Legislative Conference: Issues, Ideas, Information
A record-setting number of more than 350 county supervisors, senior staff and others converged on Sacramento this week for CSAC’s annual Legislative Conference, a two-day mix of inspiration, legislation and perspiration, as county leaders continue the hard work of advancing CSAC’s priorities in the State Capitol. Chief among them this year is the recently announced two-year plan that spares counties from the brunt of the cost-shift for In-home Supportive Services.
“We have been able to largely protect County General Funds from the worst of the potential cost-shifts and minimize the impact to other vital programs and services counties perform on behalf of the state,” CSAC President and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson told the crowd during his opening remarks.
“There was no scenario in which counties would not have to shoulder a larger share of IHSS costs. The team CSAC put together worked hard to minimize our burden — and they did that while maintaining our solid working relationship with Governor Brown.”
But he also noted that this issue is far from over. “We have to continue working in the next few weeks to protect this plan as we approach the June 15 State Budget deadline. And it is paramount that we begin working now to find a long-term solution that ensures the IHSS program and funding structure is sustainable. We welcome the Governor’s commitment on that front.” Read more about the IHSS issue in our Health and Human Services Policy Report.
CSAC also was able to provide counties with updated information about SB1, the transportation funding bill, and the revenue it will provide for counties. The new revenue won’t kick in until later this year, and some of the revenue is phased in over time—but for fiscal-year 2018-19, counties can expect to divvy-up more than $533 million for road maintenance and other transportation infrastructure needs.
California’s new Attorney General, Xavier Becerra provided the keynote speech, talking about his Sacramento roots, his hard-working immigrant parents, and how he was the first college graduate in his family. “If you want to know where I am going as the Attorney General, all you have to do is look at where I came from.” He also pledged to work closely with California counties on a variety of justice issues that impact the state and local governments.
CSAC First Vice President and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez noted that AG Becerra also spoke about California’s role in the nation and the world. “I love his optimism about the State of California,” she said. “He reminded us that we are the sixth largest economy in the world; that we compete with world powers as a state; that we are leading in job creation. So, it was just incredible to hear from him as the “Top Cop” of California about his respect and commitment to all Californians as he fights against injustices and protects our laws.”
The conference continued on Thursday with CSAC Policy Committee meetings and culminated with a full Board meeting. Please click on the following links to see reports from our policy committees and subsequent Board action.