppose.



AB 2890 (Ting) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - Passed

This bill would authorize ADUs to be created in areas that are developed with single-family or multi-family units, require the ordinance to designate areas where accessory dwelling units are excluded for fire and life safety purposes, and limits the types of restriction a local agency may impose on ADUs. Specify that an ADU is not subject to impact fees, connection fees, capacity charges or other charges by a local agency, school district, or special district. At the hearing the author indicated that the fee provisions would be taken out of the bill.

Status: Passed the Assembly Housing and the Assembly Local Government Committees on April 25, 2018.

UCC Position: Oppose.



AB 3085 (Calderon) - Homelessness: New Beginnings California Program - Passed with Amendments

This bill would establish the New Beginning Program to provide grant funding to cities to implement employment programs for the homeless. The author agreed to take amendments to include the counties in this program.

Status: Passed the Assembly Housing Committee as amended on April 25, 2018.

UCC Position: Support if amended.



AB 3147 (Caballero) - Fee mitigation act: housing developments - Passed with Amendments


This bill would prohibit a housing development project from being subject to a fee, charge, dedication, reservation or other exaction that is more than this in effect at the time that the application for the housing development project is determined to be complete. At the hearings, the author agreed to take amendments to limit the freeze of the fees to 2 years to be at the time the application is deemed complete. The author did not take the committee amendment to post the fee schedule on local governments websites.

Status: Passed the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committees on April 25, 2018.

UCC Position: Oppose.



AB 3171 (Ting) - Homeless Persons Services Block Grant - Held

This bill would establish the Local Homelessness Solutions Program and create an account for the purpose of providing funding to cities. This bill would appropriate an unspecified sum from the General Fund.

Status: Pulled from committee hearing by the author.

UCC Position: Support if Amended.



SB 828 (Wiener) - Land Use: housing element - Passed with Amendments

This bill would make several changes to the housing element including requiring the program to identify actions that will be taken to accommodate 125% of the cities or counties share of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). This bill would prohibit the final allocation plan from considering the underproduction of housing from the previous cycle to justify a lower allocation for a particular local government and would make new requirements on the COGS regarding the housing element. At the hearing, Senator Beall noted that he would be working with the author on additional amendments which include adding a definition of multi-family housing, dealing with conflicts with AB 1397, and negotiating on the increase in the number of sites (was 200%).

Status: Passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 24, 2018.

UCC Position: Concerns.



SB 831 (Wieckowski) - Land use: accessory dwelling units - Passed with Amendments

This bill would authorize a local agency to provide by ordinance for the creation of ADU in areas where a single-family or multi-family use is authorized and would require the ordinance to designate areas where ADU may be excluded for fire and life safety purposes. Provides that if a permit is not acted upon within 60 daysthen it is deemed approved. The Committee requested amendments to allow water and sewer fees to be charged and to put a cap on the school fees.

Status: Passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on April 25, 2018.

UCC Position: Oppose.



SB 912 (Beall) - Housing: Homeless programs and affordable housing - Passed

This bill would provide $2 billion General Fund for various housing and homeless programs to address the affordable housing and homeless issue.

Status: Passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 24, 2018.

UCC Position: Support.



SB 1125 (Atkins) - Federally qualified health center and rural health clinic services - Passed

This bill would authorize Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) to bill Medi-Cal for two visits in the same day.

Status: Passed the Senate Health Committee on April 24, 2018.

UCC Position: Support.



SB 1206 (DeLeon) - No Place Like Home - Passed

This bill would enact the NPLH of 2018 and submit that act to the voters on the November 2018 ballot. This bill would specify that the service contracts between the authority and HCD may be single year or multiyear contracts and provide for payments to HCD from amounts on deposit in the Supportive Housing SubAccount.

Status: Passed the Senate Health Committee on April 25, 2018.

UCC Position: Support.



SB 1469 (Skinner) - Land use: Accessory Dwelling units - Passed with Amendments

This bill is similar to AB 2890 and would also authorize ADUs to be created in areas that are developed with single-family or multi-family units, require the ordinance to designate areas where accessory dwelling units are excluded for fire and life safety purposes, and limits the types of restriction a local agency may impose on ADUs. This bill also provides that an ADU is not subject to impact fees, connection fees, capacity charges or other charges by a local agency, school district, or special district. The author accepted amendments to allow for sewer and water fees and to limit school fees to $3,000.

Status: Passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on April 25, 2018.

UCC Position: Oppose.


April 25, 2018 - Legislative Deadlines - This past week was a chaotic one at the state capitol with many bills passing but a few failed or held in committee due to the upcoming deadline to pass the first policy committee. This upcoming week looks just as hectic with several bills up in committee.

AB 2717 (Lackey) - Cannabis local control- Passed Assembly Business and Professions

The bill would authorize a city to contract in writing with the county in which it is located to arrange for the county to fulfill any of the city's regulatory functions relating to licensees located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city.

Status: Pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

UCC Position: Support and Co-Sponsor.

SB 827 (Wiener) - Planning and Zoning - Failed in Senate Transportation and Housing

This bill would override county general plans, housing elements, specific plans, and zoning ordinances in unincorporated areas located near qualifying transit service, even if such plans already allow for higher-density residential uses.

Status: Failed in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on a 4-6 vote.

UCC Position: Oppose.


April 19, 2018 - SB 2 Homeless Funds - HCD Proposal - HCD provided an update on how the homeless funds under SB 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, would be used. HCD is proposing the following possible eligible uses, subject to further legislative refinement:

  • Rental assistance, which could include rapid rehousing, with expanded flexibility beyond current program parameters.
    Operating subsidies in the form of 15-year capitalized operating reserves in new and existing affordable housing units to deeply target those units to Californians exiting homelessness.

  • Local programs that establish or support "flexible housing subsidy pools" that pool available local dollars to commit rental subsidies to private landlords and supportive and affordable housing providers.

  • Operating support for short term, emergency housing interventions, such as navigation centers, that provide temporary room and board with limited barriers to entry while case managers work to connect homeless individuals and families to income, public benefits, health services, shelter, and housing.

  • Landlord incentives, such as subsidies for landlords while waiting for Housing Choice Voucher approval and reserves for unexpected vacancies.

  • Systems support for coordinated entry systems, diversion programs and service integration, data and Homeless Management Information Systems reporting, and homelessness planning.

The funds will be block granted and permissive in uses through the menu of eligible activities.

The details of these modifications are subject to final budget language approved in the state budget process, which will be completed before the end of June for the 2018-19 fiscal year beginning July 1. Once the budget process is complete, the Department will be prepared to adopt any changes and provide a timeline for a NOFA.

President Trump Executive Order on Reducing Poverty and Changing Work Requirements

The Executive Order includes the following:

  • Enforcing work requirements already in law and also 'strengthen' work requirements. Those initiatives could include consolidating workforce programs. It also suggests introducing new work requirements when legally permissible.

  • Intends to find ways to 'empower' government agencies and others to 'effectively administer and manage public assistance programs,' including the 'freedom to design and implement programs' to meet their communities' needs.

  • Urges investments to combat payment errors and verify participant eligibility.


