County Manager’s Office
June 3, 2009
BOARD MEETING DATE:
June 9, 2009
Honorable Board of Supervisors
David S. Boesch, County Manager
County Manager’s Report #6
Analysis of the May Revision to the 2009-10 State Budget
Accept this report.
Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government
Goal(s): 20—Government decisions are based on careful consideration of future impact rather than temporary relief or immediate gain.
On May 14, 2009 the Governor released the May Revision to the 2009-10 State Budget. Just four months earlier, the state had adopted its spending plan for FY 2009-10 that included a combination of service reductions, borrowing and revenues; a total package of $41.6 billion. With the failure of the five budget solution ballot measures coupled with the continued diminution in state revenues, the Governor now pegs the deficit at $24 billion.
The Governor May Revision proposes $24 billion in solutions: $15 billion in spending reductions and cuts requiring federal waivers; $1.9 billion in borrowing; $3 billion in other revenue actions; $4.5 billion in budget reserves and no new taxes. These spending reductions, shifts and deferrals would have an impact of $87 million to San Mateo County:
February 2009-10 State Budget
Highlights of the May Revise include:
• Major reductions to health and human service programs, K-12 and higher education (UC, CSU and CCC)
• Elimination of the CalWORKS, Healthy Families Program and Proposition 36 funding
• Closing of state parks
• Borrowing of eight percent of the local property tax revenues ($1.982 billion) from local governments as authorized under Proposition 1A (2004) and 75 percent of the Highway Users Tax Account (HUTA)
• Significant reduction of IHSS services for all but the most seriously disabled
• Major reductions in SSI/SSP monthly grants
• Reductions in available medical benefits to legal immigrants
• Elimination of “wobbler” provisions shifting those crimes punishable only by a term in county jail
• The sale or refinancing of some major state properties, including the Cow Palace
Additionally, on May 29 State Controller John Chiang notified the Governor and Legislative leaders that beginning on July 29, the State would not have the cash needed to meet all of its obligations. Estimates are that the State will be in the red by $317.1 million; two days later, on July 31, the cash deficit is expected to increase to a deficit of $1.02 billion. The Controller strongly urged the leadership to adopt a balanced budget no later than June 15. The State’s cash crunch makes it highly likely that the State will begin to defer payments to counties should the Legislative leaders fails to reach a budget deal by the end of June.
DISCUSSION—Impact to San Mateo County
SUSPENSION OF PROPOSITION 1A (2004)—($22 million)
The Governor proposes borrowing eight percent of 2008-09 property tax revenues. Repayment would be required within three years with interest. Interest is not specified and there is no penalty for failure to make the repayment. The Governor is also proposing to create a joint powers authority to allow local agencies to borrow against the state repayment as a group. The impact to San Mateo County is $22 million and potentially $1.5 million in reduced interest earnings.
HEALTH SYSTEM DEPARTMENT—($32.8 million)
AGING AND ADULT SERVICES/IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
• Wages and Benefits ($6.1 million)
Roll back state participation in IHSS wages to the current state minimum wage of $8 per hour starting October 1, 2009.
• Provide IHSS Only to the Neediest ($3.2 million)
Limit IHSS services to eligible clients with a functional index score of 4 and above. Under this proposal, about 2,469 of current San Mateo County clients or about 82 percent would lose all services leaving 564 eligible for IHSS services.
• Limit Services ($1.1 million)
Eliminate all IHSS services to those with a functional index score below 2, eliminate domestic and related services to IHSS consumers with a functional index between 2.1 and 3, and only provide full scope IHSS services to consumers with a functional index between 3.1 and 4. This cut will impact an estimated 269 (nine percent) of current IHSS clients. Eliminating domestic and related services for those with a functional index score between 2.1 and 3 will affect an estimated 939 (30 percent) of current IHSS clients.
• Limit Services ($2.6 million)
Eliminate domestic and related services for all consumers with a functional index score below 4 effective October 1, 2009.
