County of San Mateo
2009-2010 State Legislative Session Program
San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
Mark Church, President
Rich Gordon, District 3
Rose Jacobs Gibson, District 4
Adrienne J. Tissier, District 5
III. 2009-2010 STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
IV. LEGISLATIVE POLICIES
B. Human Services
C. Child Support
D. Health Services and Hospitals
E. Public Safety and Justice
F. Land Use, Housing, Transportation and Environment
The mission of the San Mateo County Legislative Program is to sponsor legislative proposals and to influence the state budget process and legislation that relates to the people, places, prosperity and partnerships of our community. The 2009-2010 State Legislative Session Program reflects San Mateo County’s commitment to our Shared Vision 2010-2025.
The overarching goal of the San Mateo County Legislative Program is to identify legislation that could impact San Mateo County and to attempt to influence the outcome of such legislation. In this effort, the Legislative Committee with the support of County staff will assess the impact of legislation and refine and represent the Board’s positions on the range of proposals, priorities and policies found in this document. The goal of the Legislative Program also includes legislative ideas that originate from County staff and Board members. This document, the 2009-2010 State Legislative Session Program, is intended to provide a basic policy framework in which San Mateo County can work toward this goal. Divided into three general categories (legislative proposals, priorities, and policies), the Program asserts some of the key issues and general positions for issues of concern to San Mateo County.
While this document attempts to cover the breadth and depth of legislative issues that may have an impact on San Mateo County, it is not comprehensive, complete or final. The Legislative Committee will review policy positions related to legislation and make recommendations to the full Board. All legislation, on which the County takes a position, will be tracked through the legislative process. For relevant issues, County staff or consultants will prepare position letters for relevant legislators and committees, deliver testimony at hearings, conduct other advocacy roles, and provide regular status reports to the Legislative Committee and the Board. Some issues may require heightened advocacy. As a result, Board members may testify or meet with relevant legislators. With the approval of the Director of Intergovernmental and Public Affairs and the Board President, staff will utilize the authority found in the 2009-2010 Legislative Session Program in lieu of an official Board position to advocate on particular legislation or issues that conform to adopted policy positions.
This section details legislative proposals that San Mateo County will pursue, either through sponsorship or co-sponsorship, in the upcoming session. The Board of Supervisors will receive regular updates on the status of the legislative proposals and may be asked to testify before the legislature.
1. Assembly Bill 861(Ruskin), Public health services: consolidated contracts
Background: Existing law authorizes the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to contract with a provider for the provision of health services, to enter into a single contractual instrument encompassing services in any number of specified health subject areas, including primary care, maternal and child health, family planning, rural health services, migrant and seasonal farmworker care, genetic disease, expect for federally funded programs that require separate accounting and reporting. Authorizes Placer County, with the assistance of the appropriate state departments to implement a pilot program for funding the delivery of health services through an integrated and comprehensive county health and human services system.
Proposal: Assembly Bill 861 requires the CDPH, within existing resources, to implement simplified administrative requirements for the contracts administered by the Center for Family Health (CFH) and the Center for Infectious Diseases (CID). Requires CID and CFH to implement a consolidated and streamlined administration of its programs by developing, at a minimum, uniform program requirements and unified contracts across multiple related program areas. Requires the contract to include: consistent budget regulations, including format, indirect costs rate, and allowable costs; a single invoice format; uniform reporting requirements and outcome measures; and uniform staff time surveys.
2. Assembly Bill 787 (Hill), State Commission on Juvenile Justice report (2-year bill)
Background: In 2007, Senate Bill 81 (Chapter 175, Statutes of 2007), dubbed “juvenile justice realignment,” set rigid eligibility requirements for committing youth to the state juvenile justice authority, and in turn, channeled resources toward county-run juvenile justice systems. Specifically, Senate Bill 81 requires that all non-violent, non-serious offenders released to parole from the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) after September 1, 2007 become the responsibility of the counties. Senate Bill 81 authorizes a new annual block grant to the counties to support local programs for the care and custody of non-violent, non-serious offenders that will no longer be in the custody of the state. Senate Bill 81 also requires the State Commission on Juvenile Justice to develop a Juvenile Justice Operational Master Plan that will develop and make available for implementation by the counties, a common risk and needs assessment tool, universal data collection elements, and criteria and strategies for implementing evidence-based programs.
