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File #: 20-6866    Version: 1
Type: New Business
In control: City Council/Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency/Public Financing Authority/Parking Authority Concurrent
Final action:
Title: APPROVE A MOTION TO ADOPT THE 2020 STATE AND FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Attachments: 1. Attachment A - 2020 State Legislative Program - Redline, 2. Attachment B - 2020 State Legislative Program - Final, 3. Attachment C - 2020 Federal Legislative Program - Redline, 4. Attachment D - 2020 Federal Legislative Program - Final

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APPROVE A MOTION TO ADOPT THE 2020 STATE AND FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

 

recommended action

RECOMMENDATION

 

It is recommended that the City Council adopt by motion the 2020 State and Federal Legislative Programs and authorize the City Manager to pursue the objectives outlined in these Programs through advocacy efforts in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

 

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Summary

 

Maintaining a strong presence in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., is important to the City of Stockton to ensure that we receive funding, advance beneficial legislation, and prevent harmful legislation or rulemaking.  This is most effectively done through the use of consulting services to represent the City of Stockton in carrying out its legislative program and advocating its public policy positions, concerns, needs, and recommendations at the federal and state level.

 

The City has developed legislative programs that outline its advocacy priorities and positions as determined and adopted by the City Council.  This allows the City to be responsive to developments in state and federal issues and to pursue funding and legislation that benefits our community. The State and Federal Legislative Programs have proven to be valuable tools to direct the legislative advocacy efforts of the City.

 

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 and legislative staff transitions, the legislative programs presented for Council consideration and adoption have been updated based on the 2020 legislative session, ongoing City priorities concerning COVID-19 program enhancements, and emerging issues for the current year. To continue to stay on track for the 2021 legislative schedule, the adoption of the current year state and legislative programs will be used to inform 2021 legislative priorities and positions.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Background

 

Throughout each year, the State Legislature and the United States Congress initiate legislation, some of which affect local municipal government. The League of California Cities and contracted legislative advocacy firms keep the City of Stockton informed on proposed legislation from these bodies. The League of California Cities and National League of Cities (NLC) also provide information and advocacy for municipalities at the federal level.  At times, it is in the best interest of the City to take a position on proposed legislation or funding opportunities. In recent years, the City Council has adopted legislative programs to provide the parameters and authority for staff and designated City advocates to pursue City of Stockton interests with the state and federal governments on a timely basis in a rapidly changing environment.

 

Since 2012, legislative programs have been developed by staff in the City Manager’s office based on previous legislative positions taken by the City, adopted City Council goals, benchmarking of other comparable municipalities, and in anticipation of key issues coming forward in each respective year. The legislative programs are also revised in consultation with City departments and state and federal legislative advocates and then presented to the City Council for consideration and adoption.

 

The result is that City efforts and the services provided by our legislative advocates have been more focused, and our efforts in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. have been more impactful.

 

Some examples of priorities and actions taken by state legislative programs include updates concerning COVID-19 actions, advocacy on pending state bills, requests for infrastructure and public safety funding, advocacy for affordable housing and homelessness, and monitoring labor and tenant protection rights bills following COVID-19. One of the more significant achievements provided support for Stockton to be recognized and included in California’s big 13 cities. During 2020, federal advocacy for the City was provided to increase awareness among federal administration leaders about unique projects and needs for the City, such as the Holman Bridge over Bear Creek project, and programmatic resources provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Economic Development Agency. Federal efforts resulted in support for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act regional wastewater control facility modifications project, and exploration of federal funding to replace emergency radio infrastructure.

 

In recent years, the legislative programs were shared by our legislative advocates with all members of our respective legislative delegations as well as key staff in both state and federal executive departments. This made our positions and priorities clear and public before legislation was drafted and project lists established. Having legislative programs has allowed the City to act in a strategic and timely manner.

 


Present Situation

 

Over the past year, City staff has engaged with legislative advocates to assess the needs and opportunities of the City, determine areas of improvement, and prepare legislative priorities for the coming year. The proposed 2020 State Legislative Program and 2020 Federal Legislative Program (Attachments A-D) were developed by City staff in consultation with the City Council and with feedback from our legislative advocates.  In addition, revisions were made based on experiences from the 2019 legislative sessions and in anticipation of emerging issues in the coming year.

 

The legislative programs continue to follow the outline established in previous years, including legislative principles, priorities, and positions.  Legislative principles are foundational statements of broad legislative objectives or philosophies that form the basis for establishing legislative priorities and positions. Legislative priorities are the key issues that the City and contracted advocates will be pursuing; it is the task list or scope of work for advocacy in a given year.  Legislative positions are statements related to other legislative themes or issues that have come up in the past or that the City anticipates will come up in the future. They are not priority issues, but in the event that legislation arises and the City needs to issue a letter of support or opposition, the position of the City has already been established.

 

The intent is to develop and adjust the legislative programs annually and present to City Council for review and approval.  Legislative priorities and legislative positions may vary during the year; however, the five legislative principles outlined in the state and federal platforms by design are to remain fairly constant to align with the City’s annual strategic planning. The proposed legislative programs for 2020 continue to prioritize and build on the City’s 2019 legislative principles and positions. The most current updates have been made based on recent feedback from Departmental leadership and the Council and Departmental strategic planning that was published in June 2020.

 

Revisions to the 2019 State Legislative Priorities represent refinement in our action plans to best position the City. With the City participating in the Big City Mayors coalition, the City has an increased presence advocating for funding to address housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. In addition, the State priorities shift focus to advocacy that supports the revitalization of Stockton’s downtown core and Stockton’s neighborhoods, including support for programs like emergency COVID-19 relief, affordable housing and homelessness, environmental justice, and public safety.

 

The proposed 2020 Federal Legislative Program maintains the City’s position on key issues and establishes assertive action plans for new opportunities based on the themes that are emerging as priorities for the current administration.  In addition, there is considerable interest at the federal level to allow legislators appropriate opportunities for direct funding allocations. The federal priorities position the City to take full advantage of these funding allocations when they become available.

 

For proposed legislation either consistent with the City’s legislative programs or consistent with legislative positions the City has taken in the past, adoption of these Legislative Programs will provide the necessary authorization that will allow City staff to prepare position letters for the Mayor’s signature. If the Mayor is not available, the Vice-Mayor or City Manager will be authorized to sign position letters in place of the Mayor. All members of City Council will receive copies of position letters that are sent. The City’s advocacy firm may also be authorized to express the City’s position in person to legislative representatives.

 

Once adopted, the 2020 State and Federal Legislative Programs will provide the parameters and authority for staff and advocates to pursue City of Stockton interests during the current year and inform advocacy work into 2021 with state and federal governments. This will reaffirm the City’s need to take swift actions in cases where the City has been unable to represent our interests in the past. The program will also notify our delegations of our positions and priorities on key issues. Overall, the adoption of the 2020 state and federal legislative programs will allow the City to be more coordinated, transparent, and efficient in our advocacy efforts at both the state and federal level.

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

 

There is no financial impact to the City of Stockton related to this agenda item.

 

Attachment A - 2020 State Legislative Program - Redline

Attachment B - 2020 State Legislative Program - Final

Attachment C - 2020 Federal Legislative Program - Redline

Attachment D - 2020 Federal Legislative Program - Final