The Barbed Wire - May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017
Governor Releases State Budget Revision
INVITE: County Coalition Hosts NPLH Technical Assistance Funding Call
Sierra Fund Holds Fourth Biennial Conference – Reclaiming the Sierra 2017: Headwater Resiliency
Congressional Outdoor Recreation Caucus
Senate EPW Committee Continues Work on ESA Reform
CALLING ALL LOCAL BUSINESSES: Mother Lode Regional Trade Services Workshop Announced
Showcasing Rural Life: RCRC Seeking Local Photography for Instagram Account
KEEPING UP
BULLETIN BOARD
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
REGULATORY UPDATE

Governor Releases State Budget Revision

On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his May Revision of the 2017-18 State Budget in an attempt to more accurately reflect revenue and expenditure projections.  The $183.4 billion Budget reflects a spending plan that includes $124 billion in General Fund expenditures, $56 billion in special fund expenditures, and $3.4 billion in bond expenditures.  RCRC’s analysis, The Rural Rundown, highlights the changes from the Governor’s January proposed Budget, and outlines key issues and changes on high priority items for RCRC member counties.  Read More…

INVITE: County Coalition Hosts NPLH Technical Assistance Funding Call

RCRC, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), and the California Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) will be hosting a conference call with Zachary Olmstead, Assistant Deputy Director of Homeless and Housing Policy at the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), on May 16, 2017 at 2:00pm.  The purpose of this call is to give county representatives an opportunity to discuss the Technical Assistance (TA) funds available through the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program.  Specifically, HCD will be discussing a proposed option for counties to forgo directly applying for the TA funds, and instead receive assists through HCD.  

Legislation signed into law last year enacted the NPLH program, which provides $2 billion in bond funding to counties for permanent supportive housing of homeless persons experiencing serious mental illness.  The program will provide funding to all counties through three different funding paths: Competitive, Over-the-Counter, and Technical Assistance.  The TA fund has $6.2 million available to counties to help in the grant application process and to assist counties in meeting other program requirements such as developing a homeless plan and collecting data.  The amount of the TA Grant awards will vary by county, based on population.  Counties must apply for funds by the application deadline of September 30, 2017, to qualify for a grant.

If you are interested in participating in the call, please contact Elizabeth Marsolais at emarsolais@counties.org.

Sierra Fund Holds Fourth Biennial Conference – Reclaiming the Sierra 2017: Headwater Resiliency

Earlier this week, the Sierra Fund, which addresses the legacy impacts of the Gold Rush on California’s landscape and people, held its fourth biennial conference at California State University at Sacramento (CSUS).  The conference program explored research and policy opportunities to generate multiple benefits for the region – from improved water quality and water storage systems, to ecosystem restoration that leads to improved habitat and environmentally healthy communities and forests.  

On Monday, RCRC Regulatory Affairs Advocate Mary Pitto joined Bill Craven, Chief Consultant, Senate Natural Resources Committee, Pat Perez, Supervisor of Mine Reclamation, Division of Mine Reclamation (DMR), and Michael Smith, Aggregate Resources Development Manager, Teichert Materials, in a panel discussion on the development of regulations and programs as a result of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act reform legislation passed in 2016 (Assembly Bill 1142 (Gray) and Senate Bill 209 (Pavley)).  The panel summarized the legislative changes and regulatory process, and discussed the impacts, priorities, challenges, and opportunities of the new regulations on the mining industry, lead agencies, and DMR. 

Congressional Outdoor Recreation Caucus

This week, thirty-two Members of Congress joined a newly-formed Outdoor Recreation Caucus.  The Caucus aims to promote the economic contributions of the recreational industry, encourage active outdoor lifestyles, and raise awareness to needs of wildfire funding and recreational infrastructure.  

The Caucus is chaired in the House by Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Mike Simpson (R-ID), and in the Senate by Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Jim Risch (R-ID).  California Representatives Jared Huffman, Mike Thompson, and Salud Carbajal are also members of the Caucus.

Senate EPW Committee Continues Work on ESA Reform

This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee continued an investigation into reforming the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with a hearing focused on the role of state fish and wildlife agencies under the ESA.  Notably, the hearing was cut short when Senate Democrats invoked a rarely used procedural maneuver on the Senate floor that limited the Senate’s business schedule for the day.  The move came in reaction to the firing of FBI Director James Comey.  

