The Barbed Wire - May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017
RCRC Adds Governmental Affairs Counsel – Newly Created Position to Support Rural Member County Advocacy Efforts
RCRC Provides Rural County Perspective at Capitol Weekly Cannabis Conference
Cap-and-Trade Heads to State Supreme Court
RCRC Testifies in Support of Funding for Flood Control Infrastructure and Repair
Looking Ahead to President Trump’s Infrastructure Initiative
Joint Informational and Oversight Hearing Held on Oroville Dam/Spillway
The State Water Board Adopts Emergency Regulation for State Intervention Fees Regarding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Showcasing Rural Life: RCRC Seeking Local Photography for Instagram Account
KEEPING UP
BULLETIN BOARD
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
REGULATORY UPDATE

RCRC Adds Governmental Affairs Counsel – Newly Created Position to Support Rural Member County Advocacy Efforts

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) recently announced the creation of a new position to enhance the advocacy group’s governmental affairs team.  Effective this week, Arthur Wylene has joined RCRC as Governmental Affairs Counsel, supporting advocacy efforts on behalf of RCRC’s 35 rural member counties.  A prominent fixture in California’s rural county government, Wylene’s background and skills will serve in helping to advance the legislative and regulatory priorities of RCRC’s membership.  Read More…

RCRC Provides Rural County Perspective at Capitol Weekly Cannabis Conference

On Thursday, Paul A. Smith, RCRC Vice President of Governmental Affairs, served on a panel titled, Regulatory Disarray: Locals vs. State vs. Feds, at Capitol Weekly’s Marijuana Conference in Sacramento.  The conference assembled a group of experts discussing the impacts of marijuana legalization – medicinal and recreational – on California.  

In addition to Mr. Smith, the panel included Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), Tim Cromartie with the League of California Cities, Joe Devlin with the City of Sacramento’s Cannabis Policy and Enforcement, and Pamela Epstein with Greenwise Consulting.

Full details on the conference can be accessed here.

Cap-and-Trade Heads to State Supreme Court

After the State’s Cap-and-Trade program was upheld in district appellate court last month, the California Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), in league with the Pacific Legal Foundation, has taken its complaint to the California Supreme Court in an effort to halt what the organization calls an illegal tax via the carbon credits auction system.  The appeal is the latest action in a four-year legal battle between the Chamber and the State over the constitutionality of requiring industries to participate in a carbon auction as a method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions without formally adopting the program by a two-thirds vote in the Legislature.  

The appeal follows recent indications from industry groups, including the Chamber, that they might be willing to support an extension of the program if it is modified to give more certainty to facilities required to participate in the auction.  Governor Brown is currently seeking an extension of Cap-and-Trade beyond its current 2020 sunset date, approved by a two-thirds vote, and several legislative proposals are making their way through committees while negotiations take place between the various interested parties.  The Governor has said he will withhold approving any allocations of Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds in the 2017-18 budget year unless the program is extended. 

RCRC Testifies in Support of Funding for Flood Control Infrastructure and Repair

This week, RCRC staff testified before the Senate Resources Budget Subcommittee in support of $100 million General Fund on an annual basis for the Department of Water Resources to perform critical and serious infrastructure repairs and reimbursements for flood control infrastructure. The proposal was put forth by Senator Jim Nielsen.  Senators Bill Dodd (D-Davis), Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), and Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) signed on to the letter circulated by Senator Neilson. The item remains open for further consideration as budget negotiations continue.

Looking Ahead to President Trump’s Infrastructure Initiative

On Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the Administration’s plans for infrastructure.  The Secretary said the White House will be issuing a set of principles in May, followed by a legislative proposal in the third quarter of the year.  Secretary Chao added the Administration’s infrastructure proposal will not include a list of projects to fund.   Secretary Chao also said the Administration will propose infrastructure financing mechanisms that take the needs of rural America into consideration.  Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-ID) and Ranking Democrat Tom Carper (D-DE) both said they were not waiting for the President.  Chairman Barrasso said the Committee is drafting its own infrastructure bill, saying they were not going to take a delay, while Senator Carper said Senate Democrats are developing their own set of principles.