• Increase Cost Share for Consumers
Consumers with a functional index below 4 would not be eligible for a state-funded share of cost buyout, giving these consumers a share of cost for services, affecting about 100 current clients. Estimates are that their SOC will increase from $50 per month to $800-$1000 per month.
Redirect realignment savings from IHSS, CalWORKS, and other areas to fund an increased county share in Department of Social Services children’s programs. The impact of this proposal is unknown at this time.
Multipurpose Senior Services Programs (MSPP) ($771,300)
Eliminate the MSSP program. The MSSP program serves approximately 250 clients on an annual basis that, without these services, would require placement in acute care or in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF).
Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers and Brown Bag services ($104,774)
The Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers serve approximately 80 individuals annually. The Brown Bag program provides approximately 2,000 low-income older adults with 1 million pounds of food products to supplement their nutritional needs.
Adult Day Health Care ($105,000)
Eliminate funding for the Caregiver Resource Centers. Adult Day Care serves approximately 400 individuals annually who receive transportation to an adult day health center, a nutritious meal, assessment, care planning and necessary therapeutic services. Adult Day Care services also provide respite for caregivers.
AIDS Case Management and Waiver Program in AAS ($340,000)
Eliminate funding that supports local efforts to prevent transmission of HIV. Public Health will no longer contribute to the AIDS Case Manager and Waiver Program that serve 36 clients.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND RECOVERY SERVICES
Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (Proposition 36) ($1.9 million)
Eliminate funding for the SACPCA. This program serves approximately 800-900 clients each year through a network of twelve non-profit alcohol and drug treatment providers. This proposal shifts costs to counties.
Mental Health Managed Care Services and Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Services (EPSDT) ($1.6 million in State General Fund and $1.6 in FFP)
Eliminate the non-inpatient portion of the State’s contribution to this state-federally funded program for “non-federally required” services. The program currently services 1,000 clients through a network of private psychiatrists and clinicians.
Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Services (EPSDT) Child/Youth Services ($500,000)
Eliminate funding for EPSDT related child/youth services for programs counties created in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Drug Medi-Cal ($74,915)
Reduction of 10 percent in Drug Medi-Cal rates. BHRS would lose 50 percent State and 50 percent Federal funding for services provided through the Methadone Clinic and Our Common Ground.
Child Welfare Group Home Rates ($88,863)
Reduce the Group Home rate by 10 percent. BHRS would lose funding in the group rate for the Canyon Oaks Youth Center
Defer Funding for AB 3632 (unknown)
Defer funding for Mental Health Services for Special Education Pupils.
Roll Back of Eligibility ($93,613)
Roll back eligibility to 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level. Approximately 2,475 Health Families children in the County will lose their health insurance. San Mateo County currently has 10,371 Health Families members in which approximately two-thirds are Health Plan of San Mateo members. The Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) will need to determine whether to adjust eligibility criteria for the locally funded Healthy Kids program, and what that cost impact would be to expand coverage for Healthy Kids.
Healthy Families Elimination
Eliminate remaining funding for the program after providing notice to beneficiaries and providers. The proposed elimination of the program would result in 10,371 low-income children in San Mateo County losing health coverage.
Federal Medi-Cal Flexibility & Stabilization ($8.3 million)
Placeholder to pursue $750 million in savings to the Medi-Cal program by requesting a federal waiver. The action is intended to slow the rate of program growth. It is estimated that up to 6,700 beneficiaries could lose Medi-Cal coverage.
Legal Immigrants, Qualified Alien or Permanently Residing in the U.S. Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) ($3.2 million)
Reduce the scope of benefits available to legal immigrants, age 20 and older, from full-scope Medi-Cal to emergency services, pregnancy, long-term care and breast and cervical cancer treatment. The reductions will impact almost 900 adults in San Mateo County.
Certified Application Assistance Fees ($71,000)
Eliminate certified application assistance, which helps individuals enroll and remain in subsidized children’s health insurance coverage. Currently, CHI, SMMC and BHRS receive reimbursements of up to $60 for every successful Medi-Cal and Healthy Families application.