Proposal: Assembly Bill 787 requires that counties prepare and submit to the Corrections Standards Authority for a approval a Juvenile Justice Development Plan for youthful offenders who have not committed an offense described in subdivision (b) of Section 707 and are in the custody of the county commencing September 1, 2007. The bill also requires that counties prepare and submit an update to their plan every three years and that it include: a description of the programs, placement services, or strategies to be funded by the block grant allocation; a description of any regional agreements or arrangements to be supported by the block grant allocation; a description of how these new programs coordinate with program under Assembly Bill 1913 (Chapter 353, Statutes of 2000); and report on specific outcomes achieved and provide an accounting for all program participants to determine the effectiveness of the strategies funded by the block grant.
2009-2010 STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
This section highlights the most important 2009-2010 Legislative Session issues that could significantly affect San Mateo County. While San Mateo County will not actively pursue legislation, in the following areas, the following priorities will receive heightened scrutiny and may warrant significant involvement on the part of County staff or Board members. The County may request amendments to legislation in these priority areas—amendments that conform to the general goals and objectives of the below priorities.
1. Protecting County Revenues and Operations
San Mateo County has had a long-standing policy relating to timely and full funding for state-mandated and partnership programs, increased flexibility and the simple elimination of programs not properly funded by state and/or federal funds (2001-2002). The County generally supports the principle and related legislation that guarantees local governments including schools, cities, special districts and counties reliable, predictable and equitable funding. This support includes the proper allocation of existing tax revenues. The County supported the passage of Proposition 1A in November 2004. San Mateo County opposes state program reductions that have the effect of increasing reliance on county “safety net” services. In light of the ongoing State Budget crisis, the County’s highest priority in the 2009-2010 Legislative Session will be to protect funding for current safety net programs, to prevent further loss of local revenues, cost shifts to local governments, and reductions to County programs without a corresponding change in service responsibility.
Should timely and full funding for programs not be maintained with the current budget revenue and expenditure levels, the County would support increases in alcohol as well as changes in the state government’s business practices that lead to greater economies and improved program outcomes.
Not mutually exclusive to increases in revenues, the County supports, in concept, the reduction in funding for various programs and activities only when the concomitant requirement to provide such programs and activities is relieved. The Board has not considered what specific programs would be acceptable for reductions in funding and expressly reserves its ability to take a position on this issue should (as) it arises during the next legislative session and any pertinent special sessions.
The County supports restoration of historic reductions in local government funding and increased flexibility in implementing and administering services. Providing local governments with greater flexibility to provide services to local communities ensures that services match local needs and greater efficiencies for limited resources. The County also supports the preservation and increase of funding for Health and Human services “realigned” to counties in the early 1990s. The County opposes any effort to alter the existing Realignment funding allocation formula if it will result in a reduction of funds to San Mateo County. It also opposes any changes to and/or the elimination of the transfer of revenues to cities and counties from the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF).
For programs, like trial courts, no longer operated by counties, the County supports the elimination of maintenance of effort requirements and equitable transition of responsibilities and facilities to the State.
2. Infrastructure Needs, Investments and On-going Revenues
In November 2006, California voters approved $42.7 billion (from Propositions 1B-E and 84) in bond funding for infrastructure needs. Where appropriate, the County supports allocation formulas that ensure the County receives a fair share of infrastructure bond funding by reflecting, in part, the need and the wide variation in the cost of living and doing business among California’s diverse communities. San Mateo County, like others, is already addressing local infrastructure needs through local efforts such as housing trust funds and dedicated revenues for transportation. As a result, the County supports recognition of local efforts to address infrastructure needs by ensuring that housing trusts gain access to Proposition 1C funding.