Joint Informational and Oversight Hearing Held on Oroville Dam/Spillway

Last week, Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife (Chaired by Eduardo Garcia, Indio), Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources & Transportation (Chaired by Richard Bloom, Santa Monica), and Accountability & Administrative Review (Chaired by Susan Talamantes Eggman, Stockton) convened a joint informational and oversight hearing on the Oroville Dam/Spillway incident of last February.  An overview of the Oroville facility was provided by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (Rachel Ehlers) by way of background.  

The overview was followed by two panels: the first made up of John Laird, Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, Bill Croyle, Acting Director of the Department of Water Resources (DWR), and David Gutierrez, GEI Consultants and hired as a Senior Advisor to the DWR Acting Director; and the second panel included Ron Stork, Senior Policy Advocate for Friends of the River, Robert Bea, PhD, UC Berkeley Center for Catastrophic Risk, and Bill Connelly, Chair, Butte County Board of Supervisors.

Secretary Laird and Acting Director Croyle largely restated the testimony presented to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee earlier this month describing the incident in general terms, providing an update on the status of the repairs, and expressing a commitment public safety as the top priority.  Mr. Gutierrez spent the largest portion of his time speaking to the challenges of balancing safety risk against costs.  All three panelists were peppered by the Committee members with questions ranging from the efficacy of the evacuation and notification procedures to concerns over an organizational (DWR) culture that allows for deficiencies brought forward by inspections but not acted upon.  Public trust in DWR’s ability was a theme that also came forward as did questions related to the Board of Consultants* memo that was released earlier within the last week.

The second panel was given a more generous reception. While all three panel members expressed some level of disappointment and frustration at what was described as an organization suffering from cultural/institutional failings, the “meat” of the panel was presented by Dr. Bea.  His experience has been informed by system collapses such as the BP Oil Platform disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to the New Orleans levee failures resulting from Hurricane Katrina.  Based on these past events, he provided a critical assessment of the forensic work being undertaken by DWR, and suggested several areas of improvement involving a greater level of attention to the root causes of the organization’s management of the Oroville facility. Supervisor Connelly made an impassioned plea to recognize the costs to Butte County for serving as the “host” to this facility – not only as it related to February’s incident, but ongoing over the years.  He pointed to the wear-and-tear to the roads, emergency services being provided by the Sheriff’s department, and the loss of property tax revenue related to the 41,000 acres encompassed by the Oroville complex.

While the panel presentations were important to building facts of the matter, perhaps more concerning was the lack of legislators in attendance.  Together the three committees include 27 members of the Assembly, yet, only six (Messrs, Gallagher, Frazier, and Levine, in addition to the three chairs noted above) were present for all or part of the hearing, plus Senator Nielsen.  He was also present at the Senate hearing of a few weeks ago.

*The Board of Consultants is team of outside professionals brought in by DWR to provide a forensic analysis of “what went wrong.”  Their initial report to DWR regarding the incident was released May 5, 2017 and reported on by various news agencies.

The State Water Board Adopts Emergency Regulation for State Intervention Fees Regarding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

This week, the State Water Board adopted the Emergency Regulation for State Intervention Fees regarding the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which includes a schedule of fees for groundwater extraction reports, and electronic reporting requirements for groundwater extraction reports.  

In 2014, landmark water legislation – Senate Bill 1168 and Assembly Bill 1739 – was chaptered establishing SGMA, thus providing a framework for local agencies to develop plans and implement strategies to sustainably manage groundwater resources within a defined period. 

By June 30, 2017 a local agency/agencies in each high or medium priority groundwater basin must have officially formed one or more Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) for the entire basin.  By January 31, 2020 each high or medium priority groundwater basin that is subject to critical conditions of overdraft must be managed under a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), and by January 31, 2022 all remaining high or medium priority groundwater basins must be managed under a GSP with a final review by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 31, 2024.

If a local agency has not formed and submitted their GSA to the Department of Water Resources by the June 30, 2017 deadline the State Water Board can step in to protect groundwater using a process called state intervention.  

