The CSAC Bulletin for March 18, 2016
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March 18, 2016

In this Issue

 - Hot Bills, Get Your Hot Bills Here
 - House Committee Narrowly Approves FY 17 Budget Resolution

Policy Reports
 - Prop 90 Counties Should Take Note of Property Tax Threat
 - Proposed Bill Opens Door to Endless Local Government Activity Challenges
 - Fair Housing Regulations Reflect Recent Changes
 - Traffic Amnesty Program Update: Results From The First Three Months
 - CDCR Three-Judge Court, March Update
 - CA Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Local Governments in PRA Case
 - Tree Mortality Funding-More Money on the Way
 - Federal Issues Update: SRS Payments Released

  - Other Bills of Interest

 - From Our Bog: Homelessness-A 58-County Issue
 - CSAC Institute in April Features Executive Leadership, Policy Courses
 - Why Should You Attend CSAC's Legislative Conference? 
Hot Bills, Get Your Hot Bills Here

The Legislature now heads into a week of Spring Recess, and when members return on March 28, they’ll jump right in to thorny issues and quick bill deadlines. Over the past two and a half months CSAC staff analyzed the Governor’s budget proposal, reviewed hundreds of bills introduced by the February 19 deadline, and bid adieu to two-year bills that stalled.

As reported last week, the Assembly experienced a major transition in the form of new Assembly Speaker Rendon, new leadership, and new committee chairs. The swap out of committee chairs resulted in several hearings being cancelled and rescheduled for post-recess, adding extra pressure to the upcoming house of origin policy deadlines. This will make for packed agendas and longer hearings.
Read more

House Committee Narrowly Approves FY 17 Budget Resolution
On March 16, the House Budget Committee narrowly approved a fiscal year 2017 budget resolution that would preserve the $1.07 trillion discretionary spending limit for fiscal year 2017 – the level set by last fall’s two-year budget deal (PL 114-74).  While rank-and-file members appear to generally support the resolution’s top-line spending figure, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are demanding a return to the previous, lower budget caps.  As such, they are seeking to reduce fiscal year 2017 spending by $30 billion.  Leaders from both parties agree that such a move could ultimately derail this year’s appropriations process.
Read more  (Get more Washington news in our Federal Update)
Prop 90 Counties Should Take Note of Property Tax Threat

Comments Requested

Counties with a “Prop 90” ordinance on the books that allows homeowners to transfer their property tax bills from other counties should pay close attention to new legislation by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin (San Mateo). Assembly Bill 2668 would expand the current statewide property tax transfer program for seniors and persons with a disability to homes of greater value and automatically apply to intra and intercounty transfers.
Read more

Proposed Bill Opens Door to Endless Local Government Activity Challenges
Assembly Bill 2801 (Gallagher) would change the timeframe for local government proceedings related to bond approval, contract finalization and even LAFCO proceedings. Specifically, this measure would delete the 60 day “validation” period wherein a local agency activity may proceed and is safe from legal challenges in the future.
Read more
Fair Housing Regulations Reflect Recent Changes
The California Department of Fair Housing and Employment has released amendments to existing regulations that will take effect April 1. The changes touch on many workplace issues, including sexual harassment, discrimination of various types, liability for harassment, pregnancy disability leave, and contractor compliance with discrimination regulations. While the amendments generally formalize existing laws, regulations, and court decisions, employers will want to take note to ensure compliance with the new regulations.
Read more
Traffic Amnesty Program Update: Results From The First Three Months

On June 24, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a program that allows Californians who have unpaid traffic or non-traffic infraction tickets to participate in a one-time Statewide Traffic Tickets/Infractions Amnesty Program. The program began on October 1, 2015 and will continue through March 31, 2017.

In the first three months, October 2015 through December 2015, of the traffic amnesty program, 58,000 Californians have received fine/penalty reductions, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has received 40,000 requests to restore driver’s licenses and gross revenue collected so far from the program totals approximately $7.6 million. 
Read more

CDCR Three-Judge Court, March Update
With the final benchmark behind CDCR reporting continues to the three judge panel with CDCR’s March 15, 2016 Three-Judge Panel Status Report with Exhibits.
Read more
CA Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Local Governments in PRA Case
The California Supreme Court this week issued its opinion in one of several Public Records Act cases pending on its docket, and the decision is good news for local governments. The issue in the case is whether a public agency waives the attorney-client privilege if it inadvertently discloses a privileged document in response to a Public Records Act request. The Court of Appeal found that such inadvertent disclosure waived the privilege, and as such those records could be used against the agency in subsequent litigation.
Read more
Tree Mortality Funding-More Money on the Way
The Assembly and the Senate budget subcommittees met this week to discuss budget items related to California’s tree mortality crisis. This follows a joint February informational hearing on the topic where the Committees invited speakers, including a Tuolumne county supervisor, to speak to varying aspects of the tree mortality crisis to better understand the threats California’s forests face and the actions the Administration is taking to respond to those threats.
Read more
Federal Issues Update: SRS Payments Released
On March 18, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Forest Service officially announced the release of $272 million in Secure Rural School (SRS) payments to counties. It should be noted that the payments were slated to be released in February but were delayed as the administration sought clarification as to whether the program would be subject to sequestration. It was ultimately determined that the payments would not be subject to a sequester reduction.
Read more
Other Bills of Interest
A roundup of bills from all policy areas of interest to counties that are not included in this week's Bulletin articles.
Click here for our Legislative Tracking function and more Bill Reports by subject area.

Administration of Justice Bills
AB 1854 (Bloom) – Co-Sponsor
AB 2804 (Brown) – Oppose
SB 885 (Wolk) – Oppose

Government Finance and Administration 
SB 1029 (Hertzberg) – Pending.

Housing, Land Use and Transportation
AB 1982 (Bloom) – Request for Comments
AB 2406 (Thurmond) – Request for Comments
AB 1886 (McCarty) – Request for Comments


From Our Blog: Homelessness-a 58-County Issue
By Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas
California’s counties are incredibly diverse, but no matter their size, location, population or demographics, all 58 are grappling with the issue of homelessness. I recently testified at a State Capitol hearing on this complex issue. Homelessness has many causes, but two things are clear: counties are uniquely positioned to address homelessness, and we must collaborate with our cities and others to find housing solutions for all Californians.
Read more
CSAC Institute in April Features Executive Leadership, Policy Courses
Continue your professional development through the courses offered exclusively for California counties from the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government. The classes expand your capacity to manage, lead and govern in complex and ambiguous times. From understanding pension systems and county finances to recruiting senior executives and leading organizations through crises … some great classes are ahead at the Institute in April.  Read on for details!
Read more
Why Should You Attend CSAC's Legislative Conference?
Click here for a brief video to find out!
Job Openings
Click here to see the latest county and local government job postings.
Copyright © 2016, California State Association of Counties, All rights reserved.

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