Family Planning Services Rates ($108,312)
Reduce rates for family planning services to the pre-January 2008 level. HPSM rates are based on the Medi-Cal fee schedule so it will roll back these rates.
Private Hospitals (unknown)
Reduction of 10 percent in Medi-Cal payments to private hospitals. The Health Plan of San Mateo (HPSM) projects that this reduction will likely not affect contracted hospitals, but may affect hospitals that do not contract with HPSM.
Expand Revenue Base for Skilled Nursing Facility (unknown)
Expand the amount of revenue on which the AB 1629 fee is assessed to include Medicare revenues. It is not clear whether this action would be applicable to Distinct Part SNF’s, such as Burlingame Long Term Care, and what the impact might be.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS)
Proposition 99 ($325,529)
Redirect Proposition 99 funds from county health and other entities to offset costs in the Medi-Cal Program.
HIV Education and Prevention ($1.7 million)
Eliminate funding that supports local efforts to prevent transmission of HIV. The County programs affected include: HIV Education & Prevention individual and group level interventions; Early Intervention Program, including Bridge and Positive Changes; NIGHT Outreach targeting high-risk individuals for testing; Partner Notification Services, and others. These programs serve over 10,000 residents.
HIV Education and Prevention ($20,000)
Eliminate support for HIV services would significantly affect all HIV testing, counseling and education provided by Public Health to the jail and juvenile hall. Currently the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program (ADAP) pays for the cost of medications given to AIDS patients in the jail.
FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES
Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Grants ($479,000)
Eliminate funding for local health services for mothers, infants, children, adolescents, and families. The affected programs include: Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (including Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program, SIDS Program); Black Infant Health Program; and Adolescent Family Life Program. This cut also means the loss of federal matching dollars.
Children’s Dental Disease Program ($20,000)
Suspend the Children’s Dental Disease program.
HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY—($20 million)
Elimination of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKS) ($16 million)
Elliminate the CalWORKS program. San Mateo County serves over 2,500 clients. The elimination of the program could result in the loss of approximately $4.1 billion in federal stimulus funding to the State.
Modified Safety Net Program ($500,000)
Provide benefits only for Safety Net cases that meet federal work participation requirements. This would affect over 120 families in San Mateo County. These families could apply for General Assistance at an added cost to the County’s General Fund.
Reduce the CalWORKS maximum aid payment standard by 6 percent. The 2009 Budget Act includes a 4 percent grant reduction effective July 1, 2009. This proposal would reduce the maximum monthly grant for family of three from $651 to $611 (originally $723). The County has about 2,500 active CalWORKS cases.
60-month time-limit for child-only cases
Establish a 60-month time limit on child-only cases. The County has over 1,000 child-only cases of which a portion could lose their benefits if they reach the 60-month time limit.
Require face-to-face interviews, which they are calling Self-Sufficiency Reviews, with all recipients who are not meeting work requirements. The interviews would occur every six months. It is expected that numerous families would be discontinued aid as result of this new requirement.
Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) ($1.6 million)
Eliminate the CAPI program. The County’s current CAPI caseload is 273 clients. The elimination of the program would be a cost shift to the County as many CAPI recipients would be eligible for county General Assistance programs. The estimated loss assumes the increased costs to the County’s General Fund.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME/STATE SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT (SSI/SSP)
Reduce the maximum monthly grants to the minimum allowed under federal law. This grant cut would be effective September 1, 2009. Grants would be reduced to $830 per month for an individual and $1,407 per month for a couple. The 2009 Budget Act includes a 2.3 percent grant reduction effective July 1, 2009. There are currently 13,000 residents on SSI/SSP in San Mateo County.
CHILD WELFARE SERVICES (CWS)
County Allocation ($1.5 million)
Reduce child welfare allocations to counties by 10 percent.
Rate Reduction ($400,000)
Reduce the Group Home, Foster Family Agency, and specialized care and clothing allowance rates by 10 percent. Currently there are 28 children placed in group home care in which the provider payment would be reduced $400-$600 per month. There are currently 79 children placed in Foster Family Agencies in which their monthly rate would be reduced by about $200 per month.
