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2021 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

The SGVCOG annually adopts an agenda of local, state, and federal legislative objectives in the core regional policy areas of water, transportation, homelessness, energy, and the environment, aligning closely with the adopted Strategic Plan and in support of its member agencies. The 2021 agenda continues a number of objectives initiated under previous agendas and includes new objectives responsive to emerging challenges and opportunities. Housing policy, most notably, was assigned last year to the Executive Committee as a new area for consideration, given intense and ongoing state legislative activity in response to California’s housing shortage. The legislative priorities are recommended by the SGVCOG policy committees. These priorities help ensure that advocacy is coordinated, effective, and responsive to often fast-moving legislative developments.

The 2021 Legislative Priorities were officially adopted by the SGVCOG Governing Board on January 21, 2021.

AIR QUALITY

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  • Support the inclusion of city officials on the governing bodies of air districts and opposes efforts to remove such city representation.

  • Support the reduction of vehicle emissions through increased fuel efficiency, use of appropriate alternative fueled vehicles, and low-emission vehicles in public agency fleets.

  • Support cities’ authority to establish local air quality standards and programs that are stricter than state and federal standards.

  • Oppose legislation that redirects funds that are dedicated to supporting locally-based air quality programs.

ENERGY

  • Make energy costs affordable and stabilized.

  • Encourage local governments to complete an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, set appropriate reduction targets, and create greenhouse gas emission reduction plans.

  • Support local governments to benchmark their municipal facilities to monitor energy usage, identify facilities with high energy usage, and conduct audits to pinpoint potential energy efficiency projects to reduce energy consumption at those facilities.

  • Support tax credits, grants, loans, and other incentives to assist the public and local agencies that invest in energy-efficient equipment and technology, as well as fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles.

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  • Ensure energy supply while limiting dependence on foreign sources of energy.

  • Employ diverse strategies for conserving energy including: Energy efficiency, land use strategies, urban forest management, and infrastructure improvements (i.e. green building).

  • Develop innovative and affordable financing options for energy efficiency.

  • Move towards a “net-zero energy” model where the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources is equal to the amount of energy used by a building.

  • Support advancement of technology that expands renewable energy generation.

  • Support community choice aggregates (CCAs).

  • Promote public education of energy efficiency and conservation opportunities.

HOMELESSNESS

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State and Federal: 

  • Support legislation that promotes solutions to homelessness for those facing mental health and/or substance abuse challenges.

  • Support funding for programs that provide additional resources for homeless persons facing mental health and/or substance abuse challenges.

  • Support funding, particularly direct, non-competitive funding, for the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust (SGVRHT) and other entities that will create affordable housing for the region.

  • Support funding for the creation of housing units – especially very low, low, and moderate income – while respecting cities’ local control of land use decisions.

  • Support legislation and funding for programs that encourage workforce development activities for homeless persons.

  • Support funding for homeless prevention programs, including innovative local programs instituted by local cities.

  • Support legislation and funding for projects and programs that address quality of life issues, including public safety and water quality for all residents, including homeless persons.

  • Support funding for homelessness programs administered by SGVCOG and its member agencies.

  • Advocate for regional approaches that allow cities to comply with their Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) requirements.

  • Support funding for capital projects rather than planning activities and consider reallocating funding for planning activities to capital projects.

  • Support for financial incentives and tax advantages (such as the waiver of property value reassessments) for the construction of accessory dwelling units, particularly when they are restricted to house low-income individuals.

  • Advocate for funding for permanent supportive housing (PSH) resources dedicated to those with mental illness, including through project-based housing, tenant based rental assistance, and Los Angeles County’s “restorative care village” model.

  • Support efforts to better meet the needs of those who require a higher level of care than PSH, including by increasing the State payment rate for licensed board and care homes, as well as one-time funding necessary to prevent the closure of such facilities.

Local:

  • Promote the allocation of Measure H resources towards cities’ projects and programs – as well as regional projects and programs – that work to solve the homelessness crisis in the San Gabriel Valley.

  • Support funding for prevention programs that stop the flow of residents into homelessness, including innovative local programs instituted by local cities.

  • Promote collaboration between the County of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley cities in implementing projects, policies, and programs that work to solve the homelessness crisis in the San Gabriel Valley. 

  • Support reforms to the structure and function of Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and/or elements of the County homeless services system to better meet the needs of the San Gabriel Valley.

  • Support for efforts to create alternative crisis response models, particularly as relates to non-violent crises by people experiencing homelessness.

  • Support enhanced data gathering and sharing to advance understanding of and response to homelessness among all regional public and non-profit agencies to supplement the annual Point-in-Time count.

  • Recommend the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and other public entities, such as the State, community college districts, and school districts to evaluate the use of surplus or underutilized public facilities for mental health treatment and housing for mental illness.

HOUSING

  • Support legislation (including federal legislation) to provide incentives and grant funding intended to encourage housing production and particularly affordable housing development.

  • Make SGVCOG and/or SGVRHT eligible to receive direct funding from relevant state or federal housing grant or formula programs.

  • Provide state incentives to offset lost sales taxes if vacant commercial sites are rezoned by cities to permit housing or mixed-use developments.

  • Help homeowners finance construction of Accessory Dwelling Units, particularly affordable units for very low, low-, or moderate-income households

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  • Provide grants, bond funds, infrastructure financing plans, tax or other credits directed to affordable housing projects and programs, such as the Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant Program, which could fund projects sponsored by the SGVRHT and/or SGVCOG member cities. Amend eligibility or matching funds program provisions, as required, to increase the competitiveness of San Gabriel Valley-supported projects and programs.