State intervention is triggered by any one of the following events:

  • July 1, 2017: Entire basin is not covered by GSA(s);
  • February 1, 2020: Basin is in critical overdraft and there is either 1) no plan or 2) the Department of Water Resources (DWR) fails the plan;
  • Feb. 1, 2022: There is either 1) no plan or 2) long-term overdraft and DWR fails the plan; and/or
  • Feb. 1, 2025: DWR fails plan and basin has significant surface water depletions.

Detailed information regarding the emergency regulation can be accessed here.

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, and Instagram account information if you have one. 

KEEPING UP

Susan Gibbs, 70, of Colusa, has been reappointed to the 44th District Agricultural Association, Colusa County Fair Board of Directors, where she has served since 2005.  Gibbs has been a membership coordinator for the Colusa Indian Community Center since 2003.  She was a manager at the Chick Montgomery Store from 1982 to 2003, a postal casual worker for the U.S. Postal Service from 1991 to 1993 and office manager for Dr. Michael Cerrutti and Dr. Rangwitt from 1980 to 1982.  Gibbs was a sales person at McBride Interiors from 1978 to 1980.  She is a member of the Garden Club of Colusa County, Colusa County Art Council and the Stagehands Community Theater Group.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Gibbs is a Republican.

Walter Seaver, 63, of Colusa, has been reappointed to the 44th District Agricultural Association, Colusa County Fair Board of Directors, where he has served since 2012.  Seaver has been a farm operations manager for the Colusa Indian Community Counsel since 2007.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Seaver is a Democrat.

Esteban Arreguin, 58, of Columbia, has been appointed to the 29th District Agricultural Association, Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors.  Arreguin has been a North American electric reliability corporation program manager for IHI Power Services Corporation since 2007.  He was a senior plant engineer at the HB Fuller Company from 1994 to 2007.  Arreguin is a member of the Foothill Pregnancy Center Board of Directors.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Arreguin is a Republican.

Ronald Hamilton, 51, of Tuolumne, has been appointed to the 29th District Agricultural Association, Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors.  Hamilton has been principal at Gold Rush Charter School since 2012.  He was a human relations instructor at Columbia College from 2009 to 2012 and workforce education coordinator at the Tuolumne County Behavioral Health Department from 2008 to 2012.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Hamilton is a Republican.

Dennis Hendricks, 68, of Tuolumne, has been appointed to the 29th District Agricultural Association, Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors.  Hendricks was a senior damage claim representative at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 1968 to 2004.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Hendricks is a Democrat.

Margaret Lee, 73, of Sonora, has been reappointed to the 29th District Agriculture Association, Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors, where she has served since 2014.  Lee was an aide at the University of California, Merced Purchasing Facilities Department from 2008 to 2013 and an executive director of the Area 12 Agency on Aging from 1993 to 2005.  She was a senior consultant to the California State Assembly’s Select Committee on Child Abuse from 1989 to 1991 and served as chief of staff in the Office of California State Assemblymember Norman Waters from 1979 to 1991, in the Office of California State Assemblymember Larry Chimbole from 1977 to 1978 and in the Office of California State Assemblymember Pauline Davis from 1974 to 1976.  Lee was an aide for the California State Senate Democratic Caucus and in the Office of California State Senator George Moscone from 1969 to 1973.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Lee is registered without party preference.

BULLETIN BOARD

Save-the-Date: Livestock, Wolves & Other Predators (Discussion & Demo)

Click here

Department of Agriculture: Rural Utilities Service: Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

Click here

CalOES Funding Opportunity: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Immediate Needs Program

Click here

USDA Announces Certification of Another Rural Business Investment Fund

Click here

LAO Report: Managing Floods in California

Click here

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

RCRC members are encouraged to share letters addressed to state and federal representatives and regulatory bodies with RCRC’s Government Affairs staff.  Click “Read More” to access information related to the current status of legislation impacting California’s rural counties.  

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 Public Safety Committee.  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 and establishes the Fire Prevention Fee Amnesty Program. 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 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 gained passage from the Assembly Floor.  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 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 Appropriations Committee.  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

RCRC members are encouraged to submit comments on regulatory matters to state and federal regulatory bodies, and to provide a copy to RCRC’s Government Affairs staff.  Click “Read More” to access information related to the current status of regulations impacting California’s rural counties.  

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