California Goes to Capitol Hill
Dozens of California county officials and CSAC’s leadership and legislative teams were in Washington, D.C. this past week for the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) annual legislative conference. The event brings more than 2,000 elected and appointed officials from across the country to focus on key federal policy issues facing county government. In addition, conference attendees heard from a number of Trump administration officials, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, among others.
At the California Caucus on March 5, Los Angeles Times reporter Sarah Wire provided county officials with her perspective on the political landscape in Washington. Following her presentation, CSAC’s federal advocates delivered an update on several key association priorities. California county officials also had an opportunity to hear from the candidates running for the position of second vice president of NACo. The four candidates are: Person County (NC) Commissioner Ray Jeffers; DeKalb County (GA) Commissioner Larry Johnson; Boone County (KY) Judge Gary Moore; and, Broward County (FL) Commissioner Barbara Sharief. It should be noted that voting will be conducted during NACo’s annual conference in Davidson County/Nashville, Tennessee.
During their time in the nation’s capital, CSAC officers and staff met with key members of Congress to discuss several of the association’s federal legislative priorities for 2018. Led by Kern County Supervisor and CSAC President Leticia Perez, CSAC met with the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as with Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Judy Chu (D-CA). CSAC leaders covered a variety of topics in their meetings, including the need for a federal infrastructure package, funding for the Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, retroactively extending the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, and federal cannabis policy.
As part of this year’s conference agenda, CSAC also hosted a reception on Capitol Hill in honor of the California congressional delegation. Representatives Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the co-chairs of the delegation, kicked things off by welcoming county officials and staff to the nation’s capital. The event also featured remarks and visits from former Santa Barbara County Supervisor and current Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-CA), as well as Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jeff Denham (R-CA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).