April 10. 2018 - New Bills

SB 1163 (Galgiani) - Postmortem examination or autopsy: unidentified body or human remains: medical examiner: attending physician and surgeon

This bill would require a postmortem examination or autopsy upon an unidentified body or human remains to only be conducted by an attending physician and surgeon or chief medical examiner who is a board-certified forensic pathologist. The bill would require an agency tasked with the exhumation of a body or skeletal remains of a deceased person that has suffered significant deterioration or decomposition, where the circumstances surrounding the death afford a reasonable basis to suspect that the death was caused by or related to the criminal act of another, to perform the exhumation under the direction of a board-certified forensic pathologist and would authorize that board-certified forensic pathologist to retain the services of an anthropologist.

Status: Amended on April 3, 2018; Pending in the Senate Rules Committee for assignment.

UCC Position: Pending.

SB 1415 (McGuire) - Building standards: violations

The bill would require a local agency that is responsible for enforcing building standards to submit to the State Fire Marshal an annual report containing information on the total number of structures within the local agency's responsibility, categorized by occupancy classification, as defined, and required frequency of inspection, and the number of those structures that are overdue for inspection. The bill would require an enforcement agency to post conspicuously at least one copy of specified documents relating to violations of these provisions on the building. The bill would require an enforcement agency that issues a notice to correct a violation or to abate a nuisance pursuant to these provisions to include in that notice specified information related to what provisions were alleged to have been violated and what the owner is required to do to correct or abate those violations.

Status: Amended on April 4, 2018; Pending in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

UCC Position: Pending.


April 3, 2018 - Legislature Reconvenes - The Legislature returned Monday, April 2nd after a week-long recess for spring break. The next few weeks will be very busy with policy committees hearing bills with an upcoming deadline of April 27, 2018 for passage for fiscal bills out of first policy.


March 28, 2018 - Budget Hearings - Cap and Trade and 340 B Issue

Cap and Trade

Both houses heard the Cap and Trade Investment Plan proposed by the Governor. Many questions were asked including the lack of funding for CalRecycle and other programs. UCC testified in support for additional funding for the Transformative Climate Communities which provides funding to local governments for reducing GHG.

340B Drug Issue

The Governor's budget proposes to eliminate this program which provides needed drug rebates to public hospitals and other health care providers. UCC testified in opposition to this proposal. At the hearing Senator Pan noted that there should be some alternative instead of just eliminating the program.


March 13, 2018 - Budget Hearings on IHSS and SB 2 (Atkins) Implementation - There are two important Budget Subcommittee hearings being held in the Legislature:

Assembly Subcommittee #1 - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

IHSS

Please see our joint letter with comments on the IHSS MOE.

Senate Subcommittee #4 - Thursday, March 15, 2018

SB 2 Implementation and Trailer bill

Please see our joint letter on the homeless funding proposed in the Trailer Bill.


March 1, 2018 - State Audit of Mental Health Services Act - The California State Auditor released an audit on the Mental Health Services Act on February 27, 2018. This report found that the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) did not adequately spend MHSA funds and did not give direction to counties regarding the reserve and interest funds counties have under MHSA. The audit also found that DHCS does not enforce annual revenue and expenditure reporting nor has it performed fiscal or program audits.

The audit also reviewed three mental health agencies - Alameda, Riverside, and San Diego counties -- and determined that they allocated their MHSA funds appropriately and they generally monitored the MHSA-funded projects effectively.

Some of the recommendations from the audit include the following:

  • Require DHCS to develop an MHSA fiscal reversion process, clarify that the interest the local mental health agencies earn is subject to the same reversions process, and establish and enforce an MHSA reserve level that will allow mental health agencies to maintain sufficient funds.

  • Require DHCS to publish its proposed regulations by June 2018 which includes the fiscal reversion process and reserve levels.

  • The Oversight Commission should continue its efforts to help mental health agencies understand the types of innovation projects, finalize its internal processes for reviewing and analyzing the program status reports no later than July 2018, and require the local mental health agencies uniformly report data on their uses of triage grants.

Click here for a copy of the audit.


February 28th, 2018 - SB 1 Study Released - The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) released a study in late February, 2018 called The Economic Impacts of Senate Bill 1 on California that quantifies the immediate economic activity from the investments made under SB 1.

Here are some of the key economic impacts identified in the report:

  • Support an average of 68,000 jobs per year over the 10 years that will yield approximately $3.3 billion in wages for California workers each year.

  • Savings of $300 per household in CA in total "user benefits" including less time spent sitting in traffic and reduced vehicle operating and maintenance costs.

  • Increase business sales by $112 billion over 10 years.
    •Support $182.6 billion in increased economic activity and benefits to California residents and business over the next decade.

  • Drivers will save $8.2 billion in vehicle operating costs over 10 years.

  • Saves $1.6 billion per year (e.g., reduced travel times) for the 14 million trucks that use the urban interstate, an average of $114,000 per truck each year.

  • Reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities valued at $584 million over 10 years.

  • Support the repair, repaving, and reconstruction of 84,000 lane miles of roadway on 19,000 miles of roadway.

  • Replacement of an additional 556 state and local bridges.


February 21, 2018 - Bill Introduction Deadline – February 16, 2018

The bill introduction deadline was February 16, 2018 with over 2,000 bills being introduced for the session. The majority of the bills are related to affordable housing, homelessness, cannabis, fire response, and sexual harassment provisions for employers. Here are some of the bills that have provisions or are a priority:

AB 2273 (Jones-Sawyer) – Electrified security fences

This bill would instead make an electrified security fence a permitted use unless installation and operation of an electrified fence is explicitly prohibited by a local ordinance.

AB 2458 (Weber) – Qualified special taxes: exemption: information

This bill would provide that if a school district provides for an exemption from a qualified special tax, a county tax collector would be required to include a hyperlink on the tax collectors homepage to another location on the tax collector’s Internet Web site that contains information on how to apply for that exemption and would require the county tax collector to include a hyperlink to the homepage of the tax collector on each county tax bill.

AB 2717 (Lackey) – Cannabis: local control: city responsibility for county regulatory function – UCC Co-Sponsor

This bill would require a city to assume from the county complete responsibility for any regulatory function related to licensees located within the jurisdiction boundaries of the city, regardless of whether the state delegates to the city full power and authority to enforce MAUCRSA. This bill would also authorize a city to contract in writing with the county in which it is located to arrange for the county to fulfill any of the city’s regulatory functions relating to licensees located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city.

UCC Position: Support.

AB 2753 (Friedman) – Density bonuses: density bonus applications

This bill would require that if a city or county does not determine whether a density bonus application is complete within 30 calendar days after it was submitted, then the application is deemed approved.

SB 1152 (Hernandez) - Hospital patient discharge process: homeless patients

This bill would require the health facilities to develop a written plan for coordinating services and referrals for homeless patients including procedures for homeless patient discharge referrals, designating liaisons at each participating entity, and coordination protocols.

SB 1153 (Stern) - Local initiatives: review

This bill would require the county counsel for county initiative measure and the city attorney for municipal initiative measures to initiate a public review for a period of 30 days by posting the text of the proposed initiative on their website and inviting public comments on the measure.