  • Oppose legislation which allows multifamily housing in single-family zones unless the following amendments are included:

    • Local jurisdictions must first determine that existing and planned infrastructure and public services are sufficient to sustain new housing and new residents, including, but not limited to, sewers, water systems, transit, roads, parks and open space, EV charging, public schools and public safety services. This local government finding would be consistent with new state Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) law.

    • Grant local jurisdictions RHNA credit similar in practice to new state ADU law.

    • Provide state financial support to help cities meet their RHNA targets for affordable housing where multifamily units are permitted.

    • Exempt historic districts and properties.

    • Prohibit land speculation based on lot splits that do not result in the construction of new affordable housing.

    • Require access for police, fire, and other public safety vehicles and equipment.

    • Uphold local residential parking requirements.

    • Exempt very high fire severity zones.

    • Prohibit ministerial approval of ADUs in new multifamily unit areas

OPEN SPACE 

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  • Identify and protect open space for the multi-benefit enhancement of natural resources and enjoyment for the public.

  • Plan for growth by incentivizing compact development in some areas that in turn prevent open space development in other areas.

  • Develop greenbelts and greenways along and within urban development to limit unsuitable development and provide buffers to wildlife habitat.

  • Acquire and preserve open space at high risk of ecological degradation, primarily along the foothills, waterways, flood plains, and within the upper watershed.

  • Promote connectivity of wildlife corridors.

  • Promote development of diverse and localized recreational opportunities.

  • Promote public outreach and interpretation to foster awareness, knowledge, and stewardship of open space as a valuable resource.

  • Advocate for state and federal appropriations, funding from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, California Natural Resources Agency, and/or loan programs for open space acquisition, development, restoration, and management

SOLID WASTE

  • Encourage the diversification of solid waste management strategies, including conversion technology, that will create new markets that are feasible given the landscape and conditions of the San Gabriel Valley.

  • Support efforts to strengthen curbside recycling programs and oppose efforts to weaken such programs.

  • Encourage alternative renewable energy generation from organic waste, including biogas production.

  • Promote shared responsibility waste management principles, such as product stewardship, throughout the entire life cycle of a product, from design to disposal.

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  • Advocate for county, state, and federal appropriations and/or loan programs for solid waste management programs and initiatives.

  • Support regional, state, and federal efforts to implement laws, policies, and regulations that promote zero waste objectives.

  • Provide a strong commitment to utilizing financial incentives rather than mandatory requirements.

  • Ensure local jurisdictions are not subject to duplicative or contradictory legislative requirements.

TRANSPORTATION AND CAPITAL PROJECTS

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State & Regional:

  • Support legislative or administrative efforts to expedite environmental and permitting approvals and project delivery of San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs.

  • Continue to collaborate and participate with the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Caucus, the Mobility 21 Coalition, and other stakeholders to benefit San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs.

  • Support the development of the San Gabriel Valley Transit Feasibility Study.

  • Support continued engagement on I-710/I-10 interchange improvements and increased mobility for east-west travel corridors in the San Gabriel Valley.

  • Submit and/or advocate for funding requests, grant applications, or specific budget earmarks to ensure San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs are timely allocated or awarded Metro-administered funds, Senate Bill 1 and other state funds, and relevant county-administered funds.

  • Support the development of transportation and capital projects best practices and funding programs beneficial to San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs, including those currently or to be assigned for implementation to the Capital Projects and Construction Committee (Alameda Corridor-East Project, State Route 57-60 Project, Rio Hondo Load Reduction Strategy, Regional Bike Share, La Verne Pedestrian Bridge, etc.) as well as regional priority projects supported by the SGVCOG Governing Board, including, but not limited to, the Foothill Gold Line and the SR 71 Gap Closure Project.

Federal:

  • Propose and advocate policies, funding, and programs beneficial to San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs, including in the context of the reauthorization of the FAST Act multi-year surface transportation program legislation, possible standalone legislation or other relevant legislation.

  • Support transportation and capital projects in the San Gabriel Valley, including extension of the Foothill Gold Line to Montclair.

  • Support legislative or administrative efforts to expedite environmental and permitting approvals and project delivery of San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs.

  • Continue to work with the San Gabriel Valley’s federal representatives, the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, Mobility 21, Metro and other stakeholders in support of these legislative priorities and other matters that benefit San Gabriel Valley transportation and capital projects and programs.

WATER

State & Federal:​

  • Continue to advocate and/or pursue legislative solutions for adopting financial capability assessment guidelines in the issuance of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permits that provide an economic analysis of the costs and benefits of water quality improvements.

  • Continue to advocate for the establishment of reasonable timelines for compliance with new drinking water standards.

  • Advocate for calibration of applicable water quality requirements with available funding.

  • Advocate for water rights assignment to MS4 agencies for new infiltrated water.

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Local:

  • Advocate for Measure W funding for cities’ MS4 projects.

  • Advocate for reasonable financial analysis to be incorporated into 2020 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 Permit that allows cities to comply with the Permit without facing a significant unfunded burden.

  • Advocate for enhancements to the implementation of the Safe Clean Water Program to ensure that the funding is effectively and efficiently used for projects that focus on ensuring clean water for all residents and cities' compliance with the MS4 Permit.

  • Advocate for the Safe Clean Water Program to be integrated with the successor NPDES MS4 Permit.

  • Advocate for regional projects that provide water quality, supply, and resiliency benefits to the San Gabriel Valley.