Federal Legislative Platform

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COUNTY OF FRESNO FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM
2017

 

Federal Legislative Platform PDF

INTRODUCTION

The Legislative Platform is a statement of the goals and priorities of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and establishes the basis for its advocacy efforts with Congress and Federal agencies.

 

Major Legislative Issues

The County of Fresno supports the following Major Legislative Issues:

  • Full funding for the Payment-In-Lieu-Taxes (PILT) program by which local governments are reimbursed for the cost of providing services to property tax-exempt federal lands and installations.
  • Stable water supplies for urban and agricultural users in the County and enactment of federal appropriations to expand facilities for storing, banking, conveying, distributing, conserving, and reclaiming water.
  • Federal funding for emergency protective actions, monitoring of conditions, and re-forestation actions to address the vast tree mortality resulting from years of unprecedented drought and the resulting bark beetle infestations across large regions of the County.

 

General Principles

 Community Development and Workforce Investment

  • Support full funding for the Community Development Block Grant, public and assisted housing, and Workforce Investment Act programs.
  • Support continued federal investment in local infrastructure and workforce training programs that target economic development and workforce training in communities experiencing higher levels of poverty and chronically high unemployment and matches the requirements of growing and emerging industries.
  • Support Federal investment programs that target public park and open space development and maintenance throughout Fresno County.

 

Criminal Justice and Public Protection

  • Support increased federal expenditures to assist local law enforcement agencies with crime prevention and prosecution, technology improvements, forensics science, and training.
  • Support federal funding to combat drug production and trafficking on public lands.
  • Support continued federal funding to address violence against at risk groups, including funding to implement/enhance services to at-risk youth with the goal being to prevent them from entering the juvenile justice system.
  • Support full federal reimbursement for county costs to incarcerate, prosecute, defend, and supervise criminal aliens.
  • Support increased federal expenditures to help prepare and equip local law enforcement agencies in fulfilling their role in preventing and responding to terrorist attacks.
  • Support improved federal emergency preparedness and response, including more efficient distribution of homeland security grant funds and disaster response and mitigation.
  • Support federal funding for additional judgeships for the Eastern District, Fresno Division.
  • Oppose the decriminalization of marijuana crimes.
  • Urge federal cooperation, in particular, training, with local law enforcement concerning the investigation and prosecution of cyber crimes.

 

Elections

  • Support the authorization and appropriation of funds to ensure the compensation of local governments for upgrading voting equipment and for mandated election requirements.

 

Energy/Air Quality

  • Support further federal investment to promote “green” public infrastructure, as well as full funding of the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) to assist counties in retrofitting diesel engines in their fleets to help address Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions and particulate matter (PM) non-attainment.
  • Support regulatory streamlining and exemptions to speed the development of renewable energy generation and transmission facilities that will help to increase U.S. energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Oppose the imposition of federal sanctions on local regions when their inability to attain federal standards is due to pollution from sources outside their regulatory authority.

 

Environmental Quality

  • Support the streamlining of environmental regulations that promote the County’s ability to manage programs efficiently and cost-effectively in carrying out federal mandates for environmental protection and waste disposal.
  • Support Federal Endangered Species Act amendments that balance social and economic benefits with species protection and ensure that policies are based on peer reviewed scientific research.

 

Federal Lands and Installations

  • Support policies that balance federal lands preservation with public access, use, and enjoyment of federal lands.
  • Support the continuation of Secure Rural Schools funds to states and counties with National Forests.
  • Support the continued location and operation of the Lemoore Naval Air Station, and the California Air National Guard 144th Air Wing (at the Fresno Air National Guard Base - located at the Fresno Air Terminal), and seek to ensure the long-term viability of these valuable assets.

 

General Government and Finance

  • Support legislation that maximizes federal revenues and provides counties with great decision-making authority over the use of federal funds.
  • Oppose federal policies that have adverse impacts on the County’s revenues, costs, or decision-making authority.
  • Support preserving the federal deductibility of local property and income taxes and the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds that provide critical funding for public facilities, infrastructure, and development.
  • Support a federal balanced budget amendment.
  • Support the Federal Government initiating and passing comprehensive immigration reform.

