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2024 Legislative Platform

Document last updated on Monday, January 22, 2024.

Summary

Marin County’s 2024 Legislative Platform (PDF, 0.28 MB) provides the Board of Supervisors’ direction on Federal, State, and other intergovernmental legislative matters. The purpose of having an annual adopted Platform is: (1) to provide an overview of the Board’s federal and state policy priorities; and (2) to provide County Staff with the authority to act quickly on time-sensitive matters that arise throughout the year – in alignment with the adopted Platform.

Please note: items in the Legislative Platform are numbered for reference purposes only, and do not reflect a priority ranking of issues.

I. Federal Legislative Platform

A.    FEDERAL ISSUES

  1. Affordable Care Act. Protect/enhance the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including funding and coverage available for the 1 in 3 Californians enrolled in Medicaid (Medi-Cal). Marin alone has over 57,000 residents on Medi-Cal.
  2. Immigration. Support a pathway to full and equal citizenship, including protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; the rights of immigrants, including birthright citizenship; and keeping families together. Support expanding eligibility of social services (Medi-Cal, food stamps, housing vouchers, unemployment, disability benefits, etc.) to residents regardless of immigration status. Support funding for legal services to all immigrants regardless of documentation status and explore all-resident voting in local elections.
  3. Homelessness and Affordable Housing Programs. Protect/enhance funding for federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Continuum of Care and Section 8 vouchers. Support all efforts to increase Marin’s housing voucher allocation, including flexibility to reallocate underutilized vouchers from elsewhere. Support efforts to simplify rent-setting and enhance housing mobility and choice for veterans, older adults, families, and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Support greater flexibility in using federal vouchers and rapid-rehousing funds to best meet the unique needs of individuals seeking stable housing. Support efforts to streamline NEPA review for affordable housing when appropriate and feasible to ensure timely permitting of much-needed new housing.

    There are currently 2,000 households in Marin with Housing Choice Vouchers. While the Marin Housing Authority has been issued 210 new vouchers under the Biden Administration since January 2021, many more are needed. The County and Housing Authority will also need to work with federal partners for needed capital improvements and ensure tenant protections for those living in public housing, including the 650 residents of Golden Gate Village in Marin City.
  4. National, State Park and Recreation lands. Support coordinated, multi-jurisdictional frameworks in land management and regional planning, such One Tam and the Tomales Point Area Plan. Support funding for sustainable recreation; visitor services; County roads within federal and state lands; utility infrastructure; waste reduction; and other measures to mitigate impacts to adjacent West Marin communities. Explore opportunities for sustainable agriculture in parklands.
    Support protection of cultural resources from Marin’s 10,000-year history of Indigenous peoples, including tribe access to parklands and investments in public education to promote historical narratives that reflect an accurate history of Indigenous communities and lands.
  5. Cost Recovery for Local Emergency Operations: Protect/enhance federal participation from FEMA (and Cal OES) of local response activities required to ensure public safety during emergency events; including ongoing cost-recovery efforts from providing non-congregant shelter to local, at-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Support expanded federal recognition and support for climate change-enhanced emergencies such as severe winter storms, extreme heat, and other emerging disasters not currently associated with the Stafford Act, which constitutes the statutory authority for federal disaster response.

B. FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

  1. Highway 101 Multimodal Corridor. Support efforts to bring the “Marin-Sonoma Narrows” Project from Highway 37 to Petaluma to completion; the final leg broke ground in July 2022 with completion anticipated in 2026. Support planning and construction of the northbound 101 to eastbound I-580 Multimodal Access Improvement Project. Support further funding and expedited construction of major improvements to 101 exits at Marin City to reduce flooding which renders local roads inaccessible during storm and tidal events.
  2. Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART). Support funding for SMART, including its planned extension north to Cloverdale, completion of the multi-use pathway, and potential extension east to Interstate 80. 
  3. State Route 37. Support accelerated planning and construction of a State Route 37 elevated causeway “ultimate” project. The multimodal, multi-benefit sea level rise adaptation project would also include near-term measures to address congestion and flooding. These near-term measures should align with the “ultimate” project and minimize adverse environmental impacts and advance planned benefits such as wetland restoration. Support broader environmental efforts in the corridor such as around Novato Creek.
  4. Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Monitor developments related to the bicycle and pedestrian Westbound I-580 multiuse path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and partner with the Transportation Authority of Marin, Caltrans, MTC and the City of San Rafael regarding potential impacts on local roads should the third lane be opened to vehicle traffic. Support regional prioritization of improvements for the I-580 route including short-term strategies to relieve congestion and maintain multi-modal access.
  5. Public Transit. Support public transit and alternative transportation options, especially serving low-income residents with high transit needs such as students, older adults, and people living with disabilities. Ensure adequate service in targeted need areas including West Marin, Marin City, the Canal and Santa Venetia; and that transit routes provide access to recreation. Support the wide needs of a transition to electric and zero-emission bus, rail and ferry fleets, including charging and maintenance facilities.

    Support solutions to reduce vehicle traffic congestion: such as TAM’s US 101 Part-Time Transit Lane Pilot program and school bus operations. Support strategies to address operating deficits and short-term state and federal relief to keep transit agencies operational, while holding them accountable to realistic performance goals. Support construction of a new San Rafael Transit Center.
  6. Federal Infrastructure Funding. Actively pursue competitive grant opportunities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which provided $1.2 trillion for transportation and infrastructure investments and $369 billion in clean energy investments, respectively. Continue to work closely with partner agencies to identify new federal funding opportunities and submit viable applications for grant programs under these two historic pieces of legislation.

C. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS (USACE)

  1. Flood Risk Management Control. Support federal funding to advance critical USACE watershed projects include the Corte Madera Creek, Coyote Creek, Santa Venetia levee, and resolving flooding issues in Marin City.
  2. Advance sea level rise projects under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA 2020 included specific language authorizing the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to support flood protection and mitigation in the San Francisco Bay including protection against tidal flooding and sea level rise adaptation; and projects which support the local economy, habitat restoration, stormwater runoff capacity, and lessen the erosion of beaches and coast. Continue to work with USACE on a comprehensive Eastern Marin Shoreline Study.
  3. San Rafael Canal Dredging. In partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, the City of San Rafael, and community members, create a path for sustainable, long-term funding for regular dredging of the San Rafael Canal. The federal navigation channel has been fully dredged only twice in the last 25 years, both with one-time appropriations. Dredging is a vital public safety issue: San Rafael Police and Fire units are based in the channel for patrols, rescues, and residential fires; and the waterway serves as the drainage for stormwater pump stations adjacent to the densely populated and low-income Canal neighborhood.

II. State Legislative Platform

A.    STATE ISSUES

  1. Homelessness. Support a comprehensive strategy to address homelessness statewide consistent with core principles, including: 1) coordination across policy areas to build housing and serve individuals in need; 2) create a comprehensive system that recognizes the role of all levels of government and community partners working together with clear responsibilities and accountability; 3) implement long-term, sustainable policies and funding that encourage housing opportunities in every community – including disability accessible housing – and near where unsheltered and precariously-housed residents choose to live; and 4) sustainable, long-term and flexible funding for housing with wraparound services needed to keep people housed. Support streamlined permitting and approvals, including CEQA exemptions, for housing for people experiencing homelessness, such as those in place for Homekey.

    Support funding for programs that target homelessness prevention by providing the subsidies required to keep individuals and families housed, such as through Shallow Rental Subsidy programs. 
  2. Mental Health Services Act Reform. Monitor updates related to Mental Health Services Act reform (SB 326) and the proposed $6.38B general obligation bond to build new treatment beds and housing units (AB 531). Support efforts aligned with statewide associations for lower established minimums for new housing interventions and Full-Service Partnership categories and protect prevention funding – in order to allow counties to allocate their allotted funds to maintain the most locally critical behavioral health services, especially those targeted at underserved populations.
  3. CARE (Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment) Court. Support additional funding to local governments and greater flexibility for the administration and services mandated by the CARE Act, the new state civil court framework for individuals with untreated schizophrenia and psychotic spectrum disorders. Monitor ongoing implementation in Phase 1 counties and state guidance to ensure success in Marin in 2024. 
  4. Affordable Housing. Support assistance to finance affordable housing preservation, rehabilitation, development and/or conversion; and ongoing operating subsidies needed to serve extremely low-income households. Under the Regional Housing Need Allocations (RHNA) process, unincorporated Marin has been assigned 3,569 units, which represents 25% of the 14,405 units allocated to Marin including 11 cities and towns. The new State-approved Housing Element identifies possible sites for more than 5,200 possible residences to ensure the County’s goals are met. Support efforts to use surplus publicly owned lands – by the state, county, or schools – to create more affordable workforce housing for local school, healthcare, and municipal employees. Support accessibly designed housing for those living with disabilities and/or older adults.
  5. Richardson’s Bay Habitat Restoration. Support Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency (RBRA) efforts to restore eelgrass habitat and maintain clean water; and alleviate the public safety and access concerns caused by vessels anchored in Richardson’s Bay. Those living on and formerly living on anchor outs require housing assistance and supportive services to successfully transition.
  6. Water Conservation and Drought Resilience. Support efforts to reduce non-essential drinking water use and expand the availability of reclaimed water (e.g., “purple pipes”) – especially at the County’s largest water-using sites. Support efforts to enhance the resiliency of Marin’s drinking water infrastructure, and multi-jurisdictional efforts to expand storage and/or supply to West Marin to address rural water shortages and provide assistance to farmers and ranchers. Despite the 2022-2023 winter, Marin’s organic dairy ranchers continue to face lingering steep increases in feed and other costs from prior year droughts.
  7. Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS). Support efforts to enhance partnerships with PG&E to ensure community lifelines can be maintained during power outages, PSPS and EPSS events. Such events must be regulated to ensure a balance of utility risk mitigation with adequate notice to local governments, emergency managers and residents for the protection of vulnerable customers and critical facilities, particularly in areas with poor cellular networks. Support efforts to require utility companies to strengthen the reliability and resiliency of the existing energy grid to be better prepared for extreme weather events; and efforts to build resilience centers in areas disproportionately impacted by outages. To the extent feasible, support deployment of grid technology that will enable public service agencies to maintain power during shutoff events.
  8. Telecommunications Redundancy/Backup. Support efforts to establish resiliency plans for telecom providers to ensure that cellular service is maintained for at least 72 hours during electrical outages. Alternative solutions to ensure landline service is retained in areas with poor cell service remain necessary during outage events.
  9. Response to Climate Change. Support efforts and investments in greenhouse gas emission reductions. Support public/private partnerships, incentives and investment for clean energy, clean transportation and agricultural conservation efforts including carbon mitigation/sequestration. Support efforts to decarbonize the built environment, including all-electric new construction and funding for retrofitting gas appliances with high-efficiency electric units. 
  10. Sea Level Rise Adaptation, Mitigation and Resiliency. Seek funding and work with partners to enhance protections and adaptations of low-lying areas to sea level rise, and managed retreat where alternative mitigations are not feasible. With over 70 miles of coastal and 40 miles of bay shoreline, Marin County is one of the most vulnerable counties to sea level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both nature-based and man-made solutions are needed, such as wetland restoration and levee and floodwall construction/enhancement. Support “cutting the green tape” efforts for environmentally beneficial projects.
  11. Streamlining Emergency Work. Support making permanent the authorizations by the Governor in response to the 2022-2023 storms which gave jurisdictions streamlined permitting approval to clear debris and perform emergency repairs to critical infrastructure. Ensure emergency allowances include a path to obtain permanent permitting after-the-fact.
  12. Child Welfare and Foster Children and Families. Support legislation to improve the Child Welfare System, including strengthened collaboration with County services and enhanced services to meet the needs of foster children and their families/caregivers. Support enhanced transition supports for children once they “age out” of the system including housing (to ensure they can stay in Marin), and for pursuing higher education. Support efforts to aid in recruiting new resource families and caregivers who can meet the needs of foster youth. Support efforts to improve behavioral health services.

