Legislature and Governor Work to Finalize Budget Package
June 20, 2019
Last week, the Legislature passed the main budget bill (AB 74) which now sits with Governor Newsom for final signature. CSAC discussed the significant county impacts of the 2019-20 Budget in the Budget Action Bulletin released June 13. However, there is still work to be done in finalizing the overall budget package as several critical trailer bills are being actively negotiated and voted on in each house of the Legislature. These outstanding trailer bills include key issues for counties that CSAC has continued advocacy efforts to support or improve. Below is a brief status update on a few of these outstanding trailer bills:
- Homelessness and Housing: The homelessness and housing trailer bill has not yet been finalized and published. Although the Governor’s May Revision proposal included $275 million directly to counties for homelessness projects and services, neither house of the Legislature included direct funding to counties in their respective budget packages heading into budget conference committee. Despite its omission, CSAC has continued to advocate for the importance of direct county funding. Counties are collaborative regional coordinators that provide the services, and undertake the projects, envisioned by this state investment. Along with collaboration, limiting barriers to county access to funding, and maximizing local flexibility, will be central to successful outcomes.
- Next Generation 911 and State Emergency Telephone Number Account Surcharge: This morning, SB 96 garnered the 2/3 vote required to pass the Senate with a vote of 29-10. Having passed the Assembly with a vote of 59-14 on Monday, this critical public safety measure now heads to the Governor. Passage of this measure has not been an easy road. A similar proposal narrowly failed passage on the Senate floor on the final day of session last year. CSAC has been actively supporting this effort over the last two years alongside the Administration and other county partners—meeting with a significant number of targeted members to express the need for an updated surcharge structure that is equitable and responsive to modern modes of communication. You can read more about this legislation here.
- Cannabis: The cannabis trailer bill (SB/AB 97) has not yet been taken up on the floor of either house of the Legislature. CSAC has supported this bill because it allows state licensing authorities to continue to issue provisional licenses to qualified applicants until 2025, and it would extend the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption for local jurisdictions’ cannabis programs until 2021. The environmental community has expressed concerns with the measure. However, CSAC has argued that this bill does not provide exemptions, but rather, provides an extension and tools and resources for local governments to get through these processes. To maintain provision licenses, operators have to demonstrate they are working collaboratively with local governments and CEQA is underway.
CSAC will continue to closely monitor budget developments, advocate for county interests, and provide updates as the overall package is finalized.