CSAC Bulletin Article

Homelessness Tops CSAC Advocacy Priorities

February 13, 2020

The CSAC Board of Directors today approved the 2020 State and Federal Advocacy Priorities, which provides policy direction, goals, and expectations for the organization. CSAC’s legislative priorities are driven by three main concerns: ensuring adequate resources are available to carry out state and local service responsibilities, advocating for the authority to carry out responsibilities in local communities, and partnering with the state to improve existing services. While CSAC will work on a number of issue areas throughout the year, homelessness will be the Association’s top priority in 2020.

“California Counties agree with Governor Newsom, there is no greater priority at this time than addressing homelessness,” said CSAC President and Orange County Supervisor, Lisa Bartlett. “I am proud of CSAC’s commitment to making significant improvements in the lives of the most vulnerable Californians through shared responsibilities and collaboration among federal, state and local governments.”

In addition to homelessness, the CSAC Board of Directors has also prioritized updating the Mental Health Services Act, In-Home Supportive Services and behavioral health; Public Safety Power Shutoffs, wildfires and disaster preparedness;  housing; and the 2020 US Census.

“The Board’s adoption of these priorities and their leadership to strengthen local communities provides clear direction for the coming year,” said Executive Director, Graham Knaus. “As our legislative team starts working through the more than a thousand bills introduced each year, we look forward to engaging the Board more directly to achieve our advocacy priorities. Together, we will continue to be a formidable force advancing county interests at the state and federal levels.”

Counties have a unique relationship with the State of California and are constitutionally charged with implementing many state policies and programs as subdivisions of the state. CSAC’s annual process of identifying priorities reflects that relationship and sets a roadmap for ensuring Counties have the authority and resources to carry out these policies and programs.

Dozens of individual issues are outlined in the 2020 Priorities document. Some of the most prominent state issues include:

  • Protecting county interests in tax reform efforts.
  • Navigating efforts to streamline and simplify the Medi-Cal program, dubbed Cal-AIM.  
  • Enhancing state and local disaster/emergency response and ensuing utility liability.
  • Protecting County land use authority while promoting housing affordability.
  • Ensuring adequate funding for existing criminal justice programs and trial court security.
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