    Support policies that strengthen families, promote healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect. This includes evidence-based early childhood home visiting services to support growth and development and foster positive outcomes later in life.

III. General Policy Guidelines

A.    GENERAL

  1. Race Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. Support efforts to ensure an equity approach toward policy, legislation, and administration of public programs that is anti-racist and acknowledges community members affected by systemic racism built into government systems. Public policy should seek to address imbalances to enhance inclusion and race equity with meaningful analysis of impacts, including what constituencies are benefitted or burdened. Support community-level workshops and trainings.
  2. Addressing Ageism and Ableism. Support efforts that acknowledge and work to root out explicit or implicit ageism and ableism, including increased education to combat stigmas, and funding for age- and disability-friendly improvements to community physical and social infrastructures to create greater opportunities for wellbeing, safety, and social connection across all generations and abilities.
  3. Cashless Transactions. Support requirements to accept cash payment to ensure those without bank accounts or access to technology, have equitable access to the marketplace and essential services.
  4. Pension Reform. Support additional statewide pension reforms, including efforts to develop a voluntary hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution option for new employees, subject to agreement with collective bargaining units, and efforts to expand retiree healthcare plan options.
  5. County Revenue Sources and Local Authority. Oppose attempts to restrict county revenue sources or authority, including efforts to change excess educational revenue augmentation fund (ERAF) formulas shifting local property tax funding for state benefit. Oppose restriction of discretion to contract for county services.

    Support lowering the voter approval threshold for new revenue measures to support local public infrastructure and affordable housing from 67 percent to 55 percent, to align with voter thresholds already in place for school measures. 
  6. State and Federal Mandates. Oppose new mandates or realignment without adequate ongoing revenue. Realigned programs should follow core principles: 1) Counties’ share of costs should reflect their ability to control program costs; 2) realigned programs should have flexibility to respond to changing needs and requirements; and 3) realignment funding should be transparent and understandable.
  7. Voting Rights and Accessibility. Preserve the right to vote without suppression or intimidation and support further expansion of diverse voting options to accommodate voters of all abilities as local resources and demand allow. Support efforts to amend SB 450 (Allen, Hertzberg; 2016), which allowed pilot counties to conduct elections by mail ballot with regional vote centers open up to 10 days prior to Election Day. Election data indicates high cost but low utilization of vote centers for initial days of required operations. Support education in schools to build student understanding of local government, develop media literacy, and promote civic engagement. 
  8. Workers’ Compensation and Disability Retirement Reform. Support efforts to reform the state workers’ compensation program and similar efforts regarding disability payments to control costs and to reduce potential abuse. Oppose efforts to broaden disability presumptions where current policies and processes already provide employees fair access to benefits.
  9. Privacy Rights and Coordinated Healthcare. Support improving coordination and integration of physical health, mental health and substance use treatment services – especially the most vulnerable in need of wraparound services. Support efforts to enhance the sharing of information and data for more coordinated and effective care between providers to improve health outcomes, while also aligning with HIPAA and 42 CFR, Part 2.
  10. Public Records, Transparency and Participation. Support maintaining the requirements of the California Public Records Act, including efforts to increase the availability of electronic records and in accessible alternate formats. Support allowing advisory board and commissions to meet remotely for increased participation given childcare, work, transportation, health, functional limitations and other considerations that may make onsite advisory meetings difficult for many to attend. 

B. ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

  1. Local Businesses. Support the needs of Marin’s local businesses, of which nearly 70% have 9 or less employees. Target support is needed for businesses in underserved neighborhoods, and businesses that employ/serve communities of color. Monitor ongoing implementation of CERF (California Economic Resilience Fund) by the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and other Go-Biz initiatives to ensure Marin’s low-income communities benefit from new statewide investments.
  2. Law Library Funding. Support law library efforts to regain permissive authority for fee increases from Boards of Supervisors without impairing the State Administrative Office of the Court’s financial position. 
  3. Campaign Finance. Support campaign finance reform that limit excessive political spending.
  4. Safe Public Comment Under the Brown ActSupport allowances in public meeting rules and procedures to prevent hate speech or other extreme/threatening behavior; while honoring the Brown Act’s commitment to free speech and participation in public proceedings.

C. TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  1. Local Road and Transportation Funding. Support efforts to enhance local road funding, as well as transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, including ‘safe routes to schools’ initiatives and other safety, mobility and walkability initiatives. As the use of electric vehicles increases and gas tax revenues decrease, explore revenue options based on vehicle miles traveled or road user charges including to delivery companies. Oppose efforts to add further restrictions and requirements to transportation funding, ensuring it can be utilized to serve the greatest local needs. Oppose efforts to consolidate transit operators if it does not improve local transit, is not cost-effective, and is inconsistent with locally approved policy. Support increased funding for local bridge infrastructure – including a return of functional obsolescence as an evaluation criterion.

    Seek enhanced funding that recognizes the impact of climate change-intensified storms: the 2022-2023 winter storms caused nine landslides along Bolinas Road, which needs major reconstruction along 6.5 miles. The roadway serves as a critical evacuation and firefighting route and provides the only access to one-third of Marin Water’s treatment facilities.