Of greater importance is the need to secure additional and/or dedicated on-going revenues for the operations and maintenance of existing local infrastructure and future infrastructure improvements. While capital improvements are needed, maintaining existing infrastructure first—“fix it first”—is a sound, cost effective investment of tax dollars. Unfortunately, revenues have not been able to keep pace with the costs of operating and maintaining our critical infrastructure. As a result, the County supports:
• Funding that adequately supports local infrastructure needs;
• From existing revenue sources like gas tax and Proposition 42 on the State level and SAFETEA-LU on the Federal level, funding allocations that reasonably support local needs;
• Consideration of additional and/or dedicated statewide on-going revenue sources that support local operations and maintenance of existing and future infrastructure needs;
• Increasing local flexibility to create new and increased local transportation revenue sources such as local transportation sales taxes, vehicle license fees and
• Updating, adjusting and/or indexing the current gas tax;
• Statewide policies that ensure rehabilitation and operation and maintenance of local infrastructure are among the top funding priorities; and
• Balanced with the need for environmental protection, the streamlining of regulatory requirements so that routine projects can be processed without delay; expectations for routine work can be established and the costs of both initial construction of and on-going operations and maintenance of local infrastructure can be effectively reduced
3. Health Care
The County supports universal health care coverage in California. However, the existing system of publicly funded health care requires greater support from both the federal and state levels of government. In addition to expanding health care (medical and dental) coverage to ensure access to all Californians, the County supports state efforts to adequately fund existing public health care programs. The state cannot rely upon the County to expand health care coverage and access—such expansions must be funded from other levels of government. Proposed health care reforms should include:
• Health care services for prisoners, offenders, detainees and undocumented immigrants;
• Adequate maintenance and support for “safety net” health care to ensure that such care is stable and viable;
• Reforms that simplify the health care system for recipients, providers and administration;
• Meaningful participation from the federal government that maximizes federal financial participation;
• Access to health education, preventive care, and early diagnosis and treatment that assist in controlling costs through improved health outcomes;
• Reforms that reduce health disparities across racial, ethnic, gender, and other socio-economic dimensions.
• County participation in all aspects of planning and implementation.
4. Use of County-specific Cost of Doing Business in State Funding Allocations
While the cost of doing business varies widely by county, most state allocations of funding to the counties do not account for such differences. For example the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (SACPA) allocation methodology, assumes that a dollar of allocation can purchase an equal amount of services in each county. In contrast, Federal funding to states accounts for cost differences among states. The formula in the Federal Public Health Service Act for allocating funds to the states for the Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant utilizes a Cost of Service Index Factor whose purpose is to accurately reflect the differences between California and the other states in the cost of providing substance abuse services. The County supports adjustments to county human service fund allocations that account for the differences among California counties in the cost of providing services.
5. Human Services Funding Deficit
The State must fully fund social service programs to eliminate the Human Services Funding Deficit. Counties provide essential services to low-income residents, including child welfare services food stamp administration, In-Home Supportive Services Administration, and Adult Protective Services. Yet Counties are not fully compensated by the State for the costs of these services. Funding for these services is frozen at 2001 cost levels. The prolonged funding shortfall has resulted in service reductions that have negatively impacted clients. State funding for mandated programs to Counties must be aligned with programs and priorities
6. Proposition 1B Transportation Bond Funds
Given the State’s dire financial situation, it is expected that the Governor or Legislature will propose deferral and/or suspension of some local government resources such as Proposition 42 (the sales tax on gasoline) and gas tax (the excise tax on gasoline). San Mateo County had anticipating the receipt of approximately $16 million from these funds starting in FY 2008-09 to support our Roads program. Such a large reduction will have serious consequences for the Public Works Roads Program (including the delay of necessary road maintenance and the potential of staff reductions). Therefore the County will work closely with CSAC and the League of California Cities to advocate for the State to make up for this reduction by advancing the schedule for the release of Proposition 1B Transportation Bond funds so that additional monies will be available in FY 2008-09. It was also critical that the State allow the borrowing of the Bond funds already allocated, to meet the on-going expenses for road maintenance. It is equally important that the State relax the deadlines for expending the Bond funds once the borrowed funds are repaid, so that local jurisdictions are not at risk of losing funds because they were forced to temporarily use them to meet current cash needs.
