2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
CITY ANDCOUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
2007 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
I. Health Care
San Francisco has an estimated 82,000 uninsured adult residents – 15% of our population. These residents have limited access to routine preventive care, suffer from poorer health outcomes, delay seeking treatment when ill and ultimately rely on more costly episodic or emergency care for health conditions that could be treated in primary care settings.
San Francisco is the first City in the nation to initiate a plan to provide health care coverage to all of the City's uninsured residents. Under San Francisco's comprehensive Health Access Program, the City will provide the uninsured with timely access to high quality health care services covering preventive care, primary care, specialty care, urgent and emergency care, laboratory services, inpatient hospitalization, x-ray services and pharmaceuticals.
A. The San Francisco Health Access Program (HAP). Support legislation and administrative action to maximize state funding for the HAP. SB 1448, authored by Senator Sheila Kuehl and signed by the Governor in 2006, implements a 3-year plan to draw down federal funds to provide health care coverage to uninsured Californians. San Francisco is uniquely situated to receive funds from this initiative because the HAP, described above, contains many of the required elements of the Coverage Initiative, including:
o A specific enrollment procedure
o A “medical home” for clients
o Provision of a benefit package of services
o Screening for eligibility for Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, and other programs
o A documented plan to begin enrollment by July 1, 2007.
B. Proposition 63. Support legislation and administrative action to maximize funding for mental health services under Prop. 63. San Francisco was an early and strong supporter of Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, approved by California voters in 2004. Unfortunately, the formula released by the State Department of Mental Health in 2005 for allocating Prop. 63 funds is extremely flawed – San Francisco received only half of the funds for clinical services than was originally projected in FY 05-06: $5.3 million versus the anticipated amount of more than $10 million. The formula allocates money to counties based on county population, rather than on need. Despite San Francisco’s disproportionately high share of homeless and indigent residents with mental health needs, the current formula allocation for San Francisco is the lowest in the state, at only $6.86 per capita. By comparison, the average county allocation for FY 05-06 was $9.29. Rural counties with small populations and lower capacity to provide services receive over $20 per capita. The nine counties with the lowest per-capita share of Prop 63 funding are all in the Bay Area.
To address the funding disparity under Prop. 63, San Francisco urges the state to allocate the Prop. 63 “reserve” fund to address the disparities in the formula funding, by:
o Basing the allocation on actual clients served, rather than allocating by county population. San Francisco has over 23,000 unduplicated clients in our mental health programs, and over 12,000 additional clients in substance abuse programs – at total of 35,000. The state estimated that San Francisco had fewer than 16,000.
o Target the funds to expand supportive housing for the mentally ill – a proven treatment strategy.
o Target the funds to expand homeless outreach and clinical services. In San Francisco, outreach services are effective in reaching the chronically homeless, mentally ill clients who would otherwise not seek services on their own.
o Release the funds collected from additional, unexpected tax revenue as soon as possible. The State collected almost double the amount of tax revue expected for Prop. 63, but is holding these additional funds on reserve. Based on San Francisco’s proven ability to spend these funds effectively, we request that these funds be released immediately.
C. Medi-Cal Support for Assisted Living and Supportive Housing. Secure a Plan Amendment to the State Medicaid Waiver for assisted living and supportive housing. Under AB 2968 (Leno), signed by the Governor in 2006, the State of California will submit a Plan Amendment to the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that will allow San Francisco to draw down Medicaid funds to pay for assisted living and supportive housing. This will allow senior, disabled, and homeless San Franciscans to avoid unnecessary institutionalization at Laguna Honda, and instead receive community-based care.
D. Medical Respite Facility. Support legislation and administrative action to fund a medical respite facility. This facility would provide transitional housing and treatment to homeless individuals who are ready for discharge from San Francisco General Hospital, but still require some level of treatment and care. A respite facility will provide an alternative to high-cost skilled nursing beds and premature discharge to an unsupported living environment.
E. San Francisco GeneralHospital. Support a 2-year extension for the seismic rebuild of San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). SFGH is the only Level 1 Trauma Center hospital between Santa Rosa and Palo Alto. San Francisco has made a good faith effort to meet this deadline, including committing $25 million in General Fund revenues to begin planning. SB 1661 (Cox), signed by the Governor in 2006, provides a 2-year extension, through 2015, for counties to complete their seismic retrofit. San Francisco is working to meet the requirements of SB 1661.
II. Housing and Homelessness
A. Supportive Housing. Support legislation and administrative action to fund more supportive housing through Propositions 1C and 63. Proposition 1C, passed by California voters on November 7, 2006, will provide funds to build new housing in California, including supportive housing. Funding from Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (passed by California voters in 2004) can provide the wrap-around services in that housing.
B. Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006 (Proposition 1C): Closely monitor the development of regulations related to the allocation of Proposition 1C funds, and support legislation and administrative action to that will assist the City with increasing its low income housing stock, including redevelopment of public housing. In addition, work with the City’s legislative delegation on seeking funds for infrastructure improvement for eligible infill development projects and housing related park grants.
C. Rental Assistance: Support legislation and administrative action to provide state rental assistance to families at risk of becoming homeless.
D. In Home Supportive Services (IHSS): Increase the cap on state participation for IHSS workers’ wages and benefits costs. The current state cap = $12.10/hr. An increase on the state cap for IHSS participation would alleviate cost pressures on the City’s General Fund. The City and County of San Francisco anticipates a significant increase in IHSS provider hours in the coming years, which will increase the City’s cost of providing IHSS services.