Democratic Senators were also notably absent from the hearing because the hearing time conflicted with an all-member caucus meeting to discuss the firing of Comey, which left only Republican Senators at the dais to question witnesses.  The brief hearing focused on state-driven ideas to improve, refocus, and modernize the ESA.  Specifically, witnesses testified on the need to strengthen the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) mandate to coordinate with state officials to the “maximum extent practicable,” as directed under Section 6 of the ESA.  USFWS is directed to coordinate with state agencies on the development of habitat conservation for listed species, a directive that witnesses said is interrupted in different ways throughout the regional and local offices of the agency.  The witnesses, all of whom were from state fish and wildlife agencies, also testified that state agency capacity for species management has grown considerably since the ESA was enacted in 1973, and thus should be given more control in the process.  Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) has committed to moving a reform bill through the Committee this year, however, he admitted the Committee still has work to do before a draft bill could be released.

CALLING ALL LOCAL BUSINESSES: Mother Lode Regional Trade Services Workshop Announced

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), in partnership with the Northern California Regional Center for International Trade Development and Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority, announced a Rural Trade Workshop to be held in Tuolumne County on June 7, 2017.  

The purpose of the workshop is to help local businesses learn how to expand their markets by teaching the basics of starting or enhancing opportunities to export products and services to the global marketplace.  The workshop provides a high-level overview of the exporting process, outlines the “need to knows,” highlights the resources and funding available to businesses new to exporting, and details ways to enhance exporting opportunities for businesses that are already exporting.

Learn from successful local businesses, industry experts, and international trade experts about the myriad resources available to small and medium sized businesses in California’s Mother Lode region.  The workshop will be held at the Best Western Plus Sonora Oaks Hotel & Conference Center.  Detailed information can be accessed here.  For further information, please contact Terrance Rodgers, RCRC Economic Development Officer, at Trodgers@rcrcnet.org

Showcasing Rural Life: RCRC Seeking Local Photography for Instagram Account

We invite you to get out your camera and capture life in rural California by showcasing the beautiful landscape and scenery in your communities.  It might be a scenic waterway, wildlife, livestock, barns, snowy landscapes, seasons, farm and ranch photos – we’d love to see your photos and feature them on our Instagram!  

All photographs must be the original work of the participant, or must have the photographer’s written permission. By submitting a photo, you give RCRC the right to use the photo on our website or in future newsletters and publications.

Pictures can be emailed to Santinia Pasquini at spasquini@rcrcnet.org.  Please include a description of your photo. 

KEEPING UP

Georgeanne Croskey, 38, of Willits, has been appointed to represent the third district on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.  Croskey has been a veterinarian at Mendocino Equine and Livestock since 2012.  She was an extern at the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center from 2008 to 2010, veterinary assistant at the Paws Inn Animal Hospital from 2005 to 2006, and a captain in the U.S. Air Force from 2000 to 2005.  She earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ohio State University.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $61,200.  Croskey is registered without party preference.

BULLETIN BOARD

LAO Report: Overview of Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

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Visit California Releases Tourism Industry Economic Report

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Comments Being Accepted on Draft PSP for Funding of Groundwater Sustainability

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Seminar: Enhancing Groundwater Recharge with Stormwater

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CDFA Announces Funding for Dairy Digester Development Program

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Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Immediate Needs Funding for 2016 and 2017 Winter Storm Events

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Assembly Bill 148 (Mathis): California Physician Corps Program: Practice Setting.  Assembly Bill 148 would revise the definition of “practice setting”, outlined within OSHPDs guidelines for the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program (Program), and lower the threshold from 50% to 30% of patients in rural areas.  The Program provides financial incentives to physicians and surgeons who agree to practice in a medically underserved area.  Status: AB 148 awaits action in the Senate.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 196 (Bigelow): Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Water Supply. Assembly Bill 196 would authorize the use of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds (GGRF) for water and wastewater systems if the investment furthers the regulatory purposes of the act and is consistent with law. With this bill, water supply investments, including repairs, pump and motor efficiency improvements, drinking water transmission and distribution system water loss, and wastewater systems, would be specifically eligible for funding.  Status: AB 196 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 211 (Bigelow): State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fees.  Assembly Bill 211 would require the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide an annual report to the Legislature which itemizes each expenditure on the State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Fee indefinitely.  Status: AB 211 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 255 (Gallagher): Sexually Violent Predators: Out of County Placement. Assembly Bill 255 would require the court to consider additional factors when determining the county of placement for a sexually violent predator outside the county of domicile.  Additionally, the bill would provide that if those factors do not identify a suitable county for conditional release that is not the county of domicile, the county of conditional release is the county in which the person was arrested for the crime for which he or she was last incarcerated in the state prison or from which he or she was last returned from parole.  Status: AB 255 awaits action in the Senate.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 275 (Wood): Long-Term Care Facilities: Requirements for Changes. Assembly Bill 275 would expand the notice and planning requirements that a skilled nursing facility provides before any change in the status of license or in the operation of the facility that results in its inability to care for its residents.  Status: AB 275 awaits action in the Senate.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 288 (Obernolte): State Responsibility Areas: Fire Prevention Fees.  Assembly Bill 288 would extend the period for paying a Fire Prevention Fee from 30 days to 60 days from the date of the assessment by the State Board of Equalization. Status: AB 288 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 376 (Chavez): Veteran’s Benefits: Veteran Farmers or Ranchers.  Assembly Bill 376 would require the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, in coordination with other state agencies to identify and disseminate specified information to assist veterans in entering farming or ranching careers.  Status: AB 376 awaits action in the Senate.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 425 (Caballero): Timber Harvesting Plans: Exemptions.  Assembly Bill 425 would expand the Forest Fire Prevention Pilot Project Exemption to allow the construction or reconstruction of temporary roads on slopes of 40 percent or less if certain conditions are met, including that a registered professional forester designates temporary road locations, associated class III watercourse crossings, and unstable areas, on specified maps.  Status: AB 425 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 524 (Bigelow): Personal Income Tax: Deduction: Remove Dead and Dying Trees. Assembly Bill 524 would allow a personal income tax deduction for expenses paid or incurred by a taxpayer in the taxable year in connection with the removal of a dead or dying tree on real property owned by the taxpayer. Status: AB 524 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  Status: Support

