CSAC Bulletin Article

GFA Bill Feedback Requested

June 25, 2020

The Government, Finance and Administration Policy Committee is requesting feedback on the following bills. Please send comments to Geoff Neill or Ada Waelder.


AB 398 (Chu) – Local Government and School Recovery and Relief Act

AB 398 would impose a $275 per employee tax on private, for-profit businesses with more than 500 employees who perform any part of their duties within the state. Revenues generated by the tax would be deposited in to a newly established COVID-19 Local Government and School Recovery and Relief Fund. The Fund will be divvied among counties and cities in proportion to their share of the relevant employees, with 20% of the fund going to counties and 30% going to cities. The remaining 50% will be distributed equally among K-12 school districts. 

The bill’s stated goal is to help bolster funding opportunities for local governments and school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic, so would institute the tax for a 5 year period starting in 2021. Because the bill includes a tax increase it will require a two-thirds vote to pass each house of the legislature.


AB 3205 (Salas) – Regions Rise Grant Program

AB 3205 would create the Regions Rise Together Grant Program, within the Office of Business and Economic Development. The program would provide competitive grants for multijurisdictional organizations that involve local governments, and private and civic organizations. The bill would define “region” as a geographic area comprised of one or more counties and cities that form a functional economy.

Under the legislation grant applications could be submitted by “regional collectives,” which are required to be made up of one government agency, one local business, one education or workforce entity, one economic development entity, and one nonprofit organization. These collectives should address common regional challenges , for example workforce development, educational pathways, land use, climate planning, transportation, housing, homelessness, economic mobility, equity gaps, and economic development.

Any funds awarded under the program will be available for three years. The bill encourages matching funds from the recipients, however, does provide an exception if funds aren’t available.

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