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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.


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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