May 20, 2020
May Revise Budget Analysis
In case you missed last week’s special May Revise Budget edition of the CA Cities Advocate , read about the League’s initial analysis of the budget proposal, as well as our response .
 
League News

League members got a preview today into the bills of interest to cities this legislative session during a webinar by the League’s Legislative Advocacy team. If you missed the webinar, you can check out the webinar slides, which include the list of legislative bills of interest, on the League website.



The Legislature is moving on a fast track the next couple of weeks to proceed with legislation that was delayed or amended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Assembly, this Friday, May 22 marks the last day for policy committees to hear and report bills to the Appropriations committee and May 29 to hear and report to the floor non-fiscal bills.


As we conclude our second month under the state’s stay-at-home order, cities understand the strain students feel since transitioning to online learning. Many aspects of education have changed for students since they are no longer able to attend school in person, including the cancellation of traditional graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020. 

Education and Conferences 

The League is excited to announce its first all-virtual conference: the Mayors and Council Members Executive Forum. This online educational and networking event will take place over three consecutive Thursdays: June 18, June 25, and July 2, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Networking opportunities will be offered outside of those times. If you are unable to make all three consecutive Thursdays, the League will make recordings of each session available to registrants following each day’s presentations. You can view sessions online. Stay tuned for more details regarding registration and schedule. We hope to see you all there!

League members from across California gathered virtually last week for the first installment of the COVID-19 Roundtable Discussions. These roundtable discussions are participant driven and provide an opportunity for members to share best practices to adapt city services and operations during this unprecedented time.

 
As budgets tighten, local governments statewide are grappling with difficult decisions around which services to offer in light of decreased revenues. Join the Institute for Local Government (ILG) for a webinar on May 27 at 10 a.m. to learn how the right data can help take the guesswork out of service delivery and prioritization. ILG recently partnered with Probolsky Research on a statewide survey to provide insights about key priorities for essential services, revenue measures, and engagement opportunities. The City of Rancho Cucamonga will also be available to share their practical experience and lessons learned from using survey and other data to help make difficult decisions.
Resetting the Local Economy after COVID-19 ( Institute for Local Government Webinar)
 
Join the Institute for Local Government for a webinar on June 10 at 11 a.m. to learn how to quickly and strategically retool local economies in response to COVID-19 impacts on retail, hotels, tourism, industrial, and residential markets. Participants will also hear about the evolving shifts in land use and occupancy, which sectors are expected to come back first, and learn how to select and implement effective programs that can accomplish recovery in the short-term and achieve resiliency over the long-term.
Opportunities for Cities

The California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency have teamed up to offer three days of online webinars June 2-4 about public engagement during this time of crisis. The “Online Environmental Engagement: Building Our Skills Together” conference, brings together community leaders, government agencies, and experts in the field of public engagement to share tips and learn from each other. There is no cost to attend. A closed captioned webcast of the program is available by visiting the CalEPA Public Webcast page on each day of the event. Register now !
More News and Events
Apply by May 25
 
The 2020 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program applications have been submitted and now it is time to determine who the winning cities are for each of the 11 categories. The annual award application review process depends on volunteer judges that review and select winning programs, so apply to be a judge today!  


Like many communities in California, the City of Encinitas needed more housing for its families and workers, but the coastal city had very little undeveloped land, and new construction wasn’t keeping up with demand. So Encinitas focused on infill housing and making it easier for property owners to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as granny flats. By reworking its existing zoning ordinances and development standards, the city succeeded in expanding its housing stock. Learn more about this project in “ Encinitas Retools Planning to Increase Housing Options ” — in this month’s issue of  Western City magazine.
League in the News
According to the League of California Cities, COVID-19 has hit the state’s 482 cities and towns hard, and is expected to rob them of about $6.7 billion in revenue over the next two fiscal years, a number that could grow if stay-at-home orders extend into the summer or beyond.

“With sales taxes and the hotel taxes… we’ve seen a very dramatic and very quick drop off in those which means local governments are left with budget shortfalls, because, certainly, no one saw this coming,” said Carolyn Coleman, executive director for the League of California Cities.

His organization and the League of California Cities joined Newsom late Friday in calling for Republicans in the Senate and the Trump administration to pass the so-called HEROES Act, which Democrats in the House of Representatives advanced to send about $1 trillion to states and cities.

In fact, a recent League of California Cities study showed that 84 percent of cities with 25,000 people or less are anticipating cuts to public services. And 71 percent of those cities are planning on furloughs or layoffs.

The City of South Pasadena has joined a coalition of local government, labor, and business in an effort to kick start economic recovery in local communities.

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement of the FY 2020-21 May Revise, League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman issued the below statement:
“Public education, public health, public safety, and serving people hit hardest by COVID-19 – these core values have been at the heart of local leaders’ efforts on the front lines, protecting communities and delivering services throughout the pandemic.

Pandemic forces deep budget cuts , May 15, Woodland Daily Democrat
Following Newsom's announcement League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman said the agency appreciated “the Governor's  proposed allocation of $450 million of the state’s CARES Act funding to help cities address the increases in expenses due to COVID-19 and are eager to learn more details about how cities would access this funding. All California cities, big and small, are experiencing severe budget impacts from this pandemic, and it’s important that they all have direct access to this funding. Without relief, cities will be forced to cut police officers, firefighters, planners, public works engineers, other essential local government workers, and the core services they deliver.”

League of California Cities: "The League strongly supports the $1 trillion in dedicated and flexible funding for states and local governments in the HEROES Act. We specifically support the $375 billion included in the bill for local governments, who are fighting this pandemic on the front lines alongside states and counties to protect public health and economic stability."

League Legislative Representative Nicolas Romo was interviewed about how COVID-19 is impacting city budgets and the importance of joining the Support Local Recovery coalition.
May 21
 
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June 18 SAVE THE DATE
Mayors & Council Members Executive Forum - Virtual Conference Day One
June 25 SAVE THE DATE
Mayors & Council Members Executive Forum - Virtual Conference Day Two
 
 July 2 SAVE THE DATE
Mayors & Council Members Executive Forum - Virtual Conference Day Three
 
Oct. 7-9 SAVE THE DATE
2020 Annual Conference & Expo