2019-20 Budget Trailer Bills Clear Governor’s Desk
August 8, 2019
While a few budget trailer bills took longer than expected to reach the Governor, and trailed CSAC’s Budget Action Bulletin, the Legislature will reconvene from summer recess next week with all budget trailer bills having been signed by the Governor.
For counties, notable trailer bills amended or sent to the Governor after the Budget Action Bulletin include: health (SB 78), mental health (SB 79), cannabis (AB 97), wildfire safety and insurance (AB 111), housing/homelessness (AB 101), In-Home Supportive Services (SB 80), and 9-1-1 and emergency telephone user surcharge (SB 96). Below is a summary of these key bills and/or links to previous summaries.
AB 78 is the first of two health-related budget trailer bills. It authorizes $40 million in one-time General Fund investment to support local health departments in meeting the rising communicable disease needs of their communities. Of the $40 million, $4 million will be retained by the state Department of Public Health for administration of the funding as well as local grants to counties. Also, $1 million will be earmarked for Tribal health entities. The funding will be available in a lump sum in the budget year, but counties will have three years to spend it. CSAC strongly supported this proposal.
AB 78 also includes funding for HIV, STD, and Hepatitis C treatment and prevention, with $5 million in funding for each in 2019-20 to be split between local health departments and community based organizations.
AB 79 makes several mental health-related changes supported by CSAC, and is a policy bill with an urgency clause, not a budget trailer bill. It includes a technical change to the timeline for expenditure of approved Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) innovation projects. Under current law, counties have three years to expend MHSA funding. AB 79 would allow counties to expend identified innovation funding over the life of an approved innovation project, which sometimes may run longer than three years.
Legislative negotiations were still underway on the Cannabis Trailer Bill, AB 97, when CSAC issued its Budget Action Bulletin in June. Since that time, the Legislature passed and Governor Newsom signed AB 97 into law. The key debate on this measure centered on the length of time that state licensing authorities would be able to continue issuing provisional licenses to qualified cannabis applicants. Initially, the measure would have allowed for state licensing authorities to issue provisional licenses until 2025, however that length of time was reduced in the final signed measure to 2022.
CSAC supported AB 97 because it includes important provisions that provide additional continuity to our state and local licensing system and provides for a fair and well-regulated market place. Specifically, CSAC supported extending the CEQA exemption for local jurisdictions’ cannabis programs until 2021 and provisions allowing state licensing authorities to continue to issue provisional licenses to qualified applicants until 2022.
AB 97 will help provide additional stability for our state and local cannabis licensing programs, and allow counties additional time to conduct the environmental review for applications at the local level. In addition, the measure also included increased enforcement measures that authorizes state licensing authorities to issue citations to unlicensed entities for engaging in illegal cannabis activity and provides for a local equity grant program, which will provide needed resources to local jurisdictions to ensure a balanced and fair regulatory structure in California. Local governments are partners with the state in implementing our cannabis laws. AB 97 provides additional tools necessary to accomplish our mutual goals.
Wildfire Safety and Insurance
AB 111 is closely related to AB 1054 which CSAC previously discussed in a bulletin article. Specifically, AB 111 creates the California Catastrophe Response Council, the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety within the Natural Resources Agency, the Wildfire Safety Division within the Public Utilities Commission, and the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board and provides funding to implement the provisions of the bill.
In-Home Supportive Services
9-1-1 and Emergency Telephone User Surcharge
This bill was summarized in the Budget Action Bulletin and see CSAC’s power minute video for additional information on the restructured 9-1-1 surcharge—SB 96.