February 15, 2018 - BSCC Juvenile Regulations Adopted - The Board of State and Community Corrections adopted the juvenile regulations on February 8, 2018. Highlights of the proposed revisions include the following: changes to regulations requiring more detailed reporting of use of force incidents; assuring that chemical agents will be employed only after sufficient attempts at de-escalation of potentially violent situations; implementation of trauma-informed care considerations to ensure the safety of all youth and staff; ensuring transition and aftercare plans to help successful reintegration into community; and ensuring that youth will be allowed to have their own underwear throughout their stay.

One issue on which the Board's Executive Steering Committee did not reach agreement is the number of juveniles that one corrections officer can oversee safely. Advocates argued that officers should supervise no more than eight young people in juvenile halls during daytime hours instead of the current one-to-10 ratio. The Executive Steering Committee that directed the regulations revisions was split on whether a staffing ratio change is necessary, with half of the members expressing concerns that fiscal considerations would strap agencies and lead to fewer rehabilitative programs, and could lead to the closing of some small-county institutions.

The Board ultimately opted to keep the current 1:10 ratio after reading comments submitted in writing to the Board and hearing from a variety of advocates and local chiefs of probation.

For more information please click here.


January 10, 2018 - The Governor's Budget was released today. The Budget continues to allocate funds to the Rainy Day Fund but does have some other funding dedicated to programs that affect counties.

Here are some of the major issues for counties:

  • $27.5 million in additional funding for IHSS county administration.

  • $117.3 million for Incompetent to Stand Trial changes and investments. This includes $2.5 million from the Mental Health Services Act to help counties develop innovative plans to address the IST population.

  • Implementation and funding for transportation projects through SB 1.

  • Policy changes to prohibit the use of 340b drugs in Medi-Cal which could negatively impact public hospitals.

  • $3 million in additional funding to HCD to implement the housing package adopted in 2017.

  • •$134 million to counties for elections systems upgrades.

Click here for the UCC Summary of the Governor's Budget.

The Legislative Analyst's Office also released an overview of the Governor's Budget and notes the major proposals in the Budget, and offers the following comments on some of the proposals:

  • May Revise May Include More Revenues. The LAO notes that more revenues may be available by May Revision due to the fact that the Proposition 98 guarantee has been met and due to the fact that the Governor's Budget did not include the reauthorization of CHIP which could provide additional General Fund Savings.

  • Recommend Scrutiny of Proposition 55 calculation. Proposition 55 which passed in 2016 extended tax rate increases on high-income Californians to be used for the Medi-Cal program. The Governor's Budget does not include additional funding to Medi-Cal from Proposition 55; therefore, the LAO recommends that the Legislature scrutinize the calculations.

  • Legislature's Election Administration Priorities. The LAO notes that the Governor's proposal to assist counties has merit but notes that the Legislature may wish to consider the extent to which the proposal would advance its overall priorities for election administration in the state.

Click here for the LAO analysis.


October 3, 2017 - Housing Package Signed - On September 29th, 2017, the Governor held a signing ceremony and signed the package of 15 housing bills passed by the Legislature. Included in the package are the following bills:

SB 2 (Atkins) – Building Homes and Jobs Act
UCC Position: No position.
Status: Signed, Chapter 364.

SB 3 (Beall) – Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed, Chapter 365.

SB 35 (Wiener) – Housing: streamlining
UCC Position: Amend.
Status: Signed, Chapter 366.

SB 166 (Skinner) – Residential density and affordability
UCC Position: Amend.
Status: Signed, Chapter 367.

SB 167 (Skinner) – Housing Accountability Act
Status: Signed, Chapter 368.

SB 540 (Roth) – Workforce Opportunity Zones
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed, Chapter 369.

AB 72 (Santiago) – Attorney General: enforcement: housing laws
UCC Position: Amend
Status: Signed, Chapter 370.

AB 73 (Chiu) – Housing sustainability districts
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed, Chapter 371.

AB 571 (Garcia, E) – Farmworker Housing
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed, Chapter 372.

AB 678 (Bocanegra) – Housing Accountability Act
UCC Position: Neutral.
Status: Signed, Chapter 373.

AB 879 (Grayson) – Planning and zoning: housing element
UCC Position: Oppose Unless Amended.
Status: Signed, Chapter 374.

AB 1397 (Low) – Local planning: housing element: inventory of land for residential development
UCC Position: Amend
Status: Signed, Chapter 375.

AB 1505 (Bloom) – Land use: zoning regulations
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed, Chapter 376.

AB 1515 (Daly) – Planning and zoning: housing
UCC Position: Oppose Unless Amended.
Status: Signed, Chapter 378.

AB 1521 (Bloom) – Assisted Housing Developments
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed, Chapter 377.


September 20, 2017 - Legislative Session Adjourns - On Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Legislature officially adjourned the 2017 Legislative session around 2:30 a.m. Below is a summary of the major actions affecting urban counties:

AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) - Counties and cities: contracts for personal services - HOT BILL- HELD
Status: Held in Senate Rules.
UCC Position: Oppose.

SB 649 (Hueso) - Small Cells - HOT BILL - ENROLLED
Status: Passed the Assembly Floor on a 46-16 vote and passed the Senate Floor on a 22-10 vote. We were able to get more no votes and numerous members abstaining. Please ask the Governor to VETO this bill.
UCC Position: Oppose.

Housing Package – Enrolled (Funding Measures):

SB 2 (Atkins) - Building Homes and Jobs Act
UCC Position: No position.

SB 3 (Beall) - Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond
UCC Position: Support.

Other Policy Bills Passed that are part of the Housing Package:

AB 72 (Santiago) - Attorney General: enforcement: housing laws
UCC Position: Amend.

AB 73 (Chiu) - Housing sustainability districts
UCC Position: Support.

AB 571 (Garcia, E) - Farmworker Housing
UCC Position: Support.

AB 678 (Bocanegra) - Housing Accountability Act
UCC Position: Neutral.

AB 879 (Grayson) - Planning and zoning: housing element
UCC Position: Oppose Unless Amended.

AB 1397 (Low) - Local planning: housing element: inventory of land for residential development
UCC Position: Amend

AB 1515 (Daly) - Planning and zoning: housing
UCC Position: Oppose Unless Amended.

SB 35 (Wiener) - Housing: streamlining
UCC Position: Amend.

SB 166 (Skinner) - Residential density and affordability
UCC Position: Amend.

SB 167 (Skinner) - Housing Accountability Act
This bill is identical to AB 678 (see above).

SB 540 (Roth) - Workforce Opportunity Zones
UCC Position: Support

Trailer Bills Signed

On Saturday, the Governor signed several Budget Trailer bills including the following:

AB 109 (Cmte on Budget) - Budget Trailer Bill
UCC Position: No Position.
Status: Signed.

AB 130 (Cmte on Budget) - Health and Human Services
UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed.

AB 133 (Cmte on Budget) - Cannabis Regulations
UCC Position: No Position.
Status: Signed.


September 12, 2017 - Key Bills Still in Play - With the end of session less than a week away, there are a couple of key bills still in play that UCC requests your participation in Opposing:

AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) - Counties and cities: contracts for personal services - HOT BILL

This bill would require specific standards for the use of personal services contracts by counties and restrict the ability of counties to contract out for services.

