On Wednesday, the RCRC Board of Directors approved the ascension of Supervisor Rex Bohn (Humboldt) to Chair, and Supervisor Randy Hanvelt (Tuolumne) to First Vice Chair. The RCRC Board of Directors elected Supervisor Matt Kingsley (Inyo) as Second Vice Chair, and Supervisor Bob Williams (Tehama) will become Immediate Past Chair.
In addition to the 2018 Officers, five regional representatives were appointed to make up the full 2018 RCRC Executive Committee.
The regional representatives were appointed as follows:
Region 1: Supervisor Michael Kobseff (Siskiyou)
Region 2: Supervisor Aaron Albaugh (Lassen)
Region 3: Supervisor Diane Dillon (Napa)
Region 4: Supervisor Stacy Corless (Mono)
Region 5: Supervisor Daron McDaniel (Merced)
RCRC’s 2018 Officer slate becomes effective January 1, 2018.
This week, Paul A. Smith, RCRC Vice President of Governmental Affairs, served on a panel titled, Cannabis — How to Work with Local Government on Cultivating and Manufacturing Issues, at the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Conference in Orange County. In addition to Mr. Smith, the panel included Caren Woodson with SPARC.
Panelists discussed the current regulatory system for cannabis at the state level, and the process of permitting cannabis cultivation and manufacturing, and how county Farm Bureaus can engage in the process.
Full details on the conference can be accessed here.
This week, Congress voted to approve a continuing resolution, which will temporarily avoid a shutdown and extend government funding through December 22, 2017. The White House endorsed the continuing resolution, known as H.J. Resolution 123, earlier this week to support House Republican efforts to avoid a government shutdown. Congressional leaders from both parties in the House and Senate met with President Trump this week to negotiate a budget deal.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) claims “Congressional negotiators are making good headway on a budget deal,” but negotiators are struggling to meet the demands of defense hawks and hardline conservators. House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Arizona) are refusing to agree to funding measures until their demands for military spending are met, and members of the House Freedom Caucus argue a December 22nd deadline won’t leave members enough time to evaluate the final spending package. Further complicating budget efforts are efforts to address the DACA program fix that President Trump promised Democratic Leaders in September. Democrats have more leverage in budget negotiations where 60 votes are needed to pass a funding proposal through the Senate.
Republicans will need a minimum 8 votes from minority members to pass the budget deal, granting Democrats a chance to secure protections for “DREAMers”, the estimated 700,000 immigrants brought into the U.S. as children without proper documentation of residency status.
Now that the House and Senate have passed their respective federal tax reform bills, the two chambers met in conference this week to negotiate a final version. President Trump made headlines this week when he suggested the final bill may raise the corporate rate from 20 to 22 percent, seemingly without any consultation with key Congressional Republicans.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) fought hard for the current 20 percent rate, only to be up-ended by the Administration down the final stretch of the legislative process where industry groups are making last-ditch lobbying efforts to dramatically alter the reform measure. Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell are entertaining proposals on the mortgage interest deduction, state and local income/property tax deductions and a child tax credit, in order to secure votes on the final bill. New tax breaks will raise the cost of the bill, which must remain under $1.5 trillion in order to pass the Senate, and tax negotiators may be forced to consider President Trump’s suggested rate hike as a last resort offset for these proposals.
House Republicans from California, New York and New Jersey are making their final case for language that will soften the bill’s deduction cuts for high-tax states. California Republicans are pushing an amendment that would allow taxpayers the option to deduct $10,000 of either their property or state and local income taxes, while the current language only allows the deduction for property taxes. This past week, Senator McConnell and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), both publicly expressed interest in reinstating the state and local income tax deduction to appease members from high-tax states.
In mid-November, the White House asked Congress for $44 billion in emergency aid for states devastated by recent hurricanes along the Atlantic Coast. The request received bipartisan criticism in the House and Senate because it did not include funding for wildfire relief or meet the needs of Texas, Florida, or Puerto Rico. The White House seemingly ignored California’s request for $4.4 billion in wildfire relief funds, although the request included tax relief programs to assist communities in recovery.
Last week, Representative Mike Thompson (D-Napa) and the California Delegation urged Congress to accept California’s request for aid in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “We strongly support the State of California’s current request for $4.4 billion in wildfire relief funds and respectfully request it be included in the bill” the letter reads. While the third disaster supplemental bill moves through the legislative process, Congress will continue to debate the FY 2018 spending package which currently includes $507 million in emergency firefighting funds.
In November, RCRC sponsored the San Joaquin Valley Regional Association of California Counties fall conference, hosted by Merced County. The final panel highlighted a program called All Dads Matter. Supported through the Merced County Human Services Agency, All Dads Matter focuses on the importance good fatherhood has upon a child’s development. The panel’s presenters, Lamar Henderson, program coordinator, and Cesar Vera, program supervisor, provided a riveting overview of the program, leaving the audience moved by the potential impact the program will have upon our next generation.
We’re excited to introduce you to this Merced County program, and applaud Mr. Henderson and Mr. Vera for the work they’re doing to strengthen the bond of fatherhood in Merced County! Read More…