The Barbed Wire - September 06, 2019

September 6, 2019
Register for RCRC’s 2019 Annual Meeting in El Dorado County!!!
RCRC Welcomes Monterey County to Membership
RCRC Leadership in Washington D.C. to Advocate for Federal Payments In-Lieu of Taxes
Congress Returns from August Recess
Bill of the Week: Assembly Bill 1816 (Daly) – Insurance

Register for RCRC’s 2019 Annual Meeting in El Dorado County!!!

Have you registered for RCRC’s 2019 Annual Meeting?  This year’s conference will be held September 25-27 at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel in El Dorado County.  This year’s program will feature experts discussing a wide range of topics on critical issues shaping California’s future.  Read More…

RCRC Welcomes Monterey County to Membership

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) has added Monterey County to its membership, bringing the total number of RCRC member counties to thirty-seven.  The RCRC Board of Directors unanimously approved the addition at their August meeting.  Supervisor Chris Lopez will serve as the Delegate on the RCRC Board of Directors representing Monterey County.  Read More…

RCRC Leadership in Washington D.C. to Advocate for Federal Payments In-Lieu of Taxes

Next week, RCRC Chair Matt Kingsley (Inyo County), RCRC First Vice Chair Daron McDaniel (Merced), and RCRC Board Member and National Association of Counties (NACo) Western Interstate Region (WIR) President Kevin Cann (Mariposa County) will join RCRC staff for NACo’s annual Payments In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Fly-In in Washington, D.C.  

Scheduled September 10-12, 2019, this joint effort by Supervisors and Commissioners from around the United States allows county officials to spend time on Capitol Hill informing members of Congress and key staff of the importance of Federal PILT payments to counties. 

Federal PILT provides payments to counties to help offset losses in property tax revenues due to nontaxable federal lands within their jurisdictions.  Federal PILT funding is vital for many of the nation's counties to continue providing critical programs and services to rural communities.

Congress has yet to pass an Interior-Environment appropriations bill for Fiscal 2020.  Despite the lack of passage, initial bi-cameral efforts would fully fund Federal PILT, a policy supported by the overwhelming majority of members of Congress. 

In June, the U.S. Department of Interior announced that more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $514.7 million in Federal PILT funding for 2019.  Of the total $514.7 million, more than $51.7 million in Federal PILT funding for 2019 was dispersed to California, of which more than $32.4 million went to RCRC member counties.

RCRC staff and its federal advocacy team will continue to pursue a robust federal affairs program to address its federal priorities, including Federal PILT payments to counties, and funding for the Secure Rural Schools program. 

NACo’s 2019 PILT Fly-In website can be accessed here.

Congress Returns from August Recess

Next week, the 116th Congress will return from August recess to tackle the legislative agenda.  The Senate is set to tackle the federal appropriations for Fiscal 2020 their first week back in session.  On September 12th, the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education, Energy-Water and State-Foreign Operations bill that represents over half of the annual discretionary budget for the federal government.  The Congress must pass 12 appropriations bills before the new fiscal year begins on October 1st to avoid a government shutdown.  

The House approved 10 of 12 before the August break, but the Senate Appropriations Committee has not marked up any of the required appropriations measures.  Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) is expected to mark up four bills each week through the end of the month to meet the October 1st deadline.  If Chairman Shelby is unable to pass all 12 appropriations measures before the new fiscal year begins, Congress will have to enact a stopgap spending measure that would effectively extend the appropriations deadline.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) sent a letter to House members on September 5th saying the House would consider a stopgap spending bill the week of September 16th that would run until late November.

Beyond appropriations, both chambers of Congress will return to work on important issues for rural California.  On September 10th, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to consider the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s plan to relocate the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado, and on Wednesday, September 11th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the nationwide broadband maps.  Legislative activity is expected to pick up through the end of 2019 and many important issues for rural America will be on the agenda.

Bill of the Week: Assembly Bill 1816 (Daly) – Insurance

RCRC has lent its support to Assembly Bill 1816, authored by Assembly Member Tom Daly (D-Anaheim).  AB 1816 would, among other provisions, extend the notification period of a nonrenewal or expiration of an insurance policy from 30 to 75 days beginning July 1, 2020.  

RCRC believes AB 1816 is a good first step in allowing homeowners additional time to find replacement coverage in the event they are nonrenewed.  Rural homeowners in particular have a greater challenge finding new coverage in areas where insurance options are becoming fewer in number.  A 75-day period would allow homeowners to exhaust a larger universe of options before having to turn to the expensive FAIR Plan as a last resort for coverage.