E. Transfer of property to foster children: Support legislation and administrative action to allow transfer of property from parents to foster children without reassessment.
F. Housing for foster children: As approved by prior legislation, fully fund 100% of county costs for the Transitional Housing Plus Program. This program will aid almost 70 emancipating foster youth, at a cost of $1.3 million.
III. Economic Development
- Land use at the Port of San Francisco: Sponsor legislation to increase the flexibility of land use at the Port of San Francisco, in order to facilitate appropriate economic development. Ensure that all land use decisions receive full public hearing and input. Ensure that public access to the waterfront remains a top priority. Specifically:
i) Paper Streets: sponsor legislation to lift the Public Trust designation from surplus “paper streets” that exist only on maps and are not in fact public rights of way. This would enable the Port to sell this surplus property, which would both fund the Port’s capital needs and allow appropriate economic use of underutilized property.
ii) Seawall Lots: sponsor legislation to lift the Public Trust designation from surplus seawall lots, which are separated from the waterfront, in order to fund the Port’s capital needs and allow appropriate use of underutilized property.
- Treasure Island Interstate Ramps: Sponsor legislation to ensure that Caltrans assumes ownership of the Treasure Island onramps and offramps to the Bay Bridge.
- Enterprise Zones: Support legislation and administrative action to allow San Francisco to continue operation of its Enterprise Zone, which generates jobs and economic activity in disadvantaged neighborhoods in San Francisco.
- Eminent domain: Oppose legislation that proscribes the City’s ability to use eminent domain in the limited instances where it may be necessary as a tool of last resort for projects that benefit the community. Closely monitor legislation that limits the ability of redevelopment agencies to use eminent domain for economic development purposes. The City remains committed to procedural protections that afford full public input into land-use planning decisions that may involve the City's acquisition of private property, to continuing to use eminent domain only in the last instance, and to treating and compensating fairly owners whose property may be acquired through eminent domain.
- Renewable Energy: Support legislation and administrative action to further the City’s goals to expand the use and implementation of renewable energy projects and funding programs, such as solar and wind power, as well as exploring the potential for tidal energy projects.
- CaliforniaGlobal Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32): Work with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and CARB staff on the development and implementation of regulations related to AB 32.
V. Public Safety
- AlternativeYouth Rehabilitation Center: Partner with other Bay Area counties to support legislation to create a regional rehabilitation center to serve as an alternative placement for youth in the most serious trouble who would otherwise go to CYA/DJJ. Legislation would create a pilot program at the now-closed Hidden Valley center.
- Ex-offender Re-entry Programs. Expand state funding for ex-offender re-entry. Programs that help ex-offenders to successfully re-enter society are key to reducing recidivism and homelessness. San Francisco runs a successful program though a partnership between the Sheriff, Department of Public Health, and District Attorney. The program provides supportive housing coupled with the infusion of onsite behavioral health services that facilitate stabilization and re-entry into the community. It also provides case management services for recently released inmates (including those with HIV/AIDS) that allow inmates to make a successful transition back to the community.
- Human Trafficking: Support legislation and administrative action to reduce trafficking in women and girls. San Francisco has committed to reducing trafficking through an aggressive anti-trafficking program.
- Crime Lab: Increase state funding for crime-lab technology. Increased funding for state-of-the-art crime lab technology would help San Francisco to more quickly process DNA samples from crime scenes and solve crimes.
- Anti-Violence Programs: Increase state funding for anti-violence and conflict-resolution Programs. These programs can prevent violence and reduce entries into the criminal justice system.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency oversees both the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the Department of Parking and Traffic. SFMuni is the 7th largest transit system in the nation and 2nd largest in the state, carrying over 700,000 passengers per day.
- Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Propositions 1B and 1C): Closely monitor the development of regulations related to the allocation of Proposition 1B funds, and support implementation legislation and administrative action that is consistent with the City’s transportation funding priorities. In addition, monitor the development of regulations for the Transit Oriented Development Implementation Program that is contained in Proposition 1C.
- Transit Funding: Support legislation and administrative action to maximize transit funding for San Francisco.
- Pedestrian Safety: Support legislation and administrative action to expand use of, and state financing for, pedestrian countdown clocks at street intersections (AB 23).
- Improved bus transit times: Preserving bus-only lanes for exclusive use by busses is an important strategy for improving travel times for public transit. San Francisco currently has 14 miles of “bus only” lanes. Most City busses operate in regular traffic lanes. To improve bus transit times, the City urges:
i) Support for legislation and administrative action that enhances the ability of local governments to take enforcement action against drivers who violate bus-only lanes on city streets.
ii) Support for legislation and administrative action that enhances the ability of local governments to enforce “yield to bus” laws, which give busses right-of-way when departing bus stops.
- Protection for POP Officers: Support legislation and administrative action to provide additional protection for passengers, pedestrians and SFMTA operators/employees including Proof-of-Payment (POP) and Hearing Officers. Protections that currently apply to Parking Control Officers should be extended to other Muni officials.
For additional information, please contact:
§ Amiee Albertson, Mayor’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs: (415) 554-5965
§ Lynn Suter, Lynn Suter Associates: (916) 442-0412.