CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC-Opposed General Assistance Mandate Bill Held in Committee

July 13, 2017

AB 85 (Rodriguez) will not move forward this year after being held in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on July 11. This means it will not meet the July 14 deadline to be passed by relevant policy committees.

CSAC, along with the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), Urban Counties of California (UCC), and Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), recently moved to an oppose position on this bill. AB 85 would have required counties to alter their locally-established General Assistance (GA) or General Relief (GR) eligibility levels to provide additional county-funded assistance to veterans. AB 85 presented a significant infringement on counties’ statutory GA authority by imposing a statewide mandate for a specific population without identifying a source of funding for the requirement.

We recommended that the bill be amended to create a structure that offers counties funding to opt into a new Extended GA/GR for Veterans program, but our requests were not accepted. For more details, read our most recent joint opposition letter.

At the hearing, Senators raised concerns about the lack of data on how many veterans would be served by this bill and passing a mandate with unknown costs on to counties. CSAC is pleased to see this bill held in committee because of the mandate on counties, but does remain committed to working with the author and sponsor on an appropriate approach to this issue.

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