Status: Pending in Senate Rules. Please continue to contact your Senator and ask that the bill stay in Senate Rules and that no amendments can fix this bill.

UCC Position: Oppose.

SB 649 (Hueso) - Small Cells - HOT BILL - Request NO Vote on Assembly Floor

This bill would require cities and counties to lease vertical infrastructure to wireless carriers for a maximum fee of $250 per pole per year and in order to use the infrastructure the local government must request the space from the carrier.

Status: Pending on the Assembly Floor and can be taken up as early as today. Please continue to contact your Assembly Member and request a NO vote.

UCC Position: Oppose.


August 31, 2017 - No Place Like Home Guidelines - The California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) approved the completed guidelines along with the rest of the No Place Like Home Program, including all of the financing aspects.

The agenda and staff materials for the August 24 CHFFA meeting are available here. The completed guidelines will now be transmitted to the Attorney General's Office for validation, which should take place before the end of the month. Once the Attorney General files the validation all conversation on the interpretation of the guidelines or discussions about the process in coming to policies can be considered part of the record and can be used in the court validation.

The Department of Housing and Community Development will be able to speak factually to what is in the guidelines moving forward. HCD is hoping for a court ruling by spring, however the process could take up to two years. After the guidelines have been finalized, HCD will have a NOFA out within 150 days. Because changes can be made to the guidelines through the court, these guidelines are not final.


August 21, 2017 - Legislature Returns from Summer Recess - Today is the first day back for the Legislature and with only four weeks left in this Legislative Session, we are at a critical juncture for several important bills. This includes our two top bills: AB 1250 and SB 649 as well as the housing package which may be taken up this week.


July 31, 2017 - Cap and Trade Measures Signed by Governor
AB 378 and AB 617 are the two cap and trade bills that were passed by both houses of the Legislature on July 17, 2017.

AB 378 (Garcia, E) – California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: market-based compliance mechanisms

This bill would extend the Air Resources Board’s authority to operate cap and trade until December 31, 2030, requires ARB to update the scoping plan, suspends the State Responsibility Area Fee, and provides additional tax exemptions for energy generation and production.

AB 617 (Garcia, C) – Nonvehicular air pollution: criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants

This bill would require the ARB to establish a uniform statewide system for stationary sources to report their emissions, creates an expedited schedule for certain facility to implement best achievable retrofit control technology, increases civil and criminal penalties for certain types of emissions, and creates community emissions reduction programs.

Last week, both houses of the California Legislature passed the two measures on Cap and Trade.

The Governor signed both of these measures on July 25, 2017.


July 19, 2017 - Fresno County Joins UCC - At the UCC Board meeting last week, the Board approved the request by Fresno County to join UCC. We are pleased to welcome Fresno County to the Urban Counties of California.


July 19, 2017 - Cap and Trade Bills - AB 378 (Garcia, E) – California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: market-based compliance mechanisms

This bill would extend the Air Resources Board’s authority to operate cap and trade until December 31, 2030, requires ARB to update the scoping plan, suspends the State Responsibility Area Fee, and provides additional tax exemptions for energy generation and production.

AB 617 (Garcia, C) – Non-vehicular air pollution: criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants

This bill would require the ARB to establish a uniform statewide system for stationary sources to report their emissions, creates an expedited schedule for certain facility to implement best achievable retrofit control technology, increases civil and criminal penalties for certain types of emissions, and creates community emissions reduction programs.


June 28, 2017 - Governor Brown Signs State Budget - Yesterday Governor Brown signed a balanced California State Budget. The Governor stated: “California is taking decisive action by enacting a balanced state budget. This budget provides money to repair our roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians.” To review the full press release click here.

Below are budget bills that have been signed by the Governor thus far:

AB 97 – Main Budget Bill
Chapter 14

AB 99 – School Finance
This bill makes changes to various education programs including child care and school facilities.
Chapter 15

AB 102 – Board of Equalization
This bill creates a new Department of Tax and Fee Administration and transfers much of the BOE responsibilities to this new department.
Chapter 16

AB 103 – Public Safety
This bill provides changes to in-person visitation and grandfathers all existing facilities with video visitation, changes to BSCC programs, changes to probation and to state hospitals.
Chapter 17

AB 107 – Developmental Services
This bill makes changes to various programs in developmental services.
Chapter 18

AB 111 – State Government
This bill makes changes to various state agencies and programs including Transitional Housing and changes to HCD and DOJ.
Chapter 19

AB 115 – Transportation
This bill makes changes to the transportation program including design bid, active transportation and other programs.
Chapter 20

AB 119 – State Government
This bill makes changes to employee orientations. No Place Like Home and other state programs.
Chapter 21

AB 120 – Budget Bill Jr.
Chapter 22

SB 85 – Education
This bill makes changes to community colleges, adult education and UC and CSU systems. Includes MHSA funding for community colleges.
Chapter 23

SB 89 – Human Services
This bill makes several changes to social services programs including CalWORKs.
Chapter 24

SB 90 – Social Services/IHSS
This bill makes changes to the IHSS MOE program, including share of costs, reopener and other provisions.
Chapter 25

SB 92 – Public Resources
This bill makes changes to several public resource programs and departments.
Chapter 26

SB 94 – Cannabis
This bill makes changes to programs under the MCRSA and AUMA (Prop 64) for the implementation of regulations.
Chapter 27

SB 96 – State Government
This bill changes various state department, including Elections, Labor and Veterans Affairs.
Chapter 28


June 27, 2017 - Federal Health Care Bill - It is anticipated that the Senate will vote on their version of the AHCA sometime this week. The new version would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Entitled the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the discussion draft is similar to the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA; HR 1628).

The major changes that would affect California are as follows:

  • Medicaid Cuts. This bill would phase out the ACA’s enhanced federal Medicaid matching rate over the course of four years – from 90 percent in 2020 down to 75 percent by 2023 – with expansion funds terminating on January 1, 2024. In addition, this measure institutes a Per Capita Cap which will result in even deeper cuts in future years compared to the House bill. Under the Senate proposal, the per capita cap would begin on October 1, 2019, with States able to choose a consecutive two-year period of Medicaid expenditures for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to use when calculating the federal payment limit. The House bill would establish fiscal year 2016 expenditures as the base year for calculations.

  • Pre-existing Conditions. While the Senate bill would not change the current law requirement that insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions, it does allow insurance companies to decline to cover essential health care like hospitalizations.

  • Public Health Fund Eliminated. This bill would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The fund is used by the state and local public health departments to reduce infectious disease and to respond to other public health issues. In fiscal year 2017, the fund allocated $931 million for those efforts.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell intends to bypass committee hearings and markups and bring the bill to the floor as early as Monday, June 26, with a final vote expected on Thursday, June 29. Before the final vote, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) must provide the upper chamber with a cost estimate of the bill, as well as a projection on the number of individuals who would lose health coverage. This analysis is expected to be released today.

Senators Feinstein and Harris held a conference call with stakeholder last week and asked all stakeholders to reach out to some of the other states that could be a no vote including Maine, Nevada and Alaska.


