CSAC’s Legislative Conference: A Two-Way Street to the Capitol
As the voice for all 58 California counties, CSAC provides a conduit to and from the State Capitol to exchange information and promote understanding of the issues that affect counties and the constituents we serve. It’s one of the most important services we provide. As CSAC’s Deputy Executive Director for Legislative Affairs, I am very excited about the opportunity to share with you the work CSAC is doing at our upcoming annual Legislative Conference on May 18-19. Better yet, I want to invite you to participate, both by attending the conference and by taking the opportunity to bring your voice directly to your elected representatives in Sacramento.
The Legislative Conference provides a great opportunity for county supervisors and senior staff to get directly involved in state policy. Participating in our policy committee meetings or visiting your State Senators and Assembly-members in the Capitol, gives you the opportunity to shape policy and influence decisions on behalf of your communities and all Californians. Each of our five policy committees will meet during the conference and every elected supervisor has a seat at the table if they choose to participate.
We’ll open the conference on Wednesday morning by hearing from several legislative leaders in a free flowing discussion. We’ll get an update on the State Budget situation just a few days after the Governor releases his May Budget Revision. While we do not foresee any significant threats to county revenues in the current budget proposal, our Legislative Conference is an excellent opportunity to get the latest and best information on state revenue projections and spending priorities.
Housing policy looms large over the capitol as pressure increases to address homelessness and California continues struggle with housing affordability. Our first workshop at the conference will focus on local government best practices for addressing homelessness, an issue which affects administration of justice and health and human services practitioners, among other county functions. Later in the program, our Housing, Land Use and Transportation Committee will hear updates on affordable housing policy to provide a different take on the cross-cutting issue of housing.
Despite high prices for securing signatures, low filing fees and a law that moved all citizen initiatives to November that have changed the initiative process, it looks like we’ll have a packed ballot in November. Our second workshop will discuss the quickly-changing ballot landscape for issues that could have significant impacts on counties, including public safety, taxes, and legalization of recreational marijuana.
In addition, John Myers, the Sacramento Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times will regale us with a high-energy discourse on all-things political. His talk will help provide the political context for CSAC’s policy committee updates on a wide variety of topical issues, including transportation infrastructure, marijuana regulation, water and groundwater regulation, and funding for community corrections and behavioral health, just to name a few. As always, we’ll have time for networking with peers, as well as visits with Legislators in the State Capitol.
We know your time and resources are precious, but we have a great lineup of workshops, speakers, policy committee meetings and other activities planned for the conference. Please click here for registration material and a full conference schedule. I think you’ll find the CSAC Legislative Conference is well worth the investment and we hope to see you in Sacramento in May!