  2. Flooding on State Highways. Support efforts to address flooding on State Route 37; Highway 101 exits at Marin City; State Highway 1 at the Manzanita junction with Highway 101; Lucky Drive and Highway 101; Highway 1 adjacent to Bolinas Lagoon between Stinson Beach and Bolinas; and future projected flooding due to sea level rise.
  3. Flood Control and Watershed Management. Explore funding opportunities for maintenance and improvements in Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Flood Zones, including for hazard mitigation and response related to upgrades or repairs to local levee systems, dredging and pump station replacement/maintenance. Explore efforts to modernize the District’s statute to be more consistent with other Bay Area counties. Support urban stream management and watershed restoration projects to reduce the likelihood and frequency of flooding events.
  4. Stormwater Treatment. Seek dedicated funding for low-impact development, green infrastructure features and trash capture facilities into the stormwater system to protect water quality and aquatic habitats. Funding is needed to meet changing state-level requirements and local regulations such as those set by the Marin Countywide Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPP).
  5. Multimodal Transportation. Support public transit, bicycle and pedestrian-oriented infrastructure, and transportation demand management (TDM) measures, including efforts to complete the North-South Greenway to create a continuous multiuse pathway network from each end of the County and connect users to transit along the network. Support funding targeted at ongoing maintenance of bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, including for specialized equipment. Support ways to enhance the safety of all users; especially those with accessible mobility devices. Support regulations for electric bicycles and scooters such as appropriate age and speed limits and enhanced safety training.
  6. Utility Undergrounding. Support efforts to fund utility underground conversion projects, including those still done under Rule 20A. Support projects targeted in historically underserved communities and ensure that any associated rate increases applied by PG&E to fund undergrounding include an equity component so that low-income households are not disproportionately burdened.
  7. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance. Support efforts to ensure FEMA uses transparent processes and communicates adequately with property owners regarding changes to flood insurance rate maps. Ensure that changes do not result in disproportionate increases to areas that have not historically been subjected to flooding.
  8. Next Generation Communications System for the Marin Emergency Radio Authority (MERA).  Support new federal or state funds to leverage the County’s 2014 parcel tax for the implementation of a replacement mission critical system for Marin County's emergency response agencies. The current MERA system goes live in 2024.

D. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  1. CalAIM (California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal). Monitor ongoing implementation of the statewide CalAIM initiative and the potential impacts on County Behavioral Health and Whole Person Care programs and funding. CalAIM payment reform should maximize federal funding for services, reduce county disallowances, and eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens for county providers associated with receipt of funding.
  2. Ongoing Funding for Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Support efforts to make previous one-time investments in homelessness and permanent supportive housing ongoing, coordinated and flexible. Homekey has brought much-needed one-time funding for more than 100 new units of permanent supportive housing in Marin since 2020, but left a fiscal cliff for counties for the ongoing operating subsidies, case management and support necessary to keep people housed.
  3. Ongoing investments in Public Health. Support direct, flexible and ongoing public health funding to support the County’s most vulnerable residents access health care services, including mental health and substance use services, and pandemic preparedness.  Maintain equity-oriented funding for health promotion and chronic disease prevention. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of maintaining adequately resourced public health departments in our communities.
  4. Health/Food/Services Equity. Support policies that seek to identify and correct structural inequities in the provision of care and services to marginalized communities to narrow gaps in outcomes and promote health and wellbeing for all. Support state and federal investments that match County funding for local priorities, including access for low-income communities and communities of color to locally sourced food. Seek enhanced funding for mandated civil rights functions within Health and Human Services to monitor services, administration of benefits and effects of policy changes on protected classes. Support culturally competent, evidence-based strategies in services contracts.
  5. Improved Access to Health Care/Mental Health Parity. Support efforts to expand health coverage and promote behavioral health parity to all populations regardless of income or age. Support efforts to maintain services in rural areas and fund transportation when necessary. Seek to strengthen partnerships between Public Health and Primary Care and increase coverage of prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery support services. Support efforts to improve regulation of prescription drug pricing. Support mental health services associated with emergency response.
  6. Preschool and Child Care. Support enhanced state funding for preschool, day care, childcare slots and facilities; increased childcare reimbursement rates and provider wages; and training and retention of childcare workers – including new sustainable, long-term sources as Prop. 10 tobacco tax revenues tied to early childhood development decline. Support efforts to help childcare providers adjust to market shifts due to the expansion of California’s transitional kindergarten. Support flexibility in childcare operations to ensure it can meet the needs of all communities: lower-income residents need not only culturally responsive centers, but also operations during irregular hours.
  7. Older Adults. Support efforts to protect and expand funding, services, supports and protections for Marin County’s increasing older adult population, and protect/enhance core services under the federal Older Americans Act. This includes vulnerable frail elders, dependent adults, and those experiencing access and functional needs to keep them safely in their homes and communities and to strengthen outcomes of the social determinants of health. Nearly 30% of Marin’s population is 60 and older, compared with 20% statewide. Support funding for enhanced, expanded and innovative services and supports consistent with the state’s Master Plan for Aging. 

    Support safety net programs for low- and moderate-income older adults who are at risk of falling into the “eligibility gap”. Support areas of high need for older adults, including Behavioral Health services, senior housing, residential care facilities, and efforts to increase, diversify and support the workforce supporting this demographic. Encourage development of innovative care models including opportunities for social homelike environments, expanded eligibility for older adult case management, and Adult Day Care Programs and other options for Memory Care.