June 20, 2017 - Legislature Passes Budget - On June 15, 2017, both houses of the Legislature passed the main budget bill (AB 97) and several trailer bills. Below are some highlights of budget:

  • IHSS MOE. The Budget and the Trailer Bill provide the General Fund offsets and other provisions including reopener and loan provisions.

  • CalWORKs Allocation. Budget provides $108.9 million for CalWORKs single allocation for 2017-18.

  • In-Person Visitation. Requires in-person visitation on a prospective basis for any facility that has received a conditional award.

  • Employee Training. This bill requires each public employer to provide the exclusive representative mandatory access to its new employee orientation. The structure, time and manner of the access is subject to compulsory interest arbitration.

  • Cannabis Trailer Bill. This bill makes changes to the Cannabis regulatory structure including the state verification of local license provisions requested by counties.

Click here for the UCC Summary of the Budget as well as the status on the Budget bill and the trailer bills.


June 13, 2017 - Cannabis Trailer Bill Update - Today, the Assembly, Senate and Administration released an updated cannabis trailer bill as a compromise deal that will move forward with the budget. The language, contained in SB 94/AB 110, is available online through the following link:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB94

Attached is an overview chart, which outlines changes to the April TBL and relevant code sections.


June 12, 2017 - The Budget Conference Committee adopted the conference report on June 8, 2017. Please see attached chart of UCC’s Budget Actions.

The DOF's opening comments expressed the importance of a prudent reserve, along with restating the Administration's high priorities, which included the May Revision for counties re the IHSS MOE.

The Committee adopted the Governor's Revenue estimates. Addendum pages link, which includes information on the revenue estimates: http://sbud.senate.ca.gov/budgetinformation

The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will be having hearings next Tuesday, June 13th and Wednesday, June 14th, upon call of the chair, to discuss/hear the proposed budget trailer bills. The Assembly Budget Committee also is expected to have similar hearings next week, though the dates/times have not been set.

We will report back as more information is available.


June 3, 2017 - UCC Budget Update - The Budget Conference Committee met over the last two days and has been through Education, Health and Human Services, and the State Government sections. They have adjourned until Monday, June 5, 2017 at 1:30 to go through the Resources section.

One of the major actions was to adopt the Senate version for the Public Hospitals Graduate Medical Education item which is consistent with our request.

All other major issues remain Open. Please see the attached chart for the status of the items we are following.


May 30, 2017 - May Revise Update -- Both the Assembly and Senate Budget Committee have met and adopted their final actions on the May Revise. Attached please find a chart of the items we are tracking and their status. Here are some of the major issues:

  • IHSS MOE. Both houses adopted placeholder Trailer Bill language so this item will not be in Budget Conference Committee. However, counties continue to work on the language with Finance which may be available as early as next Tuesday.
  • Jail Visitation. Both houses adopted a proposal by the Senate to require county jails to provide in-person visitation. There are 8 facilities that are exempted for five years, but all other facilities must comply immediately. This is not going to conference.
  • Jail Funding. The Senate adopted a proposal to redirect Jail Funding.

May 22, 2017 - Budget Subcommittee Actions

  • IHSS MOE. Both houses heard the issue and have held the item open. The Senate is expected to take action on Tuesday morning, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee is holding a vote-only hearing Tuesday afternoon.
  • Jail Visitation. Both houses adopted an alternative proposal to require county jails to have in-person visitation. It does exempt eight facilities including those in San Bernardino and San Mateo but requires these facilities to have in-person visitation available in 5 years. The proposal funds this new mandate by using any funds reverted back to the BSCC, however, that is not a reliable funding source. Since both houses adopted the same proposal this will not be going to conference committee.
  • CalWORKs. The May Revision includes a reduction in the CalWORKs single allocation which has been opposed by CWDA and some individual counties. Both houses have heard this item and left it open.

Key Hearings

The Full Senate Budget and Fiscal Review is scheduled to meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd at 8:30 a.m. to take actions on the remaining open issues.

The Assembly Budget Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, May 25th at 3:00 p.m. to adopt the final actions.


May 1 2017 - Cannabis Regulation Workshops – 2017 -Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulations Workshops

  • June 1, 2017 ~ 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Adorni Center
    1011 Waterfront Drive, Eureka, CA 95501
  • June 8, 2017 ~ 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Junipero Serra Building
    320 W. Fourth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
  • June 9, 2017 ~ 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Department of Consumer Affairs, Hearing Room, S-102
    1625 North Market Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95834
  • June 13, 2017 ~ 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    King Library, Second Floor
    150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112
  • Tuesday, May 16 ~ 1pm-3pm
    California Department of Food and Agriculture
    Visalia Convention Center, Sequoia Room 303
    East Acequia Avenue Visalia, CA 93219
  • Thursday, May 18 ~ 1pm-3pm
    Ukiah Convention Center, Cabernet Room
    200 South School Street
    Ukiah, CA 95482
  • Thursday, May 25 ~ 1pm-3pm
    California Department of Food and Agriculture Auditorium
    1220 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814
  • June 8, 2017 ~ 10:00 am
    California Department of Public Health
    50 D Street, Room 410A/410B,
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
  • June 13, 2017 ~ 10:00 am
    1350 Front Street, Auditorium
    San Diego, CA 92101

May 1, 2017 - UCC, CSAC and RCRC wanted to let you know that the State has released the first draft of the regulations on cannabis which are available at www.cannabis.ca.gov. There are three sets of regulations by three licensing agencies: The Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (Bureau), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and the Department of Public Health (DPH). Our associations are reviewing the proposed regulations with county counsels so that we can collectively submit comments by the 45-day deadline.

In addition, there are a series of workshops announced on these regulations by each state licensing agency to be held around the state to receive public comments.

The following are some of the major issues addressed in the proposed regulations:

  • Local Control/Authorization of licenses (Bureau). For an applicant to be in good standing, they must provide the name of the local jurisdiction that issued the license, permit or other authorization, name and contract information for the person authorized by the local jurisdiction to sign on its behalf, signature of person authorized to sign on behalf of the local jurisdiction and a statement that the named party is in good standing.
  • General Provisions (All): Definition of premises, security requirements (including personnel and 24 hour video surveillance) and definition of ownership.
  • Delivery (Bureau). All deliveries of medical cannabis must be performed by a delivery employee of a licensed dispensary.
  • Cultivation Licenses (CDFA). Requires cultivation plans of all applicants, new license type for those not growing but drying and curing plants, and environmental protections.
  • Dispensary Licenses (Bureau). Requires purchases to be in exit packaging, limitations on hours of operation, daily limits on sales to patients, no free samples allowed.
  • Distributor Licenses (Bureau). Requires distributors to conduct testing of products, outlines quality assurance requirements and requirements for destruction of the product.
  • Manufacturing Licenses (DPH). Adding two new license types for infused products and businesses that only do packaging and labeling.
  • Product Limitations/Labeling and Packaging (DPH). No products with infusion of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine; list of all ingredients in the labeling, THC levels for edibles and other products.

We will send out our comments on the draft regulations once they are finalized. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


April 24, 2017 - Mark your calendars for a UCC/CSAC/RCRC co-sponsored Counties Cannabis Summit!

