CSAC Bulletin Article

Reaction to the January Budget Proposal from CSAC’s Executive Director Graham Knaus

On Monday, the January Budget Proposal for 2022-23 was released and Governor Newsom provided an overview of how the $286 billion Budget would be spent during a three-hour press conference.

The January Budget Proposal was broken down into five key areas - the pandemic, climate change, homelessness, cost of living and public safety. Many hours were put into the building and creation of this Budget and Counties thank Governor Newsom for continuing and augmenting many of CSAC’s top priorities. This includes wildfire prevention, drought, homelessness, behavioral health, ongoing commitments toward public health infrastructure, and the SB 1 transportation backfill. 

There are many promising opportunities on these and other priorities as we continue to navigate the pandemic and look towards community recovery. CSAC remains steadfast in advocating for county priorities and hearing from you as we embark through the budget and legislative process.

Through the leadership of your CSAC Officers, we are ready and eager to partner with the Administration and Legislature on how to best support community recovery and to ensure the necessary tools and resources are given to counties as you are the boots on the ground leading in your community.

I do want to highlight that the January Budget Proposal contains various new state initiatives that provide direct funding to community providers for local services. Deploying community based organizations to deliver services outside of the state-county service system is troubling, and could jeopardize the effectiveness of meeting community priorities. Effective service delivery requires state and local accountability and that’s exactly what’s in place with the state-county policy, program, and fiscal relationship. Another policy to watch is Incompetent to Stand Trial, which has a growth cap that includes a county cost sharing methodology if the cap is exceeded. CSAC will continue to engage with the Administration on this and other policies.

Beyond the Budget, we are focused on civility and Brown Act reform to protect democracy, public servants, and safe community participation.  This follows an erosion in civility and safety for many county leaders here in California and across the country.  Outdated tools, flexibility, and authority has remained largely the same since the Brown Act was enacted in 1954.  

For all of these issues, it’s your collective voice that gives us our greatest strength, that provides a reality check and local context for fed state policy makers, and that shapes priorities and actions to improve your community.

Let’s begin.

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