Inter-Departmental Correspondence




November 12, 2003


November 18, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors


John L. Maltbie, County Manager


County Manager's Report #16 - State and Federal Legislative Updates




Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger will be sworn into office on November 17, 2003 and reportedly will call the Legislature back into extraordinary sessions upon taking office. The purpose of the sessions are (1) the growing mid-year budget problems; (2) reform worker's compensation; and (3) make changes to the recently enacted undocumented drivers' license law. Of significant concern to local agencies is the Governor-elects' statement that upon taking office he intends to reverse the tripling of the vehicle license fee. Cities and counties argue that state law requires a back-fill of $3.8 billion in lost revenue.



The Governor-elect has made key appointments, including:


Patricia Clarey, Chief of Staff

Donna Arduin, Director of Finance

Peter Siggins, Legal Secretary

Richard Riordan, Education Secretary

Marybel Batjer, Cabinet Secretary

Sunne Wright McPeak, Secretary Business Transportation and Housing

Terry Tamminen, Environmental Protection Agency Secretary

Rob Stutzman, Communications Director

Margita Thompson, Press Secretary

Richard Costigan, Legislative Secretary

Cynthia Bryant, Chief Deputy Legislative Secretary





Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2003


According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics more than 16 percent of adults incarcerated in the United State have a mental illness and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports about 20 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have serious mental health problems. A significant number of both adults and youth have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill claim that nearly 40 percent of adults who suffer from a serious mental illness will come into contact with the criminal justice system at some point during their life.


Both criminal justice and mental health professionals recognize that a majority of individuals with a mental illness who are involved in the criminal or juvenile justice systems are responsive to medical and psychological interventions that integrate treatment, rehabilitation and support services.


S.1194, the "Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2003," was recently approved by the United States Senate, to promote collaborative programs that divert non-violent mentally ill offenders from jail. The measure would fund planning and implementation grants to develop alternative treatments with supportive services, including housing, education and job training and placement for mentally ill offenders.


The purpose of the legislation is to:



Reduce re-arrests among mentally ill adult and juvenile offenders;


Provide courts, including existing and new mental health courts, with appropriate health and substance abuse treatment options;


Maximize the use of alternatives to prosecution through diversion for appropriate non-violent cases;


Promote adequate training for criminal justice personnel about mental illness and substance abuse disorders and the appropriate responses for such offenders in the criminal justice system;


Promote communication among criminal justice or juvenile justice personnel, mental health and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders treatment personnel, with community and faith-based providers of support services; and


Establish communication, collaboration and intergovernmental partnerships among municipal, county and State elected officials with respect to mentally ill offenders.


The companion measure, H.R. 2387 would authorize $100 million per year in FY 2004 and FY 2005; and "such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2006 through 2008 to fund mentally ill offender treatment grants.



Preliminary results of demonstration programs have revealed a 40 percent reduction in the average number of jail days for individuals receiving the programs enhanced services and a 65 percent decrease in the average number of convictions. For example, in the first three years of the pilot program, Santa Cruz County reported a 96 percent reduction and Los Angeles County a 69 percent decrease in jails days for recidivist mentally ill offenders.



Attached for your consideration is a resolution in support of S.1194 and H.R. 2387 to enact the Mentally Ill Offender Act of 2003.


Vision Alignment

Support for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2003 furthers the commitment to Ensure basic health and safety for all, goal #7 Maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors, and #8 to help vulnerable people - the aged, disabled, mentally ill, at-risk youth and others - achieve a better quality of life



The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco report on the collapse and revival of the Bay Area technology sector predicts the decline in the Bay Area region, is a temporary downturn. The Federal Reserve Report, The Bay Area Economy: Down but not Out, released on November 3, 2003 indicates that despite the downturn, the Bay Area region is better positioned for recovery compared to that experienced in Los Angeles' with the aerospace industry crash in the 1990s. "After being the quintessential darling of the nation's economy, the San Francisco Bay Area has been battered by the information technology (IT) downturn; nearly one in ten jobs in the Bay Area disappeared since the peak of late 2000, and half of those were in the IT sector. " Over the past two years the region has lost 350,000 or 9.5 percent of total payroll. In addition to technology, a significant loss has come from non-tech, including jobs from the airline and hotel business. The FRBSF report concludes, "while it is still too early to tell how quickly the Bay Area will recover the jobs lost during the downturn, several factors bode well for it to remain a focal point for innovation and technology." The region retains its leading edge position due to key resources -- proximity to top universities, research labs and a skilled workforce, new success in biotechnology, and greater access to venture capital.


The first half of 2003, the State's unemployment rate hovered at 6.8 percent; San Mateo County's unemployment rate leveled off at 5.2 percent. Despite FRBSF positive view of the region, efforts to create new, retain and enhance industries in the Bay Area continues to be of importance to the region.


H.R. 2535, the Economic Development Administration Act of 2003, would reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for an additional five years and provide funding for existing as well as new grant programs. While EDA has undergone substantial changes and restructuring during its 37-year history, it continues to be referred to as a prime example of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society Programs.


It is reported that the Administration will seek EDA reauthorization in the 1st session of the 108th Congress with hearings to begin early spring 2004. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the measure would cost $1.3 billion for FY 2004 through FY 2008 and an additional $1.2 billion after 2008. The goal of federal economic development programs is to raise the standard of living for all citizens and increase the wealth and overall rate of growth of the economy by encouraging communities to develop a more competitive and diversified economic base by:



Creating an environment that promotes economic activity by improving and expanding public infrastructure;


Promoting job creation through increased innovation, productivity and entrepreneurship; and


Empowering local and regional communities experiencing chronic high unemployment and low per capita income to develop private sector business and attract increased private sector capital investment.



It is anticipated that EDA will include grant funding to support the World Trade Center site recovery and to support other regions continuing to suffer from the effects of terrorist attacks, including areas reliant upon tourism. Additionally, it is thought that economic development and recovery assistance will be provided to communities recovering from disasters, including southern California from the recent.



Attached for your consideration is a resolution in support of H.R. 2535 to enact the Economic Development Administration Reauthorization Act of 2003.


Vision Alignment

Support for this legislation supports the commitment to Sow the sees of our future prosperity, goal # 18 San Mateo County attracts and maintains leading-edge industries.