fbpx

September California Legislative Update

On September 10, 2021 at 9:00PM, the Senate and Assembly adjourned session for the year and are not scheduled to return to the Capitol until January 3, 2022. This end of session was far less exciting than in prior years, partially because of the 72-hour in print rule, and partially because some issues were punted to next year, including highspeed rail.

A high-profile proposal from Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) mandating employee vaccinations and requiring proof of vaccination in indoor public places such as restaurants and movie theaters was quickly introduced and shelved, and several controversial public safety measures were put off until 2022.

Below is a summary of key legislation moving through the California State Legislature

CA Legislative Update September 2021

How Monroe County Executed Its Paperless Initiative

Monroe County was established in 1821 and the amount of papers that was accumulating from the span of 200 years was exponential…leading the County to embark on the Paperless Initiative. Today we’re going to discuss what drove the county to venture towards this initiative and the steps they’re taking to achieve it.

powered by Sounder

As the County Archivist, Kelly Smith , is responsible for managing the long-term storage and preservation of official records and ensuring that the public has access to them.

Together we discussed:

  • The situation storing 200 years worth of paper.
  • Top factors to consider when looking for a vendor to help go paperless.
  • Understanding state record retention rules
  • Workflow for digitizing a large collection of records
  • Changes in storing, and retrieving documents.

This discussion was taken from our show Local Government Insights. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple, and all your other favorite podcast platforms. Take a moment listen on your favorite platform. We would appreciate your reviews and feedback as we continue to release upcoming episodes.

COVID Impact on Tourism Leads to Investment Opportunity

If you work in government in a tourism town, the pandemic was a nightmare come true.

powered by Sounder

But what happens when the tourists don’t stop coming?

That’s exactly the situation Jess Knudson, a City Manager from Lake Havasu, AZ, found himself in last year. He joined the show to share how he tackled the issue.

We discuss:

  • The initial dropoff and later surge of tourism in Lake Havasu
  • How Jess helped navigate budgeting and allocating resources to tackle the problem
  • The challenge of navigating government financial support in the wake of the pandemic
This discussion with Jess Knudson was taken from our show Local Government Insights: Modernizing Government Leadership. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

 

If you don’t use Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you can find every episode here.

How Florence, Alabama Found Millions in Sales Tax Revenue

With just over 40,000 residents, Florence is Alabama’s 11th largest city. Home to the University of North Alabama, this vibrant and welcoming town also hosts the state’s most popular renaissance festival, held annually each October.

powered by Sounder
Bob Leyde, beloved City Clerk for the City of Florence, Alabama, is a pillar of the local community as well as a talented and innovative administrator. He wisely utilized Avenu’s vast capabilities to generate up-to-the-minute analytics for more accurate projections of sales tax revenue during the COVID pandemic and increase the efficiency of his administration staff.
Here’s a sneak peek:
  • Detailed reporting helped Bob overcome budgeting challenges and increase compliance.
  • Accurate and real-time information about current business opportunities and revenue collection is crucial to his decision-making process.
  • Avenu streamlined the city’s tax administration with a laser-focused audit process.
  • Bob encourages leaders of cities of any size to see how Avenu’s technology can optimize operations and maximize revenue generation.

This discussion was taken from our show Local Government Insights. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple, and all your other favorite podcast platforms. Take a moment listen on your favorite platform. We would appreciate your reviews and feedback as we continue to release upcoming episodes.

July California Legislative Update

In recent weeks, the state legislature has been working actively on their state budget proposals and to meet the statutory deadlines to move bills from their house of origin to the other house by the June 4th deadline. On May 19th, the Speaker Pro Tempore Toni Atkins announced that each legislator would be limited to sending 12 bills to the opposite house. Some bills may be excluded from this requirement if they are being proposed to be implemented immediately. Below is a summary of key legislation moving through the California State Legislature

Read the full July Legislative Update here.

July California Budget Update

The Administration and Legislature are nearing final agreement on the Budget Act of 2021. The Legislature sent SB 129 to the governor on June 29 amending the Budget Act of 2021 (AB 128). AB 128 contains the Legislature’s Budget which the governor signed; however, the bulk of the final budget agreement is contained in SB 129. This is the first time in ten years that the actual budget agreement was not signed on or by June 30.

Read the full July Budget Update here.

