Government Finance & Administration News Briefs
Dec. 6, 2018
Government Finance and Administration Policy Committee Recap
The CSAC Government Finance and Administration (GFA) Policy Committee met last week in San Diego County and discussed a wide range of important issues on the horizon for 2019. The Committee took action to approve minor updates to the CSAC Policy Platform as well as next year’s legislative priorities. The agenda additionally included presentations on the State Budget, the 2020 U.S. Census, the legal landscape for public agency employers, CalPERS and GFA-specific federal issues. Key highlights are provided below.
2019 GFA Legislative Priorities Approved
The Committee voted to approve the work plan for 2019 which outlines priority issues in the GFA policy area that staff predicts for the upcoming year. Priority areas include the 2020 U.S. Census, partnerships with employee representatives, economic development, online sales tax, technology and public records, data protection clean-up and mandate claims.
Platform Updates Approved
The Committee voted to approve staff-recommended changes to the CSAC Policy Platform, summarized on pages 7-8 of the meeting packet. Changes were largely technical to correct formatting issues and incorporate current policy on retirement board divestment mandates. These changes will be acted upon by the CSAC Board of Directors in February 2019.
Fiscal Forecast From the Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO)
The LAO presented key findings from their 2019-20 Fiscal Outlook, delivering overall positive news. According to the LAO, the State Budget is in “remarkably good shape” with a $15 billion projected surplus by June 2020 and overflowing reserves. However, since their analysis assesses the General Fund condition under current law and policies, the LAO warned that reserves could easily be depleted should the Legislature pass new spending commitments. See the LAO’s PowerPoint for more details.
County Engagement Opportunities in the 2020 U.S. Census
A Partnership Specialist from the U.S. Census Bureau presented an overview of the 2020 U.S. Census and how it is being conducted differently than in years past. The presentation detailed why local engagement is so critical to complete count efforts and how local governments specifically can help. See the U.S. Census Bureau’s PowerPoint for more details.
The Committee was also briefed on the State of California’s 2020 Census funding allocation. Of the $90.3 million total, counties will receive nearly one-third (approximately $26.7 million). In order to receive the funding, individual counties must “opt-in” by February 8. For more details on what’s required to receive the funding, see www.census.ca.gov/2018/11/09/funding/ or the County Funding Allocation PowerPoint.
The Legal Landscape for Public Agency Employers
A partner from Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW) presented a legal update, outlining major Supreme Court decisions and Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) rulings that impact public agency employers. Key highlights include a description of the Janus v. AFSCME decision and subsequent legislation in SB 866. See LCW’s PowerPoint for more details.
CSAC Staff provided a CalPERS update on resources for counties to pay down their unfunded liability, the development of a financial necessity policy under the recently adopted 20 year amortization period, and proposed changes to the healthcare regions.
Federal Issues Update
CSAC’s federal lobbying team at Paragon Government Relations gave an update on the post-election federal landscape, including the recurring threat of a government shutdown and the politics of a lame duck session.