Request that the federal government allow the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act funds to be used to offset General Fund spending on the Kinship-Guardianship Agreement Payment Program (KinGAP).
PUBLIC WORKS—($12.3 million)
Proposition 1A Suspension ($3.6 million)
Suspension of Proposition 1A will force the department to forgo improvement projects typically provided by Public Works. As a result, this may cause additional reductions of staff in the Facilities Division.
Offset General Fund Highway bond debt service with local share of gas tax, Highway Users Tax Account (HUTA) ($8.7 million)
Reduce the local share from $1.05 billion to $300 million and redirects $750 million to pay for current and prior year debt service on highway bonds. The amount is 25 percent of total fuel tax revenues and is a 75 percent permanent sweep of local HUTA funds. Counties have already experienced a delay in January through March of HUTA payments as part of the 2009-10 State Budget.
Consolidation and realignment of recycling and cleanup, spill prevention, and pollution prevention programs (unknown)
The changes caused by a consolidation or realignment of current programs may impact delivery of capitol projects and maintenance services, permitting, grant application, and delay in capital improvement projects. Staff is examining the details of the Governor’s efficiencies proposal to better determine its impact to the County.
Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (Proposition 36) ($296,901)
Eliminate funding for the SACPCA. The Probation Department receives funding for 2.4 positions. The elimination of Proposition 36 results in an unfunded voter established mandate.
PLANNING AND BUILDING—($45,000)
Williamson Act ($45,000)
The Governor’s May Revision proposes to eliminate all state Williamson Act subvention payments to local governments. The Governor’s 2009-10 budget reduced the Williamson Act subventions by 10 percent. A 2007 audit of the County Williamson Act Program by the state determined a $45,000 a year subvention return.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE—($5.8 million)
Shifting Populations to County Jails
The Governor’s May Revision contingency plan would change sentencing options for low-level offenders, eliminating “wobbler” provisions—whereby an offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony—and making those crimes punishable only by a term in county jail. It is estimated that about 312 felony inmates would be added to the County jail population for an average of two-year sentences. This could result in overcrowding. As a result, the Sheriff estimates that it might require inmates to be housed in the La Honda Medium Security Facility at a cost of $5.8 annually.
Currently estimated to be approximately $87 million.
Assembly Bill 30 (Price), Elections: voter registration
Adopt a resolution in support of Assembly Bill 30 (Price), Elections: voter registration.
Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.
Goal(s): 20 – Effectively communicate, collaborate and develop strategic approaches to issues affecting the entire County.
Exiting law authorizes a person who will be 18 years of age at the time of the next election to register to vote by executing an affidavit of registration. Current law requires the local registrar to notify the county elections official monthly of all deceased persons 18 years of age and over whose deaths were registered the preceding month in order to purge the rolls.
Assembly Bill 30 (Price) would authorize a person who is at least 16 years of age and otherwise meets all voter eligibility requirements to submit his or her affidavit or registration. The affidavit of registration would be deemed effective at age18 years. The bill would also require the local registrar to notify county elections monthly of all deceased persons 16 years of age and over whose deaths were registered the preceding month. The bill would become operative when the Secretary of State certifies that the state has a statewide voter registration database that complies with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.
According to the Secretary of State, more than 7.2 million eligible voters in California are not registered to vote. This represents nearly one-third of all eligible voters. Among young voters the participation rate is even lower. According to data from the U.S. Census, more than 45 percent of eligible voters in California between 18 and 24 years of age were not registered to vote in 2004. California is ranked just 36th in the nation for turnout among young voters.
Nine other states currently permit pre-registration by persons who have not yet reached voting age. Hawaii allows 16 year olds to pre-register to vote, while Florida allows persons who are at least 16 years of age to register if they have a driver’s license. Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oregon, and Texas all permit pre-registration by 17 year olds.
