On Tuesday, California Representatives David Valadao (D-Hanford), Salud Carbajal (D- Santa Barbara), and Jim Costa (D-Fresno) joined a bipartisan group of 50 members in sending a letter of opposition to the Office of Management and Budget regarding a committee proposal recommending reclassifying Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and thereby doubling the minimum core population threshold from 50,000 to 100,000. This change would affect five California MSAs to lose their status, including Chico (Butte County), Hanford-Corcoran (Kings County), Madera (Madera County), Napa (Napa County), and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles (San Luis Obispo County).
Although the Office of Management and Budget maintains these MSAs for statistical purposes only, many federal programs rely on these designations to determine policies and funding targeting rural areas and the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee specifically did not take that into account. RCRC submitted a letter expressing concern with this change unless a more in-depth review in undertaken to examine the practical effects, which could have major downstream implications for certain rural communities. More information can be accessed here.