Budget Committees Race to Finalize Remaining Budget Trailer Bills

This week, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process Oversight and Program Evaluation convened an informational hearing on remaining budget trailer bills just ahead of the end of this year’s legislative session. The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee was initially scheduled to meet on Thursday, but the hearing was postponed until likely sometime this weekend.

The Assembly subcommittee convened its hearing on Tuesday to examine budget trailer bills on the 2020 Budget Act, state government operations, and education finance. Notably, SB 115 and AB 86 include provisions that place into statute Realignment backfill to support critical county services amid the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and county affiliates worked closely with the Newsom Administration to finalize details of the Realignment backfill agreement.

Under the measures, three-quarters of the $750 million Realignment backfill must be distributed to counties within 15 days of the chaptering of the legislation. It would additionally require the $250 million amount subject to the federal trigger to be distributed within 15 days of the determination that the federal funding will be made available. Counties will be required to submit a monthly form to the Department of Finance certifying compliance with the state’s COVID-19 public health orders, and any county that is determined to be out of compliance with orders must be provided an opportunity to consult with the Newsom Administration and correct deficiencies prior to a redirection of backfill funding.

With only days remaining in the legislative session, lawmakers are expected to finalize all remaining budget trailer bills by the end of the day on Monday, August 31.