State General Fund cost is estimated to be $25,000; Counties would incur costs associated with reprogramming their election management system to provide pre-registration capability.
Assembly Bill 676 (Wolk), Registration fees, local fees
Adopt a resolution in support of Assembly Bill 676 (Wolk), Registration fees: Local fees.
Existing law allows county recorders to impose a variety of fees, including: $15 to cover the costs of furnishing a copy of any notice of federal lien, or notice or certificate affecting federal lien; $50 documentary handling fee under the California Environmental Quality Act; a filing fee for recording and indexing every instrument, paper, or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded, and an additional dollar fee per additional reference whenever any instrument paper or notice is recorded that contains references to more than one previously recorded document, and which requires additional indexing; a registration fee of up to $25 on every defendant represented by appointed counsel; a fee to cover the administrative cost of collecting restitution, if ordered by the court; a fee of $50 to cover the administrative costs associated with probation supervision or a conditional sentence; a fee for the costs associated with a change of plea or the setting aside of a verdict; and a fee for the sealing of juvenile records, and the processing of installment payment by persons convicted of a misdemeanor and required to pay a fine.
Senate Bill 676 (Wolk) would increase or eliminate the maximum amounts that can be imposed for the various fees; delete statutory cross-references to statutes in which the bill proposes to delete limits on fees, enabling fees to be set pursuant to the general authorization for counties to recover the cost of providing any product or service or the cost of enforcing any regulation for which a fee or charge is levied.
The process to increase fees is cumbersome and the Legislature does not regularly review to address changes in cost. In fact, some fees have not been updated in 20-30 years.
Substantial savings to current county general fund expenditures for administrative processing costs.
Senate Bill 27 (Hancock), Local agencies: sales and use tax: reallocation
Adopt a resolution in support of Senate Bill 27 (Hancock), Local agencies: sales and use tax: reallocation.
Existing law prohibits a redevelopment agency or local agency from providing any form of financial assistance to a vehicle dealer or big box retailer, or business entity that sells or leases land to a vehicle dealer or big box retailer that is relocating from the territorial jurisdiction of another community or local agency. No statute prevents using sales tax revenues to pay incentives or rebates to relocation consultants by local agencies across county lines.
Senate Bill 27 (Hancock) would prohibit a local agency from entering into any form of agreement with a retailer, a consultant or agent representing a retailer, or any other person that would involve the payment, transfer, diversion, or rebate of any amount of Bradley-Burns local tax proceeds for any purpose if the agreement results in a reduction in the amount of revenue that is received by another local agency from a retailer that is located within the territorial jurisdiction of that other local agency, and the retailer continues to maintain a physical presence within the territorial jurisdiction of that other local agency.
Sales tax is generally considered to be situs, allocated to the locality where the transaction occurs. However, if a seller has more than one place of business and the sales and delivery of a product occur at separate locations, State Board of Equalization (BOE) regulations require that the sales be allocated to the site of the principal sales negotiations.
This measure responds to the cities of Livermore, Industry, and San Diego, which are reportedly losing millions of dollars in sales tax revenues because a major retailer in those cities consolidated its sales activities into the City of Fillmore. Under an agreement between the City of Fillmore and a private consulting firm, the firm receives 85 percent of the sales tax revenues that are attributable to a retailer that worked with the firm to relocate the sales office into Fillmore. In turn, the majority of the 85 percent gets rebated to the retailer. The author argues that the losing cities are still left with the burden of providing vital police, fire, and other pubic services to the distribution facilities of the retailer remaining in the jurisdiction.
There have been several attempts in the Legislature to address the issue of rebating sales tax. Assembly Bill 178 (Chapter 462, Statutes of 1999), required a community that uses financial incentives to lure a big-box retailer or auto dealer from a neighboring community to offer the other community a contract apportioning the sales taxes generated by the business between the two jurisdictions. The provisions of this law were replaced by tougher restrictions, with the enactment of Senate Bill 114 (Chapter 781, Statutes of 2003).
Substantial savings in potentially lost Bradley-Burns sales tax revenues.