Assembly Bill 583 (Wood): Emergency Medical Air Transportation.  Assembly Bill 583 would extend the dates of the Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act, so that the assessment of the penalties will terminate commencing January 1, 2028, and any monies unexpended and unencumbered in the Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act Fund on June 30, 2029, will transfer to the General Fund.  The bill would extend the operation of the Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act until January 1, 2030.  Status: AB 583 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 560 (Salas): State Drinking Water Revolving Fund. Assembly Bill 560 would require the State Water Resources Control Board to provide a range of financing options to water system projects that serve severely disadvantaged communities. Status: AB 560 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 771 (Quirk): Burning of Forest Lands: Forest Land Owners.  Assembly Bill 771 would require CalFIRE, in consultation with the Air Resources Board, to develop a page on its website that provides pertinent information on prescribed burn regulations.  This measure would also require the department to develop a uniform prescribed burn template that would provide information regarding best management practices associated with the planning and implementation of a prescribed burn.  Status: AB 771 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 851 (Caballero): Local Agency Design-Build Projects. Assembly Bill 851 would allow the use of design-build for water supply, flood and fire protection facilities as well as habitat restoration projects. Status: AB 851 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 890 (Medina): Local Land Use Initiatives. Assembly 890 would require an environmental review of all proposed local initiatives. Status: AB 890 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 907 (Garcia, E.): Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands. Assembly Bill 907 would establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands to help direct additional attention to tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities. Status: AB 907 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 920 (Aguiar-Curry): California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.  Assembly Bill 920 would require, for the compliance period ending December 31, 2024, and for each compliance period thereafter, that not less than 20% of the electricity products procured by a retail seller through renewable energy resource contracts executed on or after June 1, 2010, are for renewable baseload generation, as defined, and meet a specified product content requirement.  Status: AB 920 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 947 (Gallagher): Streambed Alteration Agreements. Assembly Bill 947 would help ensure consistency in the enforcement of the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s streambed alteration program. Status: AB 947 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 975 (Friedman): Wild and Scenic Rivers. Assembly Bill 975 would expand the area protected in the state’s Wild & Scenic Rivers System from immediately adjacent to the affected river segment to one-quarter of a mile, including both public and private lands. Status: AB 975 awaits action in the Assembly. RCRC Position:  Oppose

Assembly Bill 1066 (Aguiar-Curry): Public Works: Definition.  Assembly Bill 1066 which would revise the definition of the term “demolition” as it relates to public works to include tree removal for the purposes of payment of prevailing wages. Status: AB 1066 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Concerns

Assembly Bill 1342 (Flora): Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Appropriation. Assembly Bill 1342 would appropriate money from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for healthy forest programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions causes by uncontrolled wildfires. Status: AB 1342 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1414 (Friedman): Solar Energy System Permits. Assembly Bill 1414 would set a hard cap on permitting fees for solar installations. Status: AB 1414 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 1433 (Wood): Climate Adaptation and Resilience Based on Nature.  Assembly Bill 1433 would create the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Based on Nature Account in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Status: AB 1433 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support if Amended

Assembly Bill 1667 (Friedman): Agricultural Water Management. Assembly Bill 1667 would make permanent agricultural water conservation criteria established as part of the Governor’s response to the drought. Status: AB 1667 awaits action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose unless amended