This one-day summit is for County supervisors, CAO/CEOs, and senior staff and will cover the changing policy landscape of cannabis medicinal and recreational use post-Proposition 64, local authority and policy development, as well as local opportunities and lessons learned from your colleagues. The summit will address critical policy areas such as what counties are required to do prior to the January 2018 implementation of legalized recreational cannabis, what authority and options counties have, reconciling authority and policy priorities between medical and recreational cannabis, how to successfully navigate state regulatory agencies in the development and implementation of local cannabis policy, and how to learn from others to align local policies to your county priorities.

We will be joined by key state regulators, and experts from counties as well as other states.

WHAT: Counties Cannabis Summit

WHEN: July 19, 2017

WHERE: Library Galleria, 828 I Street, Sacramento

Registration details and agenda for the event will be sent in the near future.


April 7, 2017 - Transportation Funding Passes - SB 1 (Beall), on Transportation Funding passed both houses last night after several hours of debate. The Senate approved SB 1 on a 27-11 vote, while the Assembly approved the bill on a party-line 54-26. SB 1 will increase transportation funding by an average of $5.2 billion per year over the next decade with $3 billion a year going to local governments. This funding is designed to go to fix-it first projects. In addition, a companion measure ACA 5 also passed both houses last night.

The bill is now on the Governor’s desk and he is expected to sign these measures.


March 27, 2017 - Transporation Funding Update -- The Governor and legislative leadership are close to a deal on Transportation funding for $5 billion instead of the $6 billion that is in the current legislation (AB 1 and SB 1). In addition, this new agreement will be in a separate legislative vehicle and may not include funding for transit. The Governor's Office is continuing to press for a deal by April 6th and the Fix Our Roads Coalition continues to have press conferences around the state to increase pressure on the Legislature for a vote on the package.


March 2, 2017 - CCI/IHSS MOE Update - Today, the Senate Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services held the first hearing on the Governor's action to unwind the CCI and shift the IHSS costs to counties. The LAO testified at the hearing and provided an overview of 1991 Realignment.

The LAO also reviewed their recommendations from their report (click here) and noted that the 1991 Realignment funds were not sufficient to cover the cost shift.

A panel also testified including: Frank Mecca, CWDA; Matt Cate, CSAC; Kirsten Barlow, CBHDA; Tia Orr, SEIU; and Kristina Bas-Hamilton, UDW. In addition, there were significant opposition in public comment including testimony from UCC on the impacts to urban counties.

The Department of Finance stated they were working with counties on agreeing on the methodology and specific numbers for the cost shift and that they expected their analysis to be completed within the next two weeks. Chair Senator Pan noted concerns and that the Subcommittee would continue to review this item and noted that the 1991 Realignment may have to be looked at to see if it still works for stakeholders.

The Assembly Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services is scheduled to hear the same issue next week - Stay tuned.....


February 24, 2017 - UCC's Summary of the Coordinated Care Initiative and IHSS MOE Overview


February 9, 2017 - Transportation Funding Package - The Governor and Legislative Leadership have announced a deadline of April 6, 2017, to get the Transportation Funding Package passed. Attached is the coalition letter to Senate Transportation Committee.


February 3, 2017 - CCI Update -- Below please find joint letters opposing dismantling the CCI, the county IHSS MOE, and shifting IHSS collective bargaining to counties. This results more than $623 million in increased county costs above the amount that counties are dedicating to their current MOE obligations in 2017-18.

IHSS MOE Letter de Leon

IHSS MOE Letter Rendon


January 24, 2017 - Governor Brown gave a passionate State of the State related to the uncertainties California is facing under the new federal Administration. Governor Brown noted that while he has laid out a specific agenda in the past, he instead wanted to provide the basic principles that will guide California’s efforts this year.

Basic principles:

  1. Immigration. Immigrants are part of who we are and what we have become. California has passed protective measures and California will defend every one that has come here and contributed to our state.

  2. Health Care. California more than any other state embraced the Affordable Care Act. Any attempt to repeal the ACA will affect the California state budget directly. California will work with other Governors to protect health care of our people.

  3. Climate Change. They cannot change the facts: temperatures rising. 194 countries have signed the Paris agreement. We cannot fall back. California will join with other states and countries.

  4. Infrastructure. President wants to build and build big. California agrees with the President and will work with him to create jobs.


January 13, 2017 - CCI Unwind -- Unwinding of the CCI program which includes returning IHSS collective bargaining to the counties and removing the current IHSS MOE which caps counties costs at 3.5%. However, parts of the CCI will be maintained including the Cal Medi-Connect and the mandatory enrollment of the dual eligibles. The cost shift of the IHSS MOE which includes county share of cost for the increase to minimum wage is estimated to be $4.4 billion over the next 6 years. (Noted concern regarding federal uncertainty on the Affordable Care Act, but no specific proposal to address the possibility of a repeal by the Trump administration.)


January 11, 2017 - Governor's Budget - UCC Summary of the Governors Budget 2017-18


January 9, 2017 - No Place Like Home (NPLH)- Update and Workshops - The Housing and Community Development (HCD) released their draft paper on NPLH along with a list of public workshops to get comments on this first draft. Attached are the links to the Draft NPLH framework paper and the list of HCD Regional workshops in January 2017.


July 13, 2016 - Attached please find UCC’s Summary of the Final Budget, along with the Budget Action Chart listing the Budget Bills and their current status. The UCC Summary also includes the No Place Like Home Proposal.


July 6, 2016 - AB 1618 - No Place Like Home Proposal – Signed by Governor - AB 1618, the No Place Like Home Proposal was signed by the Governor last week. This is the bill that provides funding to build affordable housing using the Mental Health Services Act. The Governor also signed AB 1622 which provides additional funding or the homeless and administrative funding for DCHS to administer the various reporting requirements.


June 16, 2016 - Both houses of the Legislature passed the main Budget bill and a couple of trailer bills on June 15, 2016. Most of the rest of the Trailer Bills passed on June 16, 2016. To view UCC's Summary of the Governor's Budget click here.

Also attached is the list of all the bills acted upon and their current status.

A couple of Trailer Bills will be taken up next week, including the No Place Like Home bill (AB 1618). Since the No Place Like Home bill has not officially passed, a summary is attached of the most recent version of the bill.

Some of the major proposals in the final Budget include:

  • $270 million in lease revenue bonds for county jail construction.

  • $16.7 million for Community Infrastructure Grants provided to counties.

  • $25 million for the Community-Based Transitional Housing Program (formerly Permit Incentives).

  • Repeal of the Maximum Family Grant.

  • $150 million for the implementation of AB 403 – Continuum of Care.

Some proposals that did not make the final Budget:

  • Cap and Trade Funding.

  • Use By Right and $400 million in funding to HCD for affordable housing.

  • Bond securitization language for the No Place Like Home proposal (delayed until August).


6-6-2016 - Budget Conference Committee - Update - The Budget Conference Committee met last week and went through the entire book of issues. Not much action was taken. Attached is a chart of the issues we are tracking in May Revise. All of our items remain open.