Senate Constitutional Amendment 18 (Liu and Yee), Local government: property-related fees
Adopt a resolution in support of Senate Constitutional Bill 18 (Liu and Yee), Local government: property-related fees
Proposition 218 (1996) defined a property-related fee or charges as any levy other than an ad valorem tax, a special tax, or an assessment, imposed by an agency upon a parcel or upon a person as an incident of property ownership, including a user fee for a property-related service. Before a local government can charge a new property-related fee, or increase an existing one, Proposition 218 requires local officials to: identify the parcels to be charged; calculate the fee for each parcel; notify the parcels’ owners in writing about the fees and the hearing; hold a public hearing to consider and count protests; and abandon the fees if a majority of the parcels owners protest. Further, new or increased property-related fees require: a majority-vote of the affected property owners, or two-thirds registered voter approval; or weighted ballot approval by the affected property owners. This election requirement, however, does not apply to property-related fees for sewer, water, or refuse collection services.
In 2002, an appellate court decision in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. City of Salinas found that charges imposed by the City of Salinas on developed parcels to fund stormwater management were property-related fees, and were not covered by Proposition 218’s exemption for “sewer” or “water” services. As a result, those fees require a vote of property owners or registered voters.
Senate Constitutional Amendment 18 (Liu/Yee) would exclude fees and charges for stormwater and urban runoff management from these approval requirements for the imposition or increase of a property-related fee or charge.
Stormwater runoff is generated when rain and snowmelt flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. As the runoff flows over land, paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, the water accumulates debris, chemicals, sediments, oil, animal waste, and other pollutants and carries them into the storm drains. This effluent eventually reaches waterways and the ocean. Left untreated, polluted runoff poses a risk to human health and can cause beach closures. Debris such as plastic bags that wash into the ocean is hazardous to marine life and aquatic birds.
Increasingly strict regulation of pollutants from stormwater and urban runoff has significantly increased the costs faced by local agencies responsible for controlling pollutants. Local agencies find themselves caught between the need to expend large amounts of money on stormwater management and Proposition 218’s strict requirements for approving fees to fund those efforts. This measure would give California voters the opportunity to reverse the Salinas decision and carve out a fourth exception to Prop 218 to provide access to funding for local stormwater and runoff management programs. If approved by the Legislature this measure would be placed before California voters at the next regularly scheduled General Election.
Senate Bill 279 (Hancock), Local government: community facilities district
Adopt a resolution in support of Senate Bill 279 (Hancock), Local government: community facilities districts.
The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 allows counties, cities, special districts, and school districts to levy special taxes (parcel taxes) to finance a wide variety of public works, including parks, recreation centers, schools, libraries, child care facilities, and utility infrastructure. Existing law specifies the requirements for the establishment of a Community Facilities District (CFD), including among other things, a petition, a hearing, establishment of the boundaries of the community facilities district, and an election on the question of establishment.
Senate Bill 279 (Hancock) would add acquisition, installation, and improvement of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to the types of facilities that a CFD may finance, or refinance, regardless of whether the buildings or property is privately or publicly owned; and require that energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements financed by a CFD must be affixed to or on real property. This measure would also authorize an alternative procedure for forming a CFD such that territory proposed for annexation to the CFD in the future are subject to the special tax only with the unanimous approval of the parcel owner or owners at the time of annexation.
This measure is modeled after the City of Berkeley’s Financing initiative for Renewable and Solar Technology (FIRST).
Under Mello-Roos, counties and cities are able to finance improvements at low interest rates. Property owners who voluntarily agree to Mello-Roos special taxes to finance energy improvements could realize immediate savings on their utility bills while paying off costs over time on their property tax bills. By lowering energy costs, reducing energy demand, and expanding generation from renewable energy sources, the voluntary Mello-Roos tax authorized could benefit residents throughout California.
Substantial savings to participating homeowners in long-term energy costs.
Senate Bill 406 (DeSauliner), Land use: environmental quality
Adopt a resolution in support of Senate Bill 406 (DeSauliner) land use: environmental quality.