7. Climate Change
In 2006, the Legislature enacted Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006 (AB 32, Nuņez—The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The act establishes the goal of reducing, by 2020, the state’s emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to what those emissions were in 1990. San Mateo County supports the implementation of AB 32. However, it is vital that the State provide funding, incentives and/or revenue raising authority to Counties to assist local government for all climate change actions and impacts.
This section describes San Mateo County’s general positions on legislative issues that are expected to appear in the next legislative session, appear regularly at the federal and state levels or are standing policies of the County. While the policies are broken down into five general categories (Administration and Finance; Human Services; Health Services and Hospitals; Public Safety and Justice; and Land Use, Housing Transportation and Environment) and a miscellaneous category, many of the policies bridge more than one category. Every effort has been made to properly place each of the policies.
The County supports:
1. Preservation of existing revenues and revenue authority, including the elimination of ERAF and maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements. The County opposes efforts to expand MOE requirements and ERAF. Maintenance of effort requirements tend to penalize more progressive counties that implement programs before the statewide program.
2. Maintenance of property tax revenues directed to local government. The County opposes efforts to direct property tax revenues away from local government.
3. Efforts to allocate funding through block grants, which allow for maximum flexibility in the use of funding within the designated program.
4. Increased funding for county infrastructure needs, should such funds be available.
5. Examination of equitable funding structures and formulas that reflect a county’s responsibilities, demographics, cost of living and caseloads. The County opposes funding restructuring efforts that do not ensure adequate revenues for new responsibilities and obligations.
6. Federal funding mechanisms that allow funding to flow directly to local governments rather than through state government.
7. Efforts to create faster reimbursement processes from state and federal sources to local government.
8. Increased ability to utilize state or local matching funds to draw down additional federal funds.
9. “Revenue neutrality,” that requires the transfer of adequate revenues to accompany the corresponding responsibility. Generally, the County opposes the use of local revenues to satisfy state or federally mandated activities.
10. 10.Economic Development efforts that grow the California and local economies in an sustainable (environmental and economic) fashion.
11. Efforts that improve voting accessibility and the implementation and compliance of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). (2006, CoD)
The County supports:
1. Preservation of the 1991 county health and human services realignment program. The County also supports a careful and cautious analysis of any efforts to alter the current system in light of California’s fiscal constraints. (2001-2002, revised)
2. Increased flexibility for the administration of CalWORKs. Flexibility in the CalWORKs program should include income eligibility standards for child care.
3. Reinstate Title IV-E programs and services to children who are in need of prevention and early intervention services.
4. Preservation of children’s protective services, participation and funding. (2008, HSA, Revised)
5. Maximum flexibility to institute innovative practices in child welfare and foster care such as “wraparound” services and multi-discipline service approaches.
6. Increased funding and greater funding flexibility for foster care services, which are critical to adequately protect children in need.
7. Elimination of or reductions to penalties related to the failure to meet the work participation rate in CalWORKS.
8. Allowing for county flexibility in the work component and permissible activities that contribute to the work participation rates in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families legislation. (2008, HSA)
9. Eliminate the fingerprint requirement or allow counties to waive the fingerprint requirement for Food Stamps.
1. The passage of the Revenue Stabilization Fund proposed in the Governor’s 2009-10 Proposed State Budget. The Revenue Stabilization Fund will provide necessary funding to allow Local Child Support Agencies to maintain core critical case management resources to stabilize collections.
2. Support the allocation of funding to local agencies that takes into account the differences in the cost of doing business in California’s diverse counties.
