CSAC Bulletin Article

Mandate Test Claims Under New Rules, Effective April 2018

December 7, 2017

The Commission of State Mandates recently voted to approve regulatory amendments, six months in the making, that substantially impact test claim filing procedures and documentation requirements. CSAC concerns were partially addressed in the final version of the regulations; however, core problems centered on the test claim filing period remain.

Under the new regulations that become effective April 2018, local governments must file their test claims within 365 days of first incurring increased costs, regardless of where it lands in the fiscal year. This represents a significant departure from the current deadline and unfortunately hinders a test claimant’s ability to gather the relevant data and file in a timely manner (see July 27 Bulletin article).

When the regulations were first proposed, CSAC assembled a coalition with the California Special Districts Association and League of California Cities to present a unified front raising deep concerns with the proposed regulations from a local government perspective (see original written comment letter). While the coalition was unable to convince the Commission to retain the existing fiscal year submission deadline, the second written comment letter successfully resulted in Commission staff retracting a clause that would have resulted in an even further erosion of the test claim filing period (see September 27 Bulletin article).

Currently, the Commission enforces a submission deadline that ends on June 30 of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which increased costs are first incurred. Commission staff has argued the adopted change is necessary to align the Commission’s process with California Government Code, making it clear that restoring the fiscal year deadline requires the enactment of state legislation and cannot be accomplished through the regulatory process.

Please contact Dorothy Johnson or Tracy Sullivan with any questions. For additional updates on mandate related matters, county officials are invited to participate on the CSAC-led Local Government Mandated Services Working Group which meets via phone throughout the year. Additional information is available here.

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