CARE Court Legislation Continues to be a Top CSAC Priority
June 2, 2022
Governor Newsom’s new Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Court proposal – Senate Bill 1338 – which is authored by Senators Umberg and Eggman, passed the Senate last week with a unanimous 38-0 vote.
Amendments to the bill accepted by the authors in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 19 did little to address county concerns regarding resources, sanctions for counties, housing, and eligibility. The next stops for the bill are the Assembly Health and Judiciary committees, although the two committees may collaborate on suggested amendments to streamline the process.
Both houses also included placeholders for CARE Court costs in their joint budgetary proposals released yesterday. The Governor had committed more than $65 million for state and court costs in his May Revision Budget proposal, but the Legislature included language in their proposal to: “Set aside funds for future budget appropriation, pending agreement on statutory changes regarding this proposal.”
The county family continues to engage with the authors, Legislature and the Governor’s Office in regards to our specific concerns, including funding, and all parties agree that there is more work to be done on the measure before it can become law and in order for CARE Court to be effectively implemented.
Additional efforts by CSAC and the county family include developing a fiscal estimate and proposing a series of amendments to the bill, which address the most pressing implementation challenges for counties, while meeting the goals of the Administration. This includes improvements to the petition and assessment process, housing, sanctions, and a phased-in or ramp-up approach for counties best resourced to immediately establish a CARE Court.
CSAC will continue to keep counties apprised on the latest developments with SB 1338 as it continues to moves through the legislative and budget process.