The Barbed Wire - May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017
Rural Disadvantaged Communities Continue to be Ignored
Governor Reverses Funding Cut to FFA
Senate Appropriations Committee Holds RCRC-Sponsored State PILT Legislation
SB 844 Jail Construction Grant Funding in Jeopardy
Bill Redirecting Utility Fines from Butte Fire Flies out of Assembly Committee
Tulare County Hosts NPLH Workshop
Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon Testifies Before Congress
President Trump Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
Showcasing Rural Life: RCRC Seeking Local Photography for Instagram Account
KEEPING UP
BULLETIN BOARD
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
REGULATORY UPDATE

Rural Disadvantaged Communities Continue to be Ignored

Bob Williams

Tehama County Supervisor

Chair, Rural County Representatives of California

We’ve entered a new legislative session, and have welcomed many new legislators to Sacramento.  Many of these leaders come with a desire to address the very real needs of some of our poorest, most impoverished citizens.  Unfortunately, in their zeal, one key group is often overlooked – California’s rural, disadvantaged communities.  Read More…

Governor Reverses Funding Cut to FFA

Last Friday, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross released a statement committing to the ongoing funding of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through the California Department of Education (CDE), which includes the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program.  This commitment comes in response to an upwelling of concerns regarding the Governor’s Budget proposal redirecting $15.4 million in funding away from these programs.  This week, both the Assembly and Senate Budget subcommittees concurred with the Administration’s commitment by restoring CTE funding in their respective proposals.

Senate Bill 1070  (Chapter 433, Statutes of 2012) reauthorized the Career Technical Education Pathways program and allocated $48 million to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, of which  $15.4 million is directed annually to CDE for a variety of CTE programs.  Approximately 10 percent of the $15.4 million is provided through grants to Career Technical Student Organizations such as FFA.  The Governor’s proposed Budget redirected the funds from CDE to the Community Colleges Strong Workforce Program, eliminating approximately $250,000 annually to FFA, and several million to California Partnership Academy Programs.

Letters from legislators requesting funding restoration can be found here and here.

Senate Appropriations Committee Holds RCRC-Sponsored State PILT Legislation

This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee held Senate Bill 58, authored by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), related to State Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).  Sponsored by RCRC, SB 58 proposed an amendment to the Fish and Game Code restoring the mandatory nature of State PILT payments.

The 2015-16 State Budget Package changed the Fish and Game Code Section 1504 to make future State PILT payments permissive by changing ‘shall’ pay annually to ‘may’ pay annually.  SB 58 was introduced to return ‘may’ back to ‘shall’, effective January 1, 2019.

RCRC will continue to look for opportunities to address this issue even as we support the Governor’s proposed State PILT appropriation of $644,000 to the 2016-18 fiscal year.  RCRC’s ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of State PILT can be accessed in the Hot Issues section of RCRC’s website. 

SB 844 Jail Construction Grant Funding in Jeopardy

This week, the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee voted to redirect $85 million in Senate Bill 844 bond authority from local jail facilities to the Health Care Facilities Financing Authority in order to provide funding to counties for mental health infrastructure projects.  Specifically, $68 million is dedicated for community mental health infrastructure grants, and $17 million is provided for children’s crisis capacity infrastructure grants.  This redirection would have significant impacts on several RCRC-member counties who have undertaken the process of securing jail construction monies under the SB 844 process. 

In fact, last week the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Executive Steering Committee approved conditional jail awards – including six full and one partial small county award - (click here), and the full BSCC Board is expected to consider the funding recommendations at their June 8, 2017 meeting. 

The redirection of this funding will undoubtedly reduce resources to small counties for jail construction projects, and it is unclear, assuming adoption into the final state budget package, how this proposed redirection will be implemented.  The SB 844 program commits $150 million of the $250 million available for small counties.  Of the 20 counties eligible for funding, 14 are RCRC-member counties.  The most recent round of jail construction funding targeted counties that have received either no previous funding or partial funding to support their local detention facility needs. 

RCRC’s Opposition letter to the Senate Budget Committee’s action can be accessed here.  RCRC remains opposed to any effort that would reduce the available resources to counties for local jail construction efforts.

Bill Redirecting Utility Fines from Butte Fire Flies out of Assembly Committee

On Monday, Assembly Bill 524, a measure by Assembly Member Frank Bigelow to aid with fire prevention and tree mortality efforts, passed unanimously out of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee with no debate or hesitation from the Committee.  The bill, which was amended in Committee, will redirect fines paid by Pacific Gas & Electric for their culpability in the devastating 2015 Butte Fire to the State Responsibility Area Fund and the Tree Mortality Grant Program for use in much needed fire prevention and tree mortality mitigation projects.

The bill contains an urgency clause, which requires 2/3 approval, but will make it effective upon the Governor’s signature.  The bill now awaits hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Tulare County Hosts NPLH Workshop

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) held its last No Place Like Home (NPLH) program workshop on May 22, 2017 in Visalia.  This public workshop was one of four held around the state to discuss the revised program guidelines released by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) April 28, 2017.  This framework document outlines the policies and processes for implementation of all aspects of the program, such as how money will be dispersed to applicants.  A number of revisions have been made to the original guidelines released in December of 2016 based on feedback from multiple workshops held earlier in the year.

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.  Specifically, the program will provide funding to all counties through three different funding paths: Competitive, Over-the-Counter, and Technical Assistance.  NPLH will be funded through a portion of Mental Health Services Act funding, also referred to as Prop 63 funding, which is funded through a 1 percent tax on personal incomes above $1 million. 