Senate Bill 9 (Gaines): State Responsibility Areas: Fires Prevention Fees.  Senate Bill 9 would repeal the imposition of State Responsibility Area fees upon structure owners.  Status: SB 9 awaits action in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 58 (McGuire): Payments in Lieu of Taxes. Senate Bill 58 would restore the requirement that the Department of Fish & Wildlife pay the annual payments-in-lieu of taxes on state-owned wildlife management areas. Status: SB 58 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 187 (Berryhill): Sport Fishing Licenses. Senate Bill 187 would revise the duration of sport fishing licenses to twelve consecutive months. Status: SB 187 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 188 (Jackson): Emergency Management Assistance Compact.  Senate Bill 188 would extend the sunset date of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.  Status: SB 188 awaits action in the Assembly. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 222 (Hernandez): Inmates: Health Care Enrollment. Senate Bill 222 will extend the suspension of Medi-Cal benefits to incarcerated individuals until they are released, regardless of the length of their incarceration time.  Status: SB 222 awaits action in the Senate.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 224 (Jackson): California Environmental Quality Act. Senate Bill 224 would require changes to the California Environmental Quality Act guidelines when determining baseline conditions resulting from emergency actions. Status: SB 224 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose unless amended

Senate Bill 252 (Dodd): Well Permits. Senate Bill 252 would require well applicants in critically over-drafted basins to submit to the city or county additional information as well as provide for a notice and comment period. Status: SB 252 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose unless amended

Senate Bill 276 (Dodd) State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program. Senate Bill 276 would codify the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program within the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Status: SB 276 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 339 (Roth): Veterans Treatment Courts: Judicial Council Assessment.  Senate Bill 339 would require the Judicial Council to report to the Legislature on a study of veterans and veterans treatment courts that includes a statewide assessment, as specified, of veterans treatment courts currently in operation and a survey of counties that do not operate veterans treatment courts that identifies barriers to program implementation and assesses the need for veterans treatment courts in those counties, if funds are received for that purpose.  Status: SB 339 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 563 (Lara): Residential Wood Smoke.  Senate Bill 563 would establish the Woodsmoke Reduction Program to replace old wood-burning stoves with cleaner and more efficient alternatives. Status: SB 563 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 506 (Nielsen): Streambed Alteration Agreements.  Senate Bill 506 would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to update its Website to provide more useful information to landowners regarding streambed alteration agreements. Status: SB 506 awaits action in the Assembly Rules Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 577 (Dodd): Public Postsecondary Education: Community College.  Senate Bill 577 would allow community college districts to offer a teacher credentialing program. Status: SB 563 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 708 (Skinner): Supplemental Security Income & CalFresh: Pre-enrollment.  Senate Bill 708 would require the State Department of Social Services, on or before March 31, 2018, to request a waiver to allow for the pre-enrollment of otherwise eligible applicants to the CalFresh program up to one month prior to the applicant’s reentry into the community from a county jail or state prison.  Status: SB 708 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

REGULATORY UPDATE

Draft Report Safeguarding California Plan:  2017 Update – California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy.  The Safeguarding California Plan: 2017 Update identifies overarching strategies for climate change adaptation.  The document outlines ongoing actions and cost-effective and achievable steps to make California more resilient to climate change across ten different policy areas: agriculture, biodiversity and habitat, forests, ocean and coast, water, emergency management, energy, land use and community development, public health, and transportation.  Agency: Natural Resources Agency Status: The draft was released on May 8, 2017.  Six public meetings are planned in May and June. The final version incorporating public comments is scheduled for release in July 2017.  The draft update and scheduled public meeting details can be accessed here.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Staci Heaton sheaton@rcrcnet.org or Mary Pitto mpitto@rcrcnet.org

Draft 2017 Update to the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP).  The CVFPP is a long-range plan for improving flood risk management in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river Basins.  The plan provides a comprehensive framework for system-wide management and flood risk reduction planning and is required to update every five years.  This first update refines the overall near and long-term investment needs established in the CVFPP, and includes recommendations on policies and financing that support comprehensive flood risk management actions locally, regionally, and system-wide.  Agency: Department of Water Resources Status: The draft was released on December 30, 2016, with comments due by March 31, 2017.  Five public outreach hearings were held in February and March 2017 throughout the Central Valley.  The CVFP Board held two workshops in April 2017 and will be holding three additional workshops in May and June 2017.  The draft update, draft Supplemental Program EIS, and scheduled workshop details can be accessed hereRCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto mpitto@rcrcnet.org