The County supports:
1. The creation and funding for a health care system that supports a healthy community and increases the longevity and quality of people’s lives and provides access to health insurance to all San Mateo County residents regardless of their ability to pay. To that end, the County supports efforts to reduce or eliminate financial barriers that serve to reduce or deny access to care.
2. Improved access to health care and increased stability of the health care system through Medi-Cal. The County supports increased reimbursement rates, full funding for emergency room services and costs, expanded dental coverage, increased funding for outreach and enrollment, funding and flexibility to provide increased health care and mental health services in the County’s jail system.
3. Expanding the Healthy Families program (State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)) to include families of eligible children and preserving federal funds to California, as well as sustaining local Children’s Health Initiative efforts that provide universal health insurance coverage for children..
4. Full funding for Emergency Medical Service program costs.
5. Legislation and budget actions that reduce the fiscal impact of the In-Home Supportive Services program on county revenues, including Realignment funds. The County supports examinations of the In-Home Support Services program and its impact on other programs realigned to counties, particularly its impact on mental health services and efforts to secure dedicated funding for mental health programs.
6. Legislation that facilitates the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision at the State and local level. Community-based services that enable individuals with disabilities to live independently for as long as possible are the cornerstone to the implementation of Olmstead. (2005, CoD)
7. Preserving and/or advocating for the accessibility of community infrastructure and anti-discrimination provisions that often come under attack by efforts to weaken or dilute the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and California Government Code§ 12955 (housing) § 12940 (employment) § 12926.1 (definitions of disability) and Civil Code§ 51 (prohibits discrimination). (2006, CoD)
8. The integration of Long Term Care that is aimed at supporting people with disabilities to have the best possible quality of life through a system built around consumer needs and preferences that allows local flexibility in providing services and supports. (2006, CoD)
9. Full funding for the County’s costs incurred in providing mental health services to special education students and ensuring that AB 3632 program service responsibilities are assigned to schools. (2006, Health)
10. Legislation and health reforms that reduce health disparities across racial, ethnic, gender, and other socio-economic dimensions. (2008, Health)
11. The Mental Health Services Act funding allocation/distribution formulas that recognize counties’ historical support of mental health programs, geographic differences in the cost of living and cost of doing business, the need for self-sufficiency of clients and that considers “under service” to individuals as well as unmet need as a lack of any service to eligible clients. (2005, Health) Maintain this funding against current proposals (Governor’s budget) to redirect).
12. Legislation that supports our County’s approach to prevent illness and promote health through strategies that address underlying causes of illness and creation of healthier environments. (2008, Health)
13. Legislation that supports the 5 cent per drink tax on alcohol to directly support funding for AOD prevention and treatment activities. This is already included in the Governor’s Proposed Budget for FY 2009-10.
14. Pilot legislation, for San Mateo County, or in concert with other interested counties, to impose an alcohol tax to directly support funding of AOD prevention activities. (2008, Health)
15. A unified contract between the State and County for the multitude of health programs that currently operate with distinct requirements that hamper service integration at the local level. (2008, Health)
The County supports:
1. Preservation of funding for local public safety efforts, including inmate health, juvenile probation and prevention programs, mental health and drug and alcohol programs. (2001-2002)
2. Preservation of funding and, in the future, seek additional funding for Proposition 36 implementation. Support statutory changes that improve the operational efficiency and local flexibility of the program. (2001-2002, revised)
3. Full funding and/or equity in the trial court realignment block grant. The County also supports efforts to continue examination into trial court funding and maintenance including the transfer of trial court facilities.
4. Full funding for the cost of booking and processing of persons arrested by public entities in San Mateo County. In the event full funding is not made available through a state appropriation or other fund source, the County supports reinstatement of booking fees that ensure full cost recovery.
5. Increased regulation of firearms.
6. Efforts to facilitate the construction and operation of youth services facilities, such as increased or reallocated funding for correctional facilities that are ready for immediate construction.
7. Increased funding for substance abuse treatment, mental health services and other diversionary services for inmates.
8. Continued review of the alignment of Chief Probation Officer selection, appointment and retention authority with funding. The County also supports cautious review of any potential separation of adult and juvenile probation activities.