The public comment period for the draft guidelines will end May 30, 2017.

Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon Testifies Before Congress

On Wednesday morning, Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations regarding the need to reform the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.  The Subcommittee hearing was focused on federal lands policy that the Committee believes has strayed from the policy’s original intent including the Wilderness Act, the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act, and the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). 

Supervisor Dillon’s testimony focused on the need to reform the IRA, specifically the process under which land is taken into trust for the benefit of tribal governments.  Subcommittee members were receptive to the testimony.  Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, argued the fundamental issue that tied the three pieces of legislation together was the federal government’s disregard for the thoughts and concerns of the local governments affected by their regulation.

President Trump Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

This week, President Trump released his fiscal year (FY) 2018 Budget.  The Budget proposes $4.1 trillion in spending, including a $54 billion increase in base discretionary defense spending in 2018 offset by a similar cut in nondefense discretionary spending.  The Budget also included $396.9 million for Federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), no additional funding for Secure Rural Schools (SRS), and a blueprint for a $1 trillion infrastructure investment funded through a combination of $200 billion of new federal funding, incentivized non-federal funding, and newly prioritized and expedited projects. 

While the Budget request does not contain a lot of details on the plan, it does provide a list of key principles the Administration will focus on in the infrastructure proposal, including:

  • making targeted federal investments;
  • encouraging self-help communities;
  • aligning infrastructure investment with entities best suited to provide sustained and efficient investment; and,
  • leveraging the private sector. 

Soon after the release of the Budget, Republicans and Democrats both stated federal funding in FY 2018 will look very different from President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget.

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

Patrick Wallner, 55, of Redding, has been reappointed to the 27th District Agricultural Association, Shasta District Fair Board of Directors, where he has served since 2001. Wallner has been president at Wallner Plumbing Co. since 1987. He was an expeditor at the Voorwood Company from 1984 to 1987. Wallner is president of the National Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association and a member of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Redding East Rotary Club, Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Pacific District Exchange Clubs. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Wallner is a Democrat. 

Victor Woolery, 71, of Cottonwood, has been reappointed to the 27th District Agricultural Association, Shasta District Fair Board of Directors, where he has served since 2006. Woolery was a manager at Vic’s Branding Iron from 2004 to 2013, president at Woolery Livestock Transportation from 1969 to 2004 and a teacher at Los Molinos Unified School District from 1969 to 1972. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Woolery is a Republican.

Tana L. Coates has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.  Coates, 58, of San Luis Obispo, has been a partner at Coates and Coates LLP since 2009. She was a partner at James R. Murphy, Jr. and Tana L. Coates, A Law Corporation from 2005 to 2009 and an associate at James R. Murphy, Jr., A Law Corporation from 1991 to 2005. Coates earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Center and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Martin J. Tangeman to the Court of Appeal. Coates is a Democrat.  The compensation for this position is $191,612.

Daryl E. Kennedy and Adam B. Ryan have been appointed to judgeships in the Shasta County Superior Court.  Kennedy, 59, of Redding, has served as a commissioner at the Shasta County Superior Court since 2013, where he was general counsel from 2001 to 2013. He was a partner at Reiner, Simpson and Kennedy from 2000 to 2001, where he was an associate from 1994 to 2000, and an associate at Moss and Enochian from 1989 to 1994 and at Thelen, Marrin, Johnson and Bridges from 1986 to 1989. Kennedy earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Monica M. Marlow. Kennedy is a Democrat.

Ryan, 46, of Redding, has been a sole practitioner since 2013. He was a partner at Wright, Ryan and Anderson PLC from 2012 to 2013 and a sole practitioner from 2002 to 2012. Ryan was an associate at Sinclair and Hill in 2002 and at Moss and Enochian from 1999 to 2002. He was a sole practitioner from 1998 to 1999 and an associate at McGlynn and McGlynn from 1997 to 1998. Ryan earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Chico. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William D. Gallagher. Ryan is a Republican.  The compensation for each of these positions is $191,612.

Laura S. Woods has been appointed to a judgeship in the Tehama County Superior Court.  Woods, 53, of Cottonwood, has been a public defender at the Law Office of Laura S. Woods since 2008. She was an associate at McGlynn and Clark from 2014 to 2015 and a research attorney for the Shasta County Superior Court from 2009 to 2014 and from 2003 to 2006. Woods served as a deputy district attorney at the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office from 2006 to 2008 and from 2000 to 2003. She served as a deputy district attorney at the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office from 1996 to 2000 and was an associate at Bonne, Bridges, Mueller, O’Keefe and Nichols from 1995 to 1996. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Western State University, College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University. Woods fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John J. Garaventa. She is a Republican. The compensation for this position is $191,612.

Gregory J. Elvine-Kreis has been appointed to a judgeship in the Humboldt County Superior Court.  Elvine-Kreis, 47, of Arcata, has been supervising attorney at the Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office since 2013, where he served as a deputy public defender from 2010 to 2013. He was an associate at the Law Offices of Mark Berg from 2003 to 2010. Elvine-Kreis earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Humboldt State University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge W. Bruce Watson. Elvine-Kreis is a Democrat. The compensation for this position is $191,612.

BULLETIN BOARD

Rancho Murieta CSD Seeks General Manager

Click here

INVITE ONLY: Counties Cannabis Summit

Click here

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Support the Development of Rural Community Facilities

Click here

USDA Seeks Nominations for Forestry Research Advisory Council

Click here

Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program: Technical Workshops

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. 

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: Held 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: Passed out of 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: Held 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: Passed out of 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: Held 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: Held 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 here.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto mpitto@rcrcnet.org