2020 Annual Meeting Policy Committee Recaps
November 20, 2020
The 2020 CSAC Annual Meeting was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite not being together in person this year, CSAC had an excellent and well attended conference with interesting and engaging speakers and topics. All of CSAC’s policy committees met virtually to hear from key policy makers and influencers, update priorities for the 2021 legislative session, and adopt updates to the County Platform to help guide CSAC advocacy in the year ahead. On average, each of these policy committee meetings included 110 attendees. Please find a brief recap of each policy committee meeting below. If you have any questions, please CSAC staff directly. The list of CSAC staff contacts for each of these policy committees can be found here.
Administration of Justice
The CSAC Administration of Justice (AOJ) Policy Committee met via zoom on Monday, November 16. The agenda topics for the meeting included: a discussion on the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code, a discussion on the implementation of juvenile justice realignment, a CSAC platform update presentation from CSAC staff and a look at the 2021 legislative priorities.
The first panel focused on the newly created Committee on Revision of the Penal Code. AOJ heard from committee staff Michael Romano and Thomas Nosewicz. Mr. Romano and Mr. Nosewicz discussed the Committee’s structure, goals, and timelines for potential recommendations on sentencing changes in California.
The second panel focused on the implementation of the recently signed juvenile justice realignment legislation. Committee members and the audience heard from the Chief Probation Officers of California about how counties and probation departments are preparing for this new responsibility and how Boards are supporting those efforts. The presentation highlighted the unique circumstances among counties and the partnerships developing which will allow counties to best address the needs of this target population.
Additionally, CSAC staff presented to the members and attendees an overview of the Administration of Justice Policy Platform recommended changes that were discussed and approved by the committee.
Lastly, CSAC staff also provided the committee members and attendees with a brief overview of 2020 advocacy and outreach efforts along with a preview of the upcoming 2021 legislative session. The following priorities were discussed and approved by the committee:
- Juvenile Justice Realignment
- Criminal Justice Fines and Fees
- Bail Reform
Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources
The CSAC Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources (AENR) Policy Committee met virtually during the 2020 Annual Meeting on November 12th. The Committee took action to approve minor updates to the CSAC County Platform as well as next year’s legislative priorities. The agenda additionally included a panel of key state water leaders and the adoption of joint statement on sea level rise adaptation to help coastal counties and cities.
The AENR committee’s adopted priorities for the year ahead, 2021, include wildfire, disaster resilience and regulatory relief. Staff will also continue to focus on reducing the impacts from public safety power shutoffs and provide support to counties as they continue to navigate cannabis policies.
Finally, the AENR Committee also adopted our updated proposed policy platform by consent. In addition to consolidating a number of separate platforms into one document, the Committee also adopted a few key changes highlighting the importance of:
- Fairgrounds and their facilities as critical facilities, particularly during disasters and wildfires; and,
- Challenges related to the implementation of organic waste recycling mandates.
Government Finance and Administration
The CSAC Government Finance and Administration Committee met via Zoom on Monday, November 16 as part of CSAC’s 126th Annual Meeting. The meeting included a presentation on California’s economic future from Leila Bengali, an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, and Michael Coleman, a local government finance consultant and creator of CaliforniaCityFinance.com. The committee approved the 2021 Government Finance and Administration priorities, as well as revisions to the General Provisions, Government Operations, and Public Employment Retirement chapters of the County Platform. All approved items can be found in the meeting packet.
Key priorities include:
- Broadband – Advocating for broadband program reforms and funding sufficient to close the digital divide as quickly and completely as possible.
- Workers’ Compensation – Opposing efforts to expand presumptions without data-driven evidence.
- County Revenue – Ensuring that the needs of employees are appropriately balanced with the revenue and administrative limitations of county employers.
Health and Human Services
The CSAC Health and Human Services (HHS) Policy Committee met virtually on Monday, November 16, during the CSAC 126th Annual Meeting. The HHS Committee Chair Supervisor Jeff Griffiths of Inyo County led the committee through the agenda, which included: a discussion and introduction to the new Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Director, a presentation from the First 5 Association of California, and the adoption of the revised CSAC platform and HHS 2021 priorities.
The committee listened to two presentations from individuals reintroducing themselves to counties in their new roles. DHCS Director Will Lightbourne, who previously served as the California Department of Social Services Director, took leadership of the DHCS in June. Director Lightbourne updated the committee on one of their priorities, which is advancing health equity within the Medi-Cal program. The committee also heard from Melissa Stafford Jones, the new executive director of the First Five Association of California. Ms. Stafford Jones reported on COVID-19 impacts to children and families, 2021 opportunities for early childhood federal and state advocacy, and partnership opportunities between CSAC and First 5. The committee looks forward to a strong partnership with DHCS and First 5 in 2021.
The Committee reviewed and approved two action items presented by CSAC staff, the updates to the health and human services chapters of the CSAC platform and the HHS priorities for 2021. Key changes to the HHS chapters include, adding additional language on advancing health equity and eliminating racial disparities, updating the MHSA section to include MHSA workgroup principles, and expanding on the First 5 and Aging sections.
The committee also approved HHS priorities for 2021. Key priorities for 2021 include:
- County health and human services budgets
- COVID-19, and
- Aging programs.
Find the full agenda and links to the First 5 Presentation here.
Housing, Land Use and Transportation
The CSAC Housing, Land Use and Transportation Policy Committee met on Monday, November 16 at the CSAC 126th Annual Meeting. The meeting included a conversation on what’s next for housing and land use legislation in 2021 with Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, who serves as Chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee. The committee also received an update on recent developments in state-tribal gaming compacts from CSAC staff and San Diego Deputy County Counsel Justin Crumley. Mr. Crumley also serves as Chair of the County Counsels’ Association Native American Tribal Lands Committee. The committee also approved the Housing, Land Use and Transportation Platform Chapters and the 2021 Housing, Land Use and Transportation priorities.
Key priorities include:
- Protecting county land use authority while promoting housing affordability
- Preparing for the future of transportation
- Protecting development impact fee authority and supporting process improvement
- Advocating for a new federal transportation bill
- Advancing county priorities in renegotiated gaming compacts
- Federal fee-to-trust reform
- Protecting state transportation funding and streamlining project delivery