  • There was a lengthy discussion on jail funding with both houses wanting the funding to be spent on services and not jail construction unless more detail was provided on how the funds would be allocated and the specific projects.

  • The Homeless issue was also discussed with support for No Place Like Home and many questions and concerns about the by-right proposal coming from Senator Leno and Senator Neilsen.

5-31-16 - The Budget Conference Committee announced its members for the Senate and Assembly today. The conference committee is to begin tomorrow (June 1). Below are the members:

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair

Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) (Co-chair)

Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego)

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake)

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto)

Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)

Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley)

Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens)

Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber)


May 18, 2016 - The Urban Counties of California held a Board meeting in Sacramento today and took action on the following items:

  • Los Angeles County proposal to create a $100 million State Matching Fund program to combat homelessness – Board Action: Support.

  • Los Angeles County Proposal to allow counties to seek voter approval to impose a special tax on personal income above $1 million to combat homelessness – Board Action: Support.

  • SB 987 (McGuire) – Excise Tax – Board Action: Support.

  • SB 1157 (Mitchell) – In-Person Visitation – Board Action: Oppose.


May 3, 2016 - AB 120 (Committee on Budget) – Election Funding - SIGNED - AB 120 would provide $16.2 million to reimburse counties for costs related to the June 7, 2016 primary as well as for completing statewide ballot initiative signature verifications. UCC is in strong support of this effort since it provides counties funding to ensure that the June primary is a success. The allocation of the funds is to be determined by a formula to be submitted by the Secretary of State. Counties must submit invoices for costs by August 1, 2016 and the counties will be reimbursed by the State Controller.

UCC Position: Support.
Status: Signed by Governor, Chapter 11.


April 14, 2016 - Election Funding Proposal by Secretary of State - Last week, Secretary of State Alex Padilla presented a proposal to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #4 requesting $32 million for the state and counties to prepare for the upcoming competitive June primary and the possibility of 20 initiatives on the November ballot. At the hearing, representatives from the Department of Finance testified that the Secretary’s proposal seemed to have merit. UCC is in support of this request and to see our letter click here. The committee analysis is also available here.


April 4, 2016 - Maximum Family Grant (MFG) Rule Repeal

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services took action last week to repeal the MFG policy in the CalWORKs program. Under current law, a child born into a family receiving assistance through the CalWORKs program is not eligible for assistance unless the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or a failure of contraception. Repealing the MFG policy would provide benefits to an estimated 130,000 children across the state. This repeal is proposed to take effect on January 1, 2017.

The repeal of the MFG will be funded from the Child Poverty and Family Supplement Support Account that was created in 2013 to capture AB 85 redirection of county Health realignment funding. The Subcommittee is proposing to use the remainder of the funds in the sub account combined with General Funds to make up the rest of the costs.


March 28, 2016 - Governor Brown Announces Minimum Wage Deal

Today, Governor Brown announced a six-year plan to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour. This deal is expected to cancel two separate initiatives to raise wages planned for the November ballot. The plan would raise the statewide minimum wage by 50 cents on January 1,2017 to $10.50 an hour and be raised in subsequent years ending at $15 on January 1, 2022. The plan does exempt small businesses until 2023.

It is anticipated that the Legislature would vote on this new proposal sometime this week.


March 3, 2016 - MCO Fix Signed Into Law

On March 1, 2016, Governor Brown signed a new Managed Care Organization (MCO) fix package into law.

UCC supports the Governor’s proposal to create a new Managed Care Organization Fix, which is currently in ABx2 20 (Bonta) and SBx2 15 (Hernandez). This fix is critical for counties to have a new funding source for the Coordinated Care Initiative, Medi-Cal, and IHSS as well as maintain the counties IHSS MOE.


February 4, 2016 - Yesterday, AB 21 (Wood) was signed by the Governor. This is an urgency measure which repeals the March 1, 2016 date by which local governments would have to pass a cultivation ordinance and makes changes to Section (g) both in AB 243 from 2015. UCC is in strong support of this measure.


January 21, 2016 - Governor Brown Delivers 2016 State of the State Address

Today, Governor Brown delivered his State of the State Address. Rather than discussing new programs, his focus was on paying for the commitments the State has already made, along with ways of securing future spending and staying prepared for an uncertain future. To read his full speech, please click here.


January 4, 2016 - Attached please find our Summary of the Governor’s January Budget. Also attached is the Realignment Funding Projections for 2016-17.

Some highlights of this package include:

  • New proposal for the MCO Tax which would provide a new three-year tiered MCO tax plan based on the type of health plan. To help plans with costs the state is offering relief in the Gross Premiums Tax and Corporate Tax.

  • Extension of the CCI program for calendar year 2016. Continuation beyond 2016 is linked to the passage of the MCO tax.

  • Transportation Funding proposal and investment in state infrastructure for $3.6 billion annually.

  • $250 million in new grants to counties for local jail facility construction.

  • $3.1 billion Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan.

  • $25 million in Siting Incentive Grants for cities and counties to provide incentive payments to cities and counties that approve new long-term permits for hard-to-site facilities.

  • $169 million for county administration of Medi-Cal.

  • New funding for the implementation of Medical Marijuana Regulations at the various state departments.


January 4, 2016 - 1115 Medi-Cal Waiver Renewal Approved

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently announced the approval of California’s 1115 Waiver Renewal, which includes $6.2 billion of federal funding to support the state’s Medi-Cal program and health care coverage. The approval extends the waiver from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020.

The waiver is called Medi-Cal 2020 and is a vital piece of the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On January 25, 2016 DHCS will have a stakeholder webinar to go through the requirements of the waiver and to answer any questions. For additional information about the details of the waiver please click here.


November 2, 2015 - 1115 Medicaid Waiver Deal Reached

The DHCS and CMS have been in negotiations regarding the renewal of California's 1115 Medicaid Waiver. On Saturday, October 31st (the day of the deadline) DHCS and CMS announced a conceptual agreement on the Waiver which will include a temporary extension to December 31st of the existing Waiver while the details of the renewal are worked out through the official Special Terms and Conditions (STCs).

The total initial federal funding in this new proposed Waiver is $6.218 billion, with the potential for additional federal funding in the global payment program to be determined after the first year. This is much higher than the reported amounts during negotiations last week, but is also significantly lower than the original Waiver proposal from March of this year.

The conceptual agreement includes the following core elements:

  • Global Payment Program (GPP) for services to the uninsured in designated public hospital systems (DPH). The GPP converts existing DSH and Safety Net Care Pool (SNCP) uncompensated care funding - which is hospital-focused and cost-based-- to a system focused on value and improved care delivery. The funding of the GPP will include 5 years of the DSH funding that otherwise would have been allocated to DPHs along with $236M in initial federal funding for one year of the SNCP component. SNCP component funding for years two through five would be subject to an independent assessment of uncompensated care.

  • Delivery system transformation and alignment incentive program for DPHs and district/municipal hospitals (DMPH), known as PRIME (Public hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal). The federal funding of PRIME for the DPHs is a total of $3.2655 billion over the five years of the Waiver, which includes $700 million for each of the first three years, $630 million in year four, and $535.5 million in year five. The federal funding for the DMPHs is a total of $466.5 million over the five years of the Waiver, which includes $100 million for each of the first three years, $90 million in year four, and $76.5 million in year five.