RCRC’s support letter can be accessed here.  AB 1816 is currently awaiting action in the Senate (Third Reading File).  For more information contact Staci Heaton, Senior Regulatory Affairs Advocate, at (916) 447-4806 or


Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.


CalPERS Hosts 20th Annual Education Forum

The 2019 CalPERS Educational Forum will take place October 28-30 at the Oakland Marriott City Center.  During this forum you will can:

  • Attend customized educational sessions
  • Connect one-on-one with CalPERS experts
  • Discuss important issues facing your organization
  • Earn Continuing Education Credit
  • Meet CalPERS leaders
  • Network with colleagues from around the state

Details can be accessed here.


Range Management Advisory Committee (RMAC) Hosts Sustainable Vegetation Management, Grazing for Fuel Reduction Workshop

On September 16th, 2019, the Range Management Advisory Committee (RMAC) will be hosting a workshop to address sustainable vegetation management and the use of grazing as a fuels reduction tool to help prevent catastrophic wildfires.  The workshop will be hosted in the Natural Resources Building Auditorium in Sacramento, and will also be available via live webinar for remote attendees.  Details on the workshop can be accessed here, and the agenda can be accessed here.


Funding Opportunity: Northern California Forests and Watersheds Program

Click here

Placer County Seeks Environmental Resources Specialist

Click here

California Association of County Executives Seeks Executive Director



Imperial County Seeks County Counsel

Click here

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Announces Free Fishing Day

Click here

Center for Economic Development Hosts Fall Regional Economic Summit – North State Connected, Broadband for Rural Communities

Click here

Shasta County Seeks County Executive Officer

Click here


RCRC members are encouraged to share letters addressed to state and federal representatives and regulatory bodies with RCRC’s Government Affairs staff.  Click “Read More” to access information related to the current status of legislation and regulations impacting California’s rural counties.  

Assembly Bill 178 (Dahle):  Energy: building standards: photovoltaic requirements.  Assembly Bill 178 exempts post-fire residential rebuilding from recently-adopted California Energy Commission (CEC) solar energy installation mandates in order to reduce the cost of rebuilding.  Status:  AB 178 awaits the consideration of the Governor. RCRC Status:  Support

Assembly Bill 352 (Garcia): Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water.  Assembly Bill 352 enacts the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $3,920,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a wildlife prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation, and flood protection program. Status: AB 352 awaits consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 394 (Obernolte): California Environmental Quality Act: Exemption: Fire Safety. Assembly Bill 394 expedites fire safety improvements for subdivisions that are at significant fire risk and lack a secondary escape route. Status: AB 394 awaits action in the Senate (Third Reading File). RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 402 (Quirk): Local Primacy Delegation. Assembly Bill 402 has authorized the State Water Resources Control Board to delegate partial responsibility for the Safe Drinking Water Act's enforcement by means of a local primacy delegation agreement. Status: AB 402 failed passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 417 (Arambula): Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Act.  Assembly Bill 417 authorizes the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to take several actions to support rural communities and further the development of rural agricultural economies, including offering rural communities assistance in gathering economic data to target investments, identifying methods to attract and retain businesses, determining and forecasting the economic influences of agriculture and related industries, and mustering resources to expand broadband infrastructure.  Status:  AB 417 awaits action in the Senate (Special Consent Calendar).  RCRC Status:  Support