9. Efforts to align law library costs, including facilities maintenance, with trial courts rather than the County.
10. Increased federal funding for State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).
11. Disaster preparedness measures that enable local governments to better plan for and respond to emergencies and disasters.
12. Corrections reforms that are developed through a collaboration between state and local governments and adequately funded and that building upon successful, existing programs such, to include financial support for local jail construction projects, recognize the importance of alcohol and other drug treatment as well as mental health services and provide local flexibility that meets the unique characteristics of each county.
The County supports:
1. Solutions and funding for the region’s housing crisis that address the needs of homeless, lower-income residents, CalWORKs participants and at-risk populations including the housing needs of people with disabilities and the elderly.
2. Efforts to preserve affordable and accessible housing and the development of new affordable and accessible housing through activities including additional funding for local housing trust funds, development of statewide and national housing trust funds, and efforts to increase the amount of multi-family housing in San Mateo County.
3. Smart Growth efforts and other land use decisions that facilitate appropriate mixed use developments along efficient, public transportation corridors. The County also supports an examination of current rules and standards that benefit lower density development (over higher density development), and vehicular movement at the expense of pedestrian traffic and safety. While the County supports development incentives for Smart Growth related activities, the County opposes efforts to divert or restrict funding usage to specific programs.
4. Increases in Housing Assistance Payments and Administrative Fee amounts and greater flexibility for use of Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program funds. The County opposes efforts to reduce funding amounts in this arena and or limitations on the flexibility of use of funds. (2006, Housing)
5. Renewal of subsidies for the Supportive Housing Program as well as the Shelter Plus Care Program. These programs fund San Mateo County’s transitional and permanent supportive housing for homeless families and homeless persons with disabilities. It also is the primary funder of our homeless providers for support staff and program operations. These funds also support rental assistance for disabled homeless people. (2006, Housing)
6. Meaningful reform related to redevelopment agencies—reform that includes an examination of the definition of blight and of project area mergers. (2006, CMO)
7. Careful and cautious review of the implementation of Proposition 50 water bond funds.
8. Careful and cautious examination of state efforts to manage regional growth issues.
9. Maintenance of adequate open space/park lands through increased funding for development easements and needed restoration and rehabilitation activities.
10. Efforts to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental resources of the San Mateo County, its coast and adjacent waters for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations. (2005, ESA)
11. The Legislative Analysts Office recommendation to require a statewide transportation needs assessment every five years, if the assessment has no fiscal impact on County funds or revenues.
12. Changes in policies and practices that result in a net reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions; increased energy efficiency and conservation efforts that reduce California’s per-capita need for energies including electricity and fossil fuels; increased production and use of renewable energies that grows the renewable energies “market share” of California’s energy consumption profile; and, when necessary, non-renewable energies development that meets environmental reviews, that maintains or exceeds current environmental and/or emission controls, and that best protects our natural environments and offshore areas.
13. Exploration of new funding sources to implement local government programs that benefit the environment such as: watershed protection, green house gas reduction, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) compliance, and development of alternative energy sources. (PW, 2008)
14. Advancing the schedule for the release of Proposition 1B Transportation Bond funds so that additional monies will be available in FY 2009-10 beyond what is already scheduled to be released in FY 2008-09. This proposal is necessary so that the County can maintain its streets and roads and avoid the deterioration of infrastructure. (PW, 2008)
15. Preserving land use authority of local governments by allowing jurisdictions that have adopted inclusionary zoning ordinances, such as County of San Mateo, to take the intended and predictable effect of the ordinance into account when calculating availability of adequate zoned capacity to meet their Regional Housing Needs Allocaiton. (Housing, 2009)
16. Expansion of the California Assisted Living Waiver Pilot Project so that senior low-income residents of San Mateo County may use Medi-Cal benefits to pay for affordable assisted living services in a residential setting. (Health, Housing, 2009)