  • Dental transformation incentive program. The funding of this program is $750M in total funding over 5 years.
    •Whole Person Care Pilot (WPC) program which would be a county-based, voluntary program to target providing more integrated care for high-risk, vulnerable populations. The funding of this program would be up to $1.5B in federal funds over 5 years.

  • Independent assessment of access to care and network adequacy for Medi-Cal managed care beneficiaries.

  • Independent studies of uncompensated care and hospital financing.


August 31, 2015 - REQUEST FOR LEGAL SERVICES

The Urban Counties of California is looking for Legal Services for a specific project. Please click here to see the RFQ. For more information contact Jolena Voorhis at (916)327-7531. Deadline for submittal is September 25, 2015.

July 1, 2015 - Governor Calls Two Special Sessions

As part of the Budget agreement, the Governor called two special sessions to address issues that were not included in the final budget agreement:

  • Fixing California Roads, Highways and other Infrastructure. The Governor proposes that the Legislature enact permanent and sustainable funding to:

    • Adequately and responsibly maintain and repair the state’s transportation and other critical infrastructure.

    • Improve the state’s key trade corridors.

    • Complement local efforts for repair and improvements of local transportation infrastructure.

Also to consider and act upon legislation necessary to:

  • Establish clear performance objectives measured by the percentage of pavement, bridges, and culverts in good condition.

  • Incorporate project development efficiencies to expedite project delivery or reduce project costs.

  • Shoring Up Health Care Financing. The Governor proposes that the Legislature enact permanent and sustainable funding to provide at least $1.1 billion annually to stabilize the General Fund costs for Medi-Cal, sufficient funding to continue the restoration of the 7 percent of IHSS hours beyond 2015-16; sufficient funding for additional rate increases for providers of Medi-Cal and developmental disability services.

Also requests that the Legislature enact legislation necessary to:

  • Establish mechanisms so that any additional rate increases expand access to services.

  • Increase oversight and the effective management of services provided to consumers with developmental disabilities through the regional center system.

  • Improve the efficiency and efficacy of the health care system, reduce the cost of providing health care services, and improve the health of Californians.

Attached please find the press releases for both houses.


June 23, 2015 - Budget Package Passed by the Legislature

Both houses passed the revised budget bill and several trailer bills on Friday, June 19, 2015. This version is the package deal agreed to among the Democratic Leadership and the Governor.

Major issues in this version are as follows:

  • Creation of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

  • Restorations to Adult Dental and the IHSS 7% reduction in hours.

  • Change to $15 million for CalWORKs Housing Support program (previous version was $30 million).

  • $20 million for City Law Enforcement Grants.

  • Funding for Incompetent to Stand Trial including funding for the Restoration of Competency program ($4 million).

Attached please find the list of the Trailer Bills and the UCC Summary of the Final Budget. There are some issues that are NOT in this package including changes to the redevelopment dissolution process, and the detailed cap and trade provisions.


May 14, 2015 - Today Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision for 2015-16. Attached please find UCC's preliminary summary of the Governor’s May Revision, which includes a full repayment of the mandate reimbursements due to counties – a total of $765 million.


January 9, 2015 - Today the Governor released his proposed 2015-16 Budget. The Budget proposes a total budget of $113 billion that provides more funding for education and health care coverage, holds college tuition flat and delivers on Proposition 1 and 2 by investing in long overdue water projects. At the same time the Governor’s Budget proposes to continue to deal with states other long term liabilities – debt, infrastructure, retiree health care and climate change.

Key proposals include:

  • Paying local governments $533 million in mandate payments.

  • Investment in Medi-Cal of $150 million to help counties with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

  • Restoration of the 7% across the board cut to IHSS, dependent on a new MCO tax.

  • Caution regarding the CCI program and the possibility of winding down in future years.

  • Continued funding of SB 678 for county probation.

  • Redevelopment dissolution changes.

  • $7 million for deferred maintenance at California fairs.

  • Addressing poverty and income equality through workforce investment.

For UCC's Summary of the budget please click here. To review the Realignment Funding Chart please click here.


January 5, 2015 - Today Edmund G. Brown Jr. was sworn into office for a record fourth time as the Governor of California. To read his Inaugural Address please click here.


September 4, 2014 - End of Legislative Session - It was a strange end of session with very little last minute bills or gut and amends moving through the Legislature. Many of the gut and amends were held in the Senate Rules Committee. Both houses adjourned early Saturday morning and will not reconvene until December.

Here are some of the bills UCC was following:

AB 39 (Skinner) – Public Hospitals
This bill would convert Doctor’s Medical Center to a Designated Public Hospital. The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) are opposed to the bill due the concerns regarding the precedent to expand the number of Designated Public Hospitals without any rationale or analysis. In addition, AB 39 does not require a Section 17000 obligation or any commitment to serving vulnerable populations.
UCC Position: Concerns.
Status: Held in Senate Rules – see SB 883.

AB 1522 (Gonzalez) – Sick Leave
This bill would require employers to provide sick leave to their employees. Recent amendments exempted IHSS workers and any employee under collective bargaining agreements. For counties, this would still apply to temporary or contract employees.
UCC Position: Concerns.
Status: Enrolled.

AB 1582 (Mullin) – Redevelopment
This bill would modify the Redevelopment Dissolution Law’s provisions to allow for the restoration of “contracts or arrangements” between a former redevelopment agency and its sponsoring city. Current law only allows for the restoration of “loans.” In addition, this bill would increase the interest rate on restored loans.
UCC Position: Oppose.
Status: Held in Senate Rules.

AB 2493 (Bloom) – Redevelopment
This bill would allow specific successor agencies of dissolved redevelopment agencies to spend funds that were not under contract in 2011.
UCC Position: Oppose.
Status: Enrolled.

SB 556 (Padilla) – Providers of health and safety labor or services: identification
This bill would require local agencies to provide labeling on uniforms, vehicles and badges if we are contracting for those services.
UCC Position: Oppose.
Status: Enrolled.

SB 883 (Cmte on Budget) - West Contra Costa Healthcare District
This bill would provide $3 million to the West Contra Costa Healthcare District for Doctor’s Medical Center from the Major Risk Medical Insurance Fund.
UCC Position: Neutral.
Status: Enrolled.


August 12, 2014 - The UCC Board of Director’s voted to OPPOSE Proposition 46 on August 6, 2014. - Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014, would make changes to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) cap. Attached is the staff memo and background information on Proposition 46.

Under existing law, MICRA allows an injured patient to recover unlimited economic damages for past and future medical expenses; unlimited economic damages for lost wages and lifetime earning potential; unlimited punitive damages for willful misconduct; and up to $250,000 in non-economic damages.

Proposition 46 would make the following changes:

  • Raise the noneconomic damages cap for medical malpractice from $250,000 to approximately $1.1 million (based on CPI) and would also increase the award amount limits on a prospective basis as measured by the CPI.

  • Require hospitals to randomly test physicians for alcohol and drug use.

  • Require health professionals and pharmacists to consult the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) maintained by the state Department of Justice prior to prescribing or dispensing controlled substances to a patient for the first time.


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