Assembly Bill 1080 (Gonzalez)/Senate Bill 54 (Allen): Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction. Assembly Bill 1080/SB 54 requires the state to reduce the waste associated with single use packaging and products 75 percent by 2030, requires the state to set standards for what is considered recyclable and compostable, and promotes the development of in-state manufacturing that uses recycled materials. Status: AB 1080 and SB 54 await action in the Senate and Assembly, respectively (Third Reading Files). RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1111 (Friedman): Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation. Assembly Bill 1111 would establish the Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation in state government. Requires the office to undertake certain activities, including supporting the outdoor recreation economy of the state by engaging in specified activities. Requires the office to create an advisory committee to provide advice, expertise, support, and service to the office. Authorizes the office to receive the assistance and funds from public and private sources. Status: AB 1111 failed passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1144 (Friedman): Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). Assembly Bill 1144 requires the California Public Utilities Commission to allocate at least $16 million from the Self-Generation Incentive Program to install energy storage systems to back up critical infrastructure in high-fire threat districts.  Status: AB 1144 awaits action in the Senate (Third Reading File). RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1516 (Friedman): Fire Prevention: Defensible Space Fuel Reduction. Assembly Bill 1516 would make various changes to improve California’s fire prevention policies including its defensible space requirements. Status: AB 1516 awaits action in the Senate (Third Reading File).  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1588 (Gloria): Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification. Assembly Bill 1588 requires the State Water Resources Control Board to evaluate opportunities to issue a water treatment operator certificate or water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity, or a wastewater certificate by examination waiver, to persons who performed duties comparable to those duties while serving in the United States military. Status: AB 1588 awaits the consideration of the Governor. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1783 (Rivas): Worker Housing State Funding: Assembly Bill 1783 requires "agricultural employee housing" of up to 36 single-family units to go through a streamlined, ministerial permit process, be treated as an agricultural land use, and permitted anywhere within any agricultural area. RCRC was able to obtain substantial amendments to preserve the ability of counties to protect the health, safety & welfare of residents. Status: AB 1783 awaits action in the Senate (Third Reading File). RCRC Status: Neutral

Assembly Bill 1816 (Daly): Insurance. Assembly Bill 1816 requires insurers to, notify homeowners 75 days in advance of a nonrenewal after July 1, 2020. Status: AB 1816 awaits action in the Senate (Third Reading File). RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 19 (Dodd): Water Resources: Stream Gages. Senate Bill 19 requires the California Department of Water Resources to develop a plan to deploy a network of stream gages that includes a determination of new needs as well as opportunities for reactivating existing gages. Status: SB 19 awaits action in the Assembly (Third Reading File). RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 45 (Allen): Wildfire, Drought, and Flood Protection Bond Act 2020. Senate Bill 45 enacts the Wildfire, Drought, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by voters, authorizes the issuance of bonds to finance projects to restore fire damaged areas, reduce wildfire risk, create healthy forests and watersheds, reduce climate impacts on urban areas and vulnerable populations, protect water supply and water quality, protect rivers, lakes and streams, reduce flood risk, protect fish and wildlife from climate impacts, and protect coastal lands and resources. Status: SB 45 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 167 (Dodd) Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans.  Senate Bill 167 requires electric utility deenergization protocols to mitigate impacts on Californians who rely on life-support equipment. Status:  SB 167 awaits action in the Assembly (Third Reading File).  RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 190 (Dodd): Fire Safety: Building Standards. Senate Bill 190 creates a model defensible space program for local governments and requires the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to provide training resources for local building officials, builders, and fire service personnel to improve building fire safety standards. Status: SB 190 awaits action in the Assembly (Third Reading File). RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 209 (Dodd): California Wildfire Forecast and Threat Center: Intelligence Integration. Senate Bill 209 establishes the CWFTIIC to conduct fire weather forecasting and threat assessment to aid in wildfire prevention and response. Status: SB 209 awaits action in the Assembly (Third Reading File). RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 253 (Dodd): California Agricultural Conservation Program. Senate Bill 253 requires the Scientific Advisory Panel on Environmental Farming under the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, to assist government agencies to incorporate the conservation of natural resources and ecosystem services practices into agricultural programs. Requires the Department of Food and Agriculture with advice from the panel, to establish and administer the California Agricultural Conservation Program subject to an appropriation by the Legislature. Status: SB 253 failed passage in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 414 (Caballero): Small Systems Water Authority Act of 2019. Senate Bill 414 creates the Small System Water Authority Act of 2019 and states legislative findings and declarations relating to authorizing the creation of small system water authorities that will have powers to absorb, improve, and competently operate noncompliant public water systems. Status: SB 414 failed passage in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 450 (Umberg) California Environmental Quality Act exemption: supportive and transitional housing: motel conversion.  SB 450 expedites the creation of supportive and transitional housing by exempting from CEQA, the temporary conversion of existing motels, hotels, and hostels into supportive and transitional housing from CEQA.  Status:  SB 450 awaits action in the Assembly (Third Reading File).  RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 559 (Hurtado): California Water Commission: Grant: Friant-kern Canal. Senate Bill 559 requires the grant to be part of a comprehensive solution to groundwater sustainability and subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley and would require the joint powers authority to demonstrate a funding match of at least 35 percent from user fees, local sources, federal funding, or a combination of these sources. Status: SB 559 failed passaged in the Assembly Appropriations Committee RCRC Position: Support