As the County’s representative on the statewide California Association of Counties (CSAC) Board, I advocated for two critical initiatives.
Proposition 1, the statewide water bond recently approved by the voters, authorizes $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds over 40 years for state water supply infrastructure projects. As a member of the central coast region’s advocacy group, I worked to increase the amount of financial support from the bond dedicated to the region.
For years, the State has burdened local governments with “unfunded mandates” forcing counties and cities to provide services or enforce state laws without the necessary funding. Two examples are providing health care for handicapped students and funds for our absentee ballot programs.
CSAC has partnered with local governments as the main advocacy partner in asking the
State to relieve the financial burden caused by these mandates by reimbursing local costs. In 2014, the State finally agreed to do a partial reimbursement, with the County of Santa Cruz receiving $662,000 and hoping to get additional funds, subject to additional state appropriations.