A CSAC Vision For California
Every year brings a new set of challenges that create lasting impacts on communities. As leaders, we have the responsibility to create solutions that will resolve our current issues while effectively planning for the future. Over these last few months, California counties have come together through the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) to identify our strategic priorities for this year. I am impressed by the level of responsiveness and hard work that we’ve collectively put into crafting CSAC’s 2019 priorities. Our priorities cover policies regarding public safety, healthcare, environmental and financial stability, housing and much more.
IHSS Issue Background:
Legislative changes at the state and federal level and a projected growth in caseloads have resulted in significant and unsustainable increases to counties’ share of the cost for the In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS). Through CSAC, we were able to slow down the incremental cost increases projected onto counties and worked with the California Department of Finance to produce a report revisiting 1991 Realignment. The report argued that significant changes were introduced to realigned programs and concluded the current funding formula is unsustainable. Governor Newsom recognizes the challenges surrounding the IHSS program. He sought to alleviate the unsustainable burden imposed on counties and has proposed a greater allocation of the state general fund toward the program. I am confident that CSAC will continue to be effective in its advocacy, and will work with the legislature to ensure a fair and realistic formula that will allow Californians continued access to the IHSS program.
Homelessness continues to be an issue impacting every community in the nation. The number of homeless individuals living on the streets in California has continued to escalate, with our state representing the largest share of our country’s homeless population. Local governments have struggled to create a system of care, which includes permanent supportive housing, that adequately meets the needs of our complex homeless populations. CSAC has been an effective platform to elevate these issues and draw down additional resources from the State. In Orange County we are leveraging these resources to create a housing trust that allows us to comingle public and private funds so we can get more units online as quickly and efficiently as possible. CSAC has been invaluable in helping us advance our goals locally and statewide and I look forward to the continued advocacy and influence we, as a group, will have in the future.
These are just two of a long list of priorities we, as CSAC, representatives will advocate for through 2019 to promote a healthy California. We may all represent different geographic, economic, and political constituencies but our level of professionalism and passion is unmatched. With the new Administration, and with collaboration of our state and federal legislators, we have an opportunity be a great influence and work toward a new vision for California.