  8. Dementia Awareness and Support.  Support programs to educate residents on dementia awareness, provide support to families dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and related research. Support programs to train emergency and law enforcement personnel on effective communication strategies for interacting with people who have dementia.
  9. Family Planning, Reproductive Health Care. Support access for women and all gender identities seeking reproductive care to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care – including family planning. Ensure issues affecting those who identify as female are considered in all policy proposals.   
  10. Community Based Treatment. Support and expand access to Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers in a way that maximizes opportunities for Marin’s older adult, disabled, or functionally limited population to preserve their independence as long as possible, and reside in the least restrictive environment to receive services and treatment. Support efforts to allow federal funding for intellectual and developmental disabilities residences with over six residents that delivery high-quality, community-based care.
  11. Cost Recovery for Psychiatric Crisis Stabilization and Substance Use Treatment Services. Support efforts to mandate that healthcare insurers reimburse counties for services to privately-insured patients at the County-run Crisis Stabilization Unit, as well as to provide an adequate network for substance use treatment services for privately-insured residents so that resources in the County Behavioral Health system can continue to target serving the most vulnerable, low-income residents. 
  12. Public Guardian and Conservatorship. Support enhanced funding for Public Guardian functions, including for: evaluations by Behavioral Health; Public Guardian investigations; Public Defenders representing candidates for Conservatorship; and funding for anticipated increased conservatorship placements under SB 43, SB 1338 (CARE Act), SB 317 and other relevant state legislation. Monitor ongoing developments and cost impacts to Counties related to SB 43 (Eggman, 2023), which Marin will implement no later than January 2026.
  13. Acute and Residential Behavioral Health Treatment. Support efforts to maintain and enhance funding for psychiatric emergency beds, acute and transitional mental health care facilities, and substance use treatment residential facilities. Support efforts to provide medically necessary crisis stabilization services beyond 24 hours when transitional beds are not available. Monitor progress associated with the Behavioral Health Infrastructure Bond Act (AB 531, 2023) to finance $6.38 billion in new supportive housing and community-based treatment settings, and support efforts to ensure geographic equity in the distribution of funding and the streamlining of permitting associated with new, much-needed facilities.
  14. Children and Youth Behavioral Health. Support funding to increase efforts to improve access to school-based Behavioral Health screenings, mobile crisis response and treatment and support services targeting at children’s behavioral health. Support additional prevention efforts to address the mental health and substance use needs of children and youth—including Marin’s Newcomer students.
  15. Reduce Harm Caused by Gun Violence. Support efforts to limit the harm caused by gun violence, including education; enforcing existing gun control regulations; banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons and regulating the number of bullets available in gun clips; and more stringent background checks on gun purchases. 
  16. Federal Institutes of Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion Rule. Support legislation and the CalAIM BH-CONNECT Demonstration waiver that would remove restrictions on funding by the Federal Institutes of Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion Rule, which prohibits federal Medicaid reimbursement for patients receiving mental health or substance abuse care in a facility with more than 16 beds. Support policies that would strengthen a continuum of high-quality community-based behavioral health treatment settings by funding additional beds where they are most needed. 
  17. Opioid Safety. Support policies and strategies to address opioid misuse, including preventative programs, education and treatment – with a focus on the urgent need to combat the fentanyl crisis. Support efforts to ensure funds from litigation settlements with opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers provide meaningful funding at the local level, and oppose unnecessary restrictions and administrative reporting burdens associated with investing settlement funds where they are needed most to support Marin’s substance abuse prevention efforts.
  18. Medi-Cal Charges to Recipients. Explore efforts to address problems associated with expensive Medi-Cal co-payment requirements for prescription medications, particularly among low-income residents with multiple needs. Support Medicare for All/Single-Payer healthcare reform. 
  19. Long-Term Care/Assisted Living Funding. Support efforts aimed at restructuring and increasing funding for long term care programs, focusing on improving chronic health care and promoting independence and aging in place. Support efforts to facilitate construction of long-term care/assisted living and memory care facilities for low/moderate-income residents – and that promote innovative designs which help meet the social determinants of health and mitigate the spread of infectious agents. Support efforts to establish a public Long Term Care Insurance program.
  20. Caregiver Programs. Support the protection and improvement of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, including efforts to provide increasing, sustainable wages to providers. To do this sustainably the state must increase the wage cap by which it will fully participate in its share of program costs and allow Public Authorities the flexibility in payment mechanisms that address their region’s unique needs. Oppose efforts to impose penalties on counties based on a one-size-fits-all approach to local bargaining outcomes. Monitor efforts to move bargaining for providers to the statewide level.
    Support efforts to address the urgent need for caregivers for individuals of all ages living with disabilities that fall into the “eligibility gap”, where income levels are too high to qualify for Medi-Cal services but too low to afford quality community or home-based care. These individuals often must rely on family members for caregiving, with no financial support provided.
  21. HIV/AIDS Funding. Support additional funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides medications to low-income people with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured. Oppose additional co-pays or waiting lists or any mechanisms that would disrupt a patient’s ability to receive necessary medications. 
  22. Social Services Funding. Protect funding and simplify eligibility/enrollment for social services programs. Support efforts to restore the higher levels of CalFresh benefits established during the pandemic public health emergency, and support policies to maintain enrollment including an additional 3,000 households in Marin that newly enrolled during the pandemic. Explore opportunities to revise the CalFresh funding formula to allow for more equitable distribution of benefits statewide.
  23. Workforce Development. Support funding for workforce development opportunities in all sectors that help residents secure local employment with sustainable wages and career ladders for advancement, especially for frontline workers. Support legislation and funding that improves the supply, distribution, and diversity of Marin’s healthcare workforce (including Community Health Workers) to meaningfully address the County’s primary care, behavioral health, and older adult care provider shortage.
  24. Social Security Benefits. Support policies to preserve, enhance and increase Social Security benefits.
  25. Elder Justice. Support efforts to increase funding for the Elder Justice Act. Support efforts to prevent elder and dependent adult abuse (including financial and emotional abuse), protect funding for the Adult Protective Services program, and to ensure quick resolution for victims of elder abuse. 
  26. Veterans Services. Protect/enhance funding for County Veterans Service Offices. Support legislation that would require state agencies to coordinate with the California Department of Veterans Affairs to improve care and benefits provided to veterans.
  27. Detention Medical Expenses/Reinstatement of Benefits to Jail Inmates. Support efforts to expand federal/state reimbursement for local detention medical and behavioral health. Support policies to allow local jails to bill third-party insurers for healthcare costs of insured incarcerated individuals.
  28. Preventive Healthcare. Support efforts to integrate prevention of disease as a part of the continuum of services across County programs, including:
    1. Vaping products. Support efforts to protect residents, especially youth and communities of color, from the harms of vaping.
    2. Tobacco Free Living. Support local, state and federal efforts to expand smoke-free business and residential environments and the development and enforcement of policies that address the health, environmental and economic effects of tobacco usage and litter.
    3. Healthy Eating and Physical Activity across the Lifespan. Support efforts to address inequitable food access by promoting local food systems developed within impacted communities. Promote consumption of healthy food and beverages for all groups through education, affordability, cultural relevancy, accessibility. Work to improve food security and nutritional outcomes for vulnerable groups including older adults. Promote interagency coordination and capacity building for the countywide Health Eating Active Living (HEAL) program.
    4. Healthy Habits across the Lifespan for Adults. Support efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, including policies that prevent harm; promote safe sex and sexual health including for people residing in assisted living and long-term care facilities; increase physical activity (including Park Rx programming); and promote new evidence-based strategies to reduce falls among older residents.
    5. Preventing Drug Abuse, Misuse and Excessive Alcohol Use. Support efforts to reduce alcohol abuse, drug use (including prescription drug misuse) and related adverse community impacts. Support efforts targeted at combating the rise in fentanyl use, especially among youth.
    6. Cannabis. Support evidence-based policies in state and local action to regulate recreational cannabis for adults to ensure it is used safely and legally. Support policy and educational efforts to limit access, appeal, and use among underage residents. 
    7. Injury and Violence Free Living. Support statewide efforts to develop prevention and early intervention strategies to prevent bullying, domestic violence, and family/ interpersonal violence, including emotional violence against older adults.  
    8. Disease Prevention through Vaccination. Support strategies and policies that strengthen community protection against vaccine preventable diseases.
    9. Oral Health. Support efforts to reduce oral health disparities, increase access to dental care resources and ensure full coverage under Medi-Cal. Provide accessible oral health education and prevention to all populations, including school-based initiatives.
  29. Local Emergency Medical Services Governance. Protect the ability of local elected officials to determine Marin’s EMS system design, funding, policy development, medical control and governance. Support the expansion of EMS training to include dementia and fall prevention.
  30. Environmental Toxins. Seek funding for studies on the health effects of exposure to environmental toxins, and natural and synthetic chemicals. 
  31. Taxes/Fees on Alcohol, Tobacco and Soda. Support taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and/or soda to reduce consumption and harm from these products and fund public health programs.
  32. Harm Reduction. Support funding for syringe exchange programs and other proven harm reduction programs to prevent the spread of disease and empower individuals who use drugs with the choice to live healthy, self-directed, and purpose-filled lives. 