Under current law vehicle registration fee is $34 plus a $22 surcharge to fund the California Highway Patrol. Additionally, local agencies are allowed to impose separate vehicle registration fee surcharges for a variety of special programs, including: $1 for service authorities for freeway emergencies; $1 for deterring and prosecuting vehicle theft; $7 for air quality programs; $1 for removing abandoned vehicles; and $1 for fingerprinting identification programs. Cities and counties in regions have formed joint powers authorities and councils of governments (COGS) to implement regional planning activities required under state law, including regional housing needs assessments and regional transportation plans. In the nine-county Bay Area, the Association of Governments is ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are the region’s metropolitan planning organization (MPO).
SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) requires the Air Resources Board (ARB), by September 30, 2010, to provide each region that has a metropolitan planning organization with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the automobile and light truck sector for 2020 and 2035, respectively. Each MPO, in turn, is required to include within its regional transportation plan (RTP) a “sustainable communities strategy” (SCS) to achieve the ARB targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction. If the SCS does not achieve the reduction target, the MPO must prepare an alternative planning strategy.
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is the state’s comprehensive planning agency. OPR is charged with coordinating state agencies’ planning activities, including preparation every four years a State Environmental Goals and Policies Report. Existing law creates the Planning Advisory and Assistance Council (PAAC) to assist OPR in various land-use planning related activities, including development of the State Environmental Goals and Policies Report. Additionally, the Strategic Growth Council, coordinates the activities and funding programs of its member state agencies in the areas of water and air quality, natural resource protection, affordable housing, and transportation planning. The Council also recommends policies to the governor, state agencies, and the Legislature in the area of sustainable community development.
Senate Bill 406 (DeSaulnier) would allow an MPO, a COG, or a county transportation commission and a subregional COG jointly preparing an SCS to impose a surcharge of up to $2 on vehicle registered in its jurisdiction to fund the development and implementation of an SCS or a regional blueprint plan to identify land use strategies to reduce emissions into the environment. The regional entity would be required to adopt a resolution imposing the surcharge, except that in the Bay Area, both the MTC and ABAG would be required to adopt a resolution and agree how to divide the revenue received.
This measure would require that if the surcharge imposed is over $1, the funds collected in excess of that amount would be used to provide grants to cities and counties for planning projects related to the implementation of a regional blueprint plan for jurisdictions with populations over 300,000. The proposed legislation allows the DMV to deduct administrative fees and transmit the revenue quarterly to the MPO, COG, or county transportation and subregional COG.
Additionally, the measure would change the PAAC membership and assigns the PAAC five new duties including working with the Strategic Growth Council to facilitate the implementation of regional blueprint projects; facilitating coordination between regional blueprint plans and state growth and infrastructure funding plans by developing recommendations to specified state agencies; and report to the Legislature on how state agencies implement the state’s planning priorities; and directs the Strategic Growth Council to consult with the PAAC.
Senate Bill 406 would provide the funding mechanism for Senate Bill 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008), which requires California to develop “Sustainable Community Strategies” (SCS). It is argued that funding is needed by regional and local governments to develop transparent modeling of land use and transportation; the collection of data to measure land use impacts on vehicles miles traveled; planning grants to assist local governments with Transportation Oriented Development; engage the public; integrate several planning processes (RTP, RHNA, Air Quality, CEQA); and to certify EIR’s required for a Sustainable Community Strategy.
California’s population is predicted to grow by 16 million over the next two decades. The sponsor, the California Association of Councils of Governments, argues that it is important that regional and local governments be given the ability to attract development projects that promote the goals of regional planning, while also successfully accommodating the growing population. Regional and local governments need state agencies to act in concert to accomplish the state’s goals to improve quality of life, air quality and economic growth.
Opponents argue that California motorists are already overburdened with hidden vehicle fees. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) opposes the bill because it would rather have the state impose a uniform fee for the purpose of funding blueprint and SCS work.
Unknown, but substantial.