CSAC Bulletin Article

Mandates Test Claim Filing Period in Further Jeopardy

September 20, 2017

The Commission on State Mandates will consider a modification to pending regulatory changes that could mean counties would have less than a month in some instances to file a test claim following their first incurred cost. At a hearing Friday, September 22 Commission staff will present this troubling departure from the filing deadline local governments are accustomed to. If approved, it would severely inhibit an agency’s ability to obtain reimbursement.

Current law allows local agencies to file within one year of the law taking effect or 12 months following the first incurred costs.

Counties may recall an earlier Bulletin article that summarized a set of regulatory changes as originally proposed by Commission staff in mid-June of this year (see article here). CSAC expressed concern with the original proposal through written comment as well as public testimony at a Commission hearing.

Since then, unfortunately, Commission staff has chosen to further amend the proposed regulations, creating even greater cause for concern among local governments. Under the proposed modification (provided on page 18), if a county begins incurring costs within one year of the effective date of a statute or executive order, the 365-day time clock does not get reset. Therefore, if they incur initial costs within the first year of a policy’s effective date, under the proposed modification, local agencies will only have the remainder of the year to file a test claim with the Commission.

Commission staff is recommending that the Commission approve the proposed modification and authorize staff to issue a notice of modification, thereby triggering another comment period. If approved, and following the receipt of additional comments, Commission staff will prepare the final rulemaking package for the Commission’s consideration at the December 1, 2017 hearing.

Please contact Dorothy Johnson or Tracy Sullivan with any questions or for more information.

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