E. NATURAL RESOURCES AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

  1. Funding for Large Climate Infrastructure and Resilience Projects. Support ambitious funding mechanisms for needed climate resiliency, such as a statewide climate resilience bond.  Such large investments would enable communities, natural lands, public infrastructure and park projects aligned with the statewide 30X30 restoration, preservation and protection initiatives over the next 10 years. Seek funding for wetland restoration projects which are critical to mitigate sea level rise, including but not limited to Bothin Marsh, McInnis Marsh, Novato Creek area and Bolinas Lagoon.
  2. Disaster Preparedness. Support efforts to improve disaster preparedness including preparation for extreme heat events; wildfire events; winter storm and flooding events; earthquakes and other emergencies. Support programs that identify and assist vulnerable populations with emergency readiness, evacuation planning, and shelter access; including older adults, persons with disabilities, and individuals experiencing homelessness. Support efforts to establish accessible cooling and filtered shelters during excessive heat and unhealthy air events, including transport options for persons with limited mobility or access to transportation.
  3. Homeowner Insurance. Support sustainable, long-term state-level solutions to the homeowner wildfire insurance crisis in California: in 2023 several of the largest private insurers stopped renewing or issuing new policies in the state, and/or have sharply increased rates for existing homeowners. Support efforts to reward home-hardening and wildfire mitigations taken by homeowners to reduce their premiums – including the countywide Measure C which funds a local Wildfire Prevention Authority. Support an equity-based approach to rate setting which takes homeowner income and property value into account.
  4. Wildfire Prevention, Protection and Vegetation Management. Support additional tools or funding to support fire prevention and reduce hazardous fuels on County, State and Federal lands, including vegetation management, tree mortality, forest health and wildland fire protection and other initiatives under the Marin Forest Health Strategy fuels. Support the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force strategies for landscape-scale wildfire, forest resilience, and recreation management. Support funding for evacuation routes and strategies.

    Support funding for programs to prevent/suppress fires including fireworks disposal and fire equipment needs. Seek state funding for Marin’s small, local and volunteer fire districts, whose operations critically enable Marin County Fire to serve as one of six CAL FIRE “Contract Counties” and provide firefighting support statewide. Seek capital funding, including for new local training and housing facilities, such as at College of Marin’s Indian Valley Campus.