COVID-19 Impact on Kalamazoo County, MI with Thomas Whitener

Thomas Whitener recently unseated a 13-year incumbent in a tight election that was fueled by promises of change and cultural shift that was highly sought after across the county. Thomas is licensed Real Estate Agent, entrepreneur, and former interactive systems and balance designer who is making a big impact on Kalamazoo County. He has built his career on openness and transparency and plans to establish a culture of accountability and fairness to all constituents.

powered by Sounder
Thomas joined us to discuss many of the challenges that local government leaders are facing and highlight some of the best insights across the industry.
Here’s a sneak peek of the episode:
  • What it was like to run a people focused campaign during the pandemic
  • The roles and responsibilities of county treasurer
  • The Delinquent Tax Responsibility and how that was affected by COVID
  • Resources that helped constituents avoid foreclosure
  • Budget shortfalls
  • What recovery look like for Kalamazoo County as we climb out of the pandemic

This discussion was taken from our show Local Government Insights. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple, and all your other favorite podcast platforms. Take a moment listen on your favorite platform. We would appreciate your reviews and feedback as we continue to release upcoming episodes.

CA SB 156 Summary – Broadband

SB 156 provides the statutory framework to implement the broadband provisions contained in the 2021 budget package. This bill contains necessary statutory changes to implement the broadband provisions included in the 2021-22 budget package. Funding for this bill is included in SB 129 (Skinner) and AB 164 Ting/SB 164 (Skinner) which amend the 2021 Budget Act AB 128 (Ting, Chapter 21, Statutes of 2021).

Read a detailed analysis of the provisions of the bill here.

COVID-19 Impact on City of Eastvale, CA: The City That Never Stopped

Bryan Jones was appointed as the City Manager of Eastvale, CA in 2018. Under his leadership the city has risen to new heights and become one of the Top 20 Best Places to Live in the country.

powered by Sounder

In recent months amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Eastvale has seen immense growth across various industries including:

    • 32.26% increase in new business applications and renewals
    • 5.95% increase in property taxes
    • 7.69% increase in sales & use tax
    • 6.49 % increase in franchise fees

Learn the principles that made this city a success story during COVID!

This discussion was taken from our show Local Government Insights. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple, and all your other favorite podcast platforms. Take a moment listen on your favorite platform. We would appreciate your reviews and feedback as we continue to release upcoming episodes.

What the American Rescue Plan Means For State and Local Governments

The COVID-19 public health crisis and resulting economic crisis have put state and local governments under unprecedented strain. The American Rescue Plan provides $350 billion in emergency funding to eligible state, local, territorial and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and bring back jobs.

State and local governments across America have been under a tremendous strain in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, and while the need for services has increased, state and local revenues have plummeted as a result of the economic fallout from the crisis.

Who Will Receive Funding

According to specific guidance released by the U.S. Department of Treasury on May 10, 2021, the State and Local COVID Fiscal Recovery Fund will be made available as follows:

States

The state funding portion is approximately $195 billion, with $25.5 billion distributed equally among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the remaining amount distributed according to a formula based on unemployment. You can read more on allowable uses and limitations from the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers ARP Analysis.

Counties

The bill includes $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America, as well as other crucial investments in local communities, including $1.5 billion over two years for public lands counties. Specific county-level estimates can be found through the National Association of Counties interactive search table.

Cities

The bill includes approximately $45.57 billion in funding that is available directly to metropolitan cities with a population of 50,000 and $19.53 billion will be administered to cities, towns, and villages with populations fewer than 50,000 (These funds will be directed to each state for further redistribution based on a per-capita formula established by the U.S. Treasury within 30 days). More information can be found at the National League of Cities

When & How Funding Should Be Used

Localities will receive the funds in two tranches – the first, after the U.S. Treasury certifies the proceeds to each jurisdiction and the second, one year later. Funding must be spent by the end of calendar year 2024.

States and local governments will enjoy significant flexibility to allocate funds for the following “eligible uses”:

  1. Supporting public health expenditures, by providing resources for COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health staff
  2. Addressing negative economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 crisis, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector
  3. Investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure to improve access to clean drinking water and to expand access to broadband internet.
  4. Replacing lost public sector revenue to secure government services despite the reduction in public revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  5. Providing premium pay for essential workers, such as public health and safety staff

Considerations for ARPA Expenditures

ARPA funds are non-recurring and should be applied primarily to non-recurring expenditures.

  • Care should be taken to avoid creating new programs or add-ons to existing programs that require an ongoing financial commitment.
  • Replenishing reserves used to offset revenue declines during the pandemic should be given high priority to rebuild financial flexibility/stability and restore fiscal resiliency.
  • Use of ARPA funds to cover operating deficits caused by COVID-19 should be considered temporary and additional budget restraint may be necessary to achieve/maintain structural balance in future budgets.
  • Investment in critical infrastructure is a particularly well-suited use of ARPA funds because it is a non-recurring expenditure that can be targeted to strategically important long- term assets that provide benefits over many years. However, care should be taken to assess any on-going operating costs that may be associated with the project.

Now is the time to collaborate, listen to your citizens, think about the future, and make investments that will create a sustainable future. Avenu is committed to providing a customized approach to helping governments manage ARPA funding and determining an investment strategy. Contact us today!