CALED has engaged on multiple legislative and policy related issues in 2021, including actively proposing amendments to resolve issues on several bills, and supporting and opposing legislation. Major areas of focus include:
- CDBG (CARES Act) for Small Communities: CALED has been working to assist 160 small “non entitlement” jurisdictions get access to federal COVID relief funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law in March, 2020. Most large “entitlement” communities have already received and spent these funds, but smaller communities have received nothing, due to delays at the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). For months, CALED has repeatedly raised concerns over this issue with Administration officials. Finally, some progress has recently been made. CALED appreciates the assistance of Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes, Chair of the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee (JEDE), and her staff for helping pressure HCD to release these funds.
- SB 780: Tax Increment Financing: CALED sponsored SB 780 (Cortese), which contains a variety of improvements recommended by CALED economic development practitioners to Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts (EIFDs) and Community Revitalization Investment Authorities (CRIAS). Improvements for EIFDs include clarifying the appointment of alternates, allowing for consolidated notices, allowing project areas and streamlining the amendment process for adopted plans. Major changes to CRIAs are also included to remove previous concerns associated with financing and the protest process, and expanding areas where these agencies can be established to include sites deemed suitable for housing development and parcels zoned to allow transit priority projects. CALED engaged in significant negotiations with various stakeholders to resolve language issues. The bill has passed two committees unanimously, and is pending passage on the Senate Floor.
- AB 106: Funding for Regional Collaborative Discussions: CALED engaged in multiple discussions with both the sponsors and staff to the Assembly JEDE Committee over the language in AB 106 (Salas), sponsored by California Forward. The bill proposes a program to fund regional collaborative discussions. Among CALED’s concerns with earlier versions were ensuring that affected local agencies were involved in discussions of regional issues, the focus was consensus-based solutions, and broadening eligibility of applicants for this funding. The bill was amended several times since its introduction; CALED is now Neutral on the bill in its current form. CALED encourages agencies that may be interested in this program to review the bill.