  5. Honoring Indigenous Peoples. Support policies that honor the sovereignty of our local tribes, including ensuring access to cultural sites and initiatives that promote education about the history of Indigenous peoples in Marin County for all residents and visitors. Continue engagement with representatives from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the Coast Miwok, and Southern Pomo on policy matters related to land use and historical preservation. Support educational, economic, health and social services that target those with Indigenous ancestry and acknowledge the lasting trauma from centuries of land theft and genocide of Indigenous peoples.
  6. Small Off-Road Engines (SORE) Regulation. Monitor efforts with the State Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop a plan and funding to implement AB 1346 (Berman and Lorena Gonzalez; 2021), which require all new "small off-road engines" produced after January 1, 2024 to be zero-emission.
  7. Park Recreation Infrastructure Funding. Support increased funding for park infrastructure, and explore opportunities to leverage state and federal match for Marin County’s local parks sales tax dollars. Improve park accessibility for under-resourced and disadvantaged communities in Marin. Support funding for accessible and inclusionary infrastructure improvements and enhancements to existing parks and open space areas to serve visitors of all abilities.
  8. Updates to the California Air Resources Board Scoping Plan. Monitor updates to the Scoping Plan, a planning document outlining how the state will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Pursue funding made available under the Scoping Plan for projects or programs eligible to receive carbon credits under California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, including agricultural projects. Support the eligibility of Cap-and-Trade revenues towards transportation infrastructure investments, as well as for housing and nonmotorized transportation goals, with funding determinations made at the regional level.
  9. Local Renewable Energy and Governance. Support continued development of local renewable energy resources and supply like solar and wind. Support more local control over the purchase and development of renewable energy resources to increase consumer access to renewable energy at stable, competitive rates, and decreasing statewide emissions. Support efforts to expand current energy capacity and resiliency, including expanding energy storage and the use of microgrids – especially in the communities most at risk for sustained power outages. Support an equity-focus on the clean energy transition, particularly for low-income individuals and families.
  10. Energy Efficiency and Consumer Protection. Support transparency of energy procurement practices, stranded costs, and departing load charges. Support fair competition in statewide energy markets for CCAs and municipal or other publicly owned utilities. Support effective leveraging of energy efficiency programs tailored to address local needs and concerns. Oppose legislation that would shield fossil fuel companies from liability for production of oil and gas and/or other carbon-producing intensive business activities that create public harm, as well as unfair market pricing.
  11. Tomales Bay Water Quality Programs. Seek assistance for projects designed to improve water quality in Tomales Bay, including a multi-jurisdictional approach to visitor facility management and water quality monitoring and enforcement.  Support increasing the availability of potable water sources within the watershed, including projects that would enable private property owners to upgrade failing and substandard on-site septic systems, or convert to small community waste treatment systems.
  12. Restoration of San Francisco Bay. Support funding for restoration projects and habitat improvement for fish, waterfowl and wildlife that advance the goals of the comprehensive management plan for the San Francisco estuary and the Delta/Bay region.
  13. Oil/Gas Development, Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”). Oppose efforts to open the coast to new oil/gas development; that weaken regulations that protect marine ecosystems; that restrict oil/gas companies from incidentally harming and killing marine mammals; or that retract the 2015 expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallon Islands national marine sanctuaries. Support efforts to regulate fracking in California given its threats to the environment, public health and safety.
  14. Product Take-Back and Other Zero-Waste Policies and Practices. Support efforts to enhance and fund programs that advocate zero-waste practices, recycling and/or Extended Producer Responsibility programs among retailers and grocery stores for products that can be recycled, including pharmaceuticals, to ensure safe and proper disposal. Support assistance to local governments and waste haulers to implement new statewide mandates for organic waste collection and procurement under SB 1383 (2022).
  15. Endangered Species. Protect the Endangered Species Act from attempts to constrain the federal government’s ability to protect critical habitat for plants and animals.  Protect and enhance habitats for native fish in coastal streams while recognizing the needs of coastal agriculture.
  16. Funding for State Organic Program. Oppose any effort that would reduce revenues for state or county agencies responsible for enforcing organic state law that would result in unfunded mandates to those agencies. Support explicit product labeling of genetically modified foods.
  17. Promotion of Sustainable Pest Management Principles. Support efforts that promote an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to addressing pests, and expansion of related educational efforts, while recognizing the importance of maintaining the flexibility of a “last resort” use of pesticides when there are no safer alternatives to protect agricultural lands from invasive species.
  18. Great Redwood Trail. Support the Great Redwood Trail Authority’s vision to complete additional segments of the Great Redwood Trail, including SMART’s efforts to complete Marin and Sonoma segments. Oppose efforts to use the rail right of way for transport of coal.
  19. Regional Environmental Frameworks. Monitor efforts to establish regional planning and funding models that invest in the visions and work plans of the California State Coastal Conservancy, One Tam, Golden Gate Biosphere Network, the North Bay Baylands Regional Conservation Investment Strategy and other regional conservation and restoration initiatives. Support opportunities for public-private partnership funding to support regional work plan priorities.
  20. Consumer Protection. Support legislation that preserves and enhances funding for mandated County Weights and Measures consumer protection programs at the state and local level, such as for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) statewide quantity control program and for package inspections. Explore equity-centered policies on fees imposed by service providers; such as prohibiting communication providers from continuing to charge customers rental fees on equipment such as routers or modems long after the consumer has paid the market value of the equipment.

F. LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PUBLIC SAFETY

  1. Therapeutic and Domestic Violence Courts. Support efforts to restore funding for therapeutic justice programs, such as Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction grant programs, adult and juvenile drug courts, expansion to pre-plea drug court programs, and assist with Family/Domestic Violence Court.
  2. Court Funding. Protect/enhance state funding levels for trail courts, and oppose increases in County maintenance of effort levels above agreements reached, and protect counties’ ability to recover their costs. Support enhanced funding for state court facilities. 
  3. Public Safety Funding. Support continued federal funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act, and protect Marin’s AB 109 Public Safety Realignment allocation. Support requiring revenue back-fill to counties for state policies which alter criminal justice fines, fees, or penalties. 
  4. Standards and Training for Corrections. Support continued Standards and Training for Corrections (STC) funding, which focuses on job classification requirements, as well as recruitment and training standards for probation officers, juvenile and jail officers. 
  5. Juvenile Justice. Oppose efforts which set back progress in aligning responsibility for the juvenile justice continuum from the state to County governments and diminish local authority in determining the best care and rehabilitative treatment settings for justice-involved youth.

G. HOUSING AND LAND USE

  1. Housing Production. Support efforts to permit and encourage counties to collaborate with their cities for the production and preservation of housing units, including efforts to update building, planning and zoning requirements, and create a streamlined process for low, and very low-income housing. Support policies to enable the conversion of single-family homes to multi-family duplexes, triplexes, and to add new Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s), such as property tax waivers for homeowners who build and rent ADU’s affordably. Explore mechanisms to ensure that new ADU’s and Junior ADU’s constructed are livable spaces that are rented and add to Marin’s housing stock.