 

Library

  • Support local publicly funded libraries, including providing funding for development of new and ongoing library programs and services.

 

Public Health, Mental Health and Health Care Services

  • Support increased federal funding for essential public health functions, including but not limited to monitoring community health; investigating health hazards; providing community outreach, education, and linkages to critical services; regulating and enforcing food safety; implementing prevention programs such as immunizations, chronic disease, and maternal and child health; and other duly enacted laws designed to protect public health.
  • Support allocation and reimbursement policies that account for a greater need for public services in counties that have disproportionately high levels of poverty.
  • Support allocation and reimbursement policies that fully fund public health, health care, mental health, and preventative health services for all Fresno County residents.
  • Support funding and federal assistance for public health emergency preparedness, response and recovery for natural and man-made disasters such as extreme temperatures, flood, drought, pandemic disease, and bioterrorism.
  • Support continued funding of the Federal Prevention and Public Health Fund that currently supports Fresno County Public Health programs.
  • Support policies and funding that encourage long-term economic viability of all scales and types of agricultural operations and local markets within the Fresno County food system.
  • Support policies that increase access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods.
  • Support policies that promote communities that are designed to encourage walking, biking and linked transit systems.
  • Support policies that promote tobacco-free environments, including the prevention of use of electronic smoking devices and smokeless tobacco products.
  • Support funding for treatment programs targeting substance abuse and harm reduction.
  • Oppose proposals to reduce or eliminate reimbursement to emergency ambulance providers and proposals that reduce local control of emergency medical services.

 

Social Services

  • Support efforts to increase resources available to adult services clients who are unable to live independently and the individuals that provide them with care.
  • Support healthcare policy implementation efforts that do not have an adverse financial impact to the County.
  • Secure equitable and consistent funding to sufficiently support caseload growth, regulatory changes, and other related administrative costs.
  • Support measures that enhance the overall quality, affordability, capacity, accessibility, and safety of childcare and development programs.
  • Support legislation that increases services and home-based placement resources to children who are victims of or at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and provide support to caregivers of these victims.
  • Support child welfare funding reform efforts that increase eligibility of federal funds under programs that include, but are not limited to Title IV-E.
  • Support efforts to reform child welfare financing, including providing Title IV-E federal foster care match funding for prevention activities.
  • Support alternative methods to meeting federal mandated monthly contacts with youth in extended foster care when attending college.
  • Provide equitable and sufficient funding to reduce housing insecurity and promote employment opportunities to help clients achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Support measures that increase accessibility and funding for quality substance abuse and mental health services for vulnerable and at-risk children, adults, and families.
  • Support efforts to provide states and localities administering the CalWORKs Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program partial work participation credit for participants.
  • Support efforts to align state CalWORKs requirements with the provisions of the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and protect the County from fiscal sanctions for non-compliance stemming from the discrepancies between Federal and State requirements.
  • Support legislation that increases and protects the safety of children at-risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • Support efforts that improve access to services and assist families in successfully becoming self-sufficient.

 

Transportation and Infrastructure

  • Support legislation to increase, streamline, and improve the flexibility of federal funding to improve, repair, and maintain County roads, bridges, highways, inter-regional movement of goods (rail) and public transit and that promotes the timely development of local transportation projects at counties’ discretion.
  • Support continued federal funding for programs like the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, which assist the County in emission reduction.
  • Support an increase in federal funding for critical rural infrastructure such as water, wastewater, roads and bridges, and broadband deployment for rural communities, and urge Congress and the Administration to oppose further cuts to these important programs.

 

Water and Agriculture

  • Support funding, programs, and assistance to mitigate effects of invasive pest diseases, freezes, flooding, drought, and other potential damages to our local agricultural industry.
  • Support legislation, regulations, and policy that provide for the development of local and regional water resource management activities within Fresno County.
  • Support legislation to provide funding for building, repairing, upgrading, and maintaining levee and flood control systems in Fresno County.
  • Support legislation to provide funding for renewal, enhancement, and maintenance of community potable water systems.
  • Urge Congress to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) “Clean Water” rule and rewrite it in consultation and collaboration with state and local governments.