CSAC Bulletin Article

CARE Court Legislation Signed Into Law

September 14, 2022

Alongside state and local elected leaders, health care and service providers, stakeholders, and families, Governor Newsom signed SB 1338 (Umberg/Eggman), the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, into law on Wednesday in Santa Clara County. Among local elected officials, CSAC President Ed Valenzuela (Siskiyou County), Supervisor Susan Ellenberg (Santa Clara County), and Supervisor Chris Lopez (Monterey County) attended the signing event.

After months of active engagement with the Administration and Legislature over the provisions of the CARE Act – which originated with no county funding and mandated implementation for all counties by July 1, 2023 – counties successfully advocated for critical improvements to the CARE Court program, including a phased-in implementation schedule, $57 million in one-time, start-up funding for counties, and a statutory commitment that the CARE Act will become operative only upon consultation with county stakeholders and the development of a CARE Act allocation to provide state financial assistance to counties to implement the CARE Court process.  

There is important work ahead, most immediately for the initial cohort of seven counties embarking upon planning and implementation activities. CSAC will continue to advocate on behalf of all counties to ensure a successful programmatic and fiscally sustainable program going forward.

CSAC Executive Director Graham Knaus’ statement on the bill signing can be found here.

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