    Work to limit the amount and frequency of rent increases in Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects, and simplify the tax credit, voucher and renewal process; and support innovative rent subsidy programs to leverage all funding opportunities to make housing options more affordable. Support affordable housing for farm workers, older adults and people living with disabilities, and resolve “over-housing” issues by creating smaller, affordable units so that older adults have options to downsize and remain in their community, thereby freeing up housing for new families. Expand property tax postponement for low-income homeowners to include floating, mobile, and manufactured homes. Support funding to expand reclaimed water infrastructure to ensure water supply is not a barrier to new housing production. Support more state funding for the infrastructure costs associated with new housing development; including recycled water, schools, new roads, utilities (including onsite septic improvements in rural areas) and expanded multimodal transportation.

  2. Housing Preservation. Support efforts to preserve existing affordable housing units and prevent displacement and gentrification by allowing conversion of existing naturally occurring affordable housing to count towards the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) and the Annual Progress Report (APR) when a local government provides committed resources. Support efforts to regulate short-term rental housing and/or fractional home ownership, including but not limited to Airbnb/VRBO and Pacaso, for impacts to the housing stock. Support legal assistance to vulnerable renters facing unlawful evictions as an upstream diversion from homelessness and precarious housing.
  3. Allowances for Emergency Housing. Support the regulatory flexibility and funding for local governments needed to set up safe short-term, emergency housing when the urgent need arises. Especially in the case when individuals or families are living in substandard housing, defined as when the life, limb, property, safety or welfare of occupants or the general public is endangered.
  4. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. Support continued and expanded funding for affordable housing developments in high resource areas and areas of concentrated affluence to provide housing choice for lower income households, including state Housing and Community Development funding formulas. Support streamlined approval of new housing units, while maintaining community input and involvement, especially in areas historically underrepresented in public processes. Ensure that laws designed to streamline construction of housing with low- and moderate-income units result in geographically equitable distribution of new development, and do not disproportionately impact underserved, lower-resourced neighborhoods.

    Support efforts to improve the definition of “affordable” housing by using the Median Income of the census tract of the development or other more localized indices, rather than the countywide Area Median Income (AMI). Additionally, funding must be increased to align with any lower median income to ensure development is feasible. 

  5. Preserving Local Agriculture. Support land use policies and state legislation that preserves Marin’s centuries-old tradition of sustainable agriculture and ranching. Explore updates to the Williamson Act (designed to preserve agriculture in communities) to meet present-day needs of historical, small-scale farms; such as allowances for agritourism, more housing and use of lands for open space preservation. Work to expand housing for agricultural workers and those employed in visitor-serving uses, and support funding and streamlined review to improve substandard housing in rural and/or coastal areas. 
  6. Housing, Land Use and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Work to ensure that any state efforts to develop housing appropriately balances affordable housing needs with environmental concerns, including for climate-related hazards for vulnerable communities and appropriate CEQA review. Protect local regulation of housing and land use issues.
  7. Coastal Zone. Explore amendments to the California Coastal Act to 1) allow agricultural operations that are immediately adjacent to the shoreline to qualify for Categorical Exclusions by allowing a setback of 100 feet, thus allowing the properties to not be subject to costly and time-consuming coastal permits for minor agriculturally related activities; and 2) work with the Coastal Commission agency to reconcile the Act with new Housing Element laws and requirements. Support policies and allowances that acknowledge the urgent need to address substandard housing in the Coastal Zone, including limiting appeals for affordable housing development that is intended to address these hazardous living conditions.

H. CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL

  1. Library Funding. Seek to enhance state or federal funding to support public library services. Support efforts to amend state education code to permit General Obligation bonds for local library capital improvements and efforts to lower the local vote threshold for library construction bond measures from the current two-thirds vote to 55 percent.
  2. Education and Access. Support efforts to provide a sustainable, equitable, quality education system to promote accessible and affordable education, including community college lifelong learning at no/low cost to older adults. Support efforts to successfully implement the expansion of California’s transitional kindergarten program and ensure schools have the resources needed to address children with wide-ranging developmental and language learning needs. Support efforts to close the Digital Divide with devices and low-cost digital access to underserved populations of all ages and mitigate loss of learning potentially caused by the lack of in-person instruction due to COVID-19. Support the freedom to read and access to material in public libraries with diverse points of view.

I. TECHNOLOGY

  1. Broadband. Support efforts in alignment with the Digital Marin Strategic Plan to fund middle and last mile broadband infrastructure to provide affordable, accessible, reliable high-speed internet for older adults, low-income and rural communities, schools, school-age children in their homes, and other underserved communities and institutions, with a preference for wireline fiber-to-the-premises service. Support 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload as the target minimum broadband speed standard, and monitor efforts to define high-quality broadband as a public utility. Oppose efforts to limit local authority to finance, deploy, operate, maintain, or oversee broadband assets, challenge broadband service maps, establish quality of service requirements, or require open access architecture.

    Support efforts to require installation of open access broadband infrastructure during construction, renovation, or rehabilitation of multi-dwelling buildings, and subsidized and affordable housing. Internet Service Providers have not historically taken opportunities to expand broadband infrastructure in multi-dwelling buildings.

  2. Telecommunications/5G. Oppose efforts that would further restrict local authority over telecommunications siting or zoning, including small cell installation in local communities and public rights-of-way. Support efforts to require providers to enhance resiliency and ensure several days’ emergency backup power to cell tower sites for public safety, alert and warning notifications, and general communications needs. Support the unique disaster resiliency needs of a community, such as the importance of radio station infrastructure in West Marin where cellphone reception has known gaps.
  3. “Dig Once” Policy. Support efforts to implement dig once policies and regulations to coordinate installation of conduit when local government, utility, telecommunication, transportation, and other entities conduct excavations.
  4. Artificial Intelligence. Monitor developments and progress regarding A.I., including opportunities to leverage the technology to improve government service delivery and streamline operations and processes. Support regulations that protect against the risks of A.I. deployment such as discrimination, bias and cyberattacks.

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Page updated April 15, 2024