CFRW Capitol Update August 17, 2023

Capitol update header

California Federation of Republican Women
Officially Chartered by the National Federation of Republican Women
and the California Republican Party

From the Desk of Mary Ervin, CFRW President
Submitted by Jeanne Solnordal, Legislative Analyst
August 17, 2023


The State legislature has gone back to work this week

What is our Governor up to?

CA Governor Gavin Newsom

Mental Health Services Act: Governor’s Behavioral Health Modernization Proposal

Word cloud featuring types of mental illness

Impact of Governor’s Proposal on Funding for Children and Youth

Summary. This post is one in a series of analyses on the various components of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Modernization proposal. The Governor’s proposal is reflected in (1) SB 326 (Eggman), as amended on July 13, 2023, which would make far-reaching changes to the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), and (2) AB 531 (Irwin), as amended June 19, 2023, which proposes a $4.7 billion bond for behavioral health facilities and housing for veterans. As we discussed in a previous post, the Governor’s proposal would change the funding categories under the MHSA, requiring counties to allocate more MHSA funding towards Full-Service Partnerships (FSPs) and housing interventions. This post assesses the potential impact of this aspect of the Governor’s proposal on county spending for children and youth mental health services. We find that, on net, whether the current level of county spending on children and youth services would be maintained within MHSA is uncertain. While counties would have less flexibility to spend funds on some children and youth services, counties likely would be able to increase spending of FSPs for children under 18. Consequently, and because there is no funding requirement for children and youth, the net effect on spending is unclear.
-Recommend Rejection of Governor’s Proposal to Reduce Allowable County Reserves. In light of extreme Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) revenue volatility, allowable county reserves would have to be around two-thirds higher than their current levels to provide reasonable protection against declines in revenue. The Governor’s proposal would therefore move allowable reserves in the wrong direction. In addition, we think counties should generally have more flexibility in how they can deposit and use reserves and offer suggestions for how to improve the overall MHSA reserve policy.

-Recommend Addressing MHSA Revenue Volatility Head On. The volatile MHSA tax is not suited to supporting ongoing mental health services and sufficiently mitigating MHSA revenue volatility with a reserve policy alone would be challenging. A more straightforward approach would be to change the MHSA revenue source. We offer an option that we think has little downside from either the state’s or counties’ perspectives.

-The governor said to look for amendments Tuesday to the Mental Health Services Reform Act, a proposal to redirect money from the state’s millionaire’s tax towards housing assistance. The amendments aim to address concerns raised by advocates and an analysis from the Legislative Analyst’s Office that some county-run mental health programs could lose out. Asked about criticism that the program may not include enough local flexibility, Newsom replied: “I’m not interested in failing more efficiently.”
For a complete detailed analysis go here:
 Legislative Analyst office


The US Constitution on top of an American flag with a handgun on top.
For years, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed law after law layering on bans, restrictions and limitations on guns in California, only to see those laws swatted down by conservative judges for violating the U.S. Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms.  

Now Newsom has a new idea: Change the Constitution itself.

Today the governor, who has become one of the country’s most outspoken advocates for tighter gun laws, proposed adding a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution to place new age limits, background check requirements and mandatory waiting periods for gun purchasers. His proposed amendment would also ban the civilian ownership of so-called assault weapons.

The governor plans to keep pushing his proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution on gun control. Today, Assembly Public Safety Chairperson Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Senate Public Safety.

Chairperson Aisha Wahab are to highlight a joint resolution that would call for a constitutional convention. The amendment, which Newsom is pursuing through his Campaign for Democracy PAC, would ban assault rifles, raise the federal minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 from 18 and mandate universal background checks, as well as institute a “reasonable” waiting period.
Also see:
 AB-28 Firearms and ammunition: excise tax.
AB-1089 Firearms.  (licensing)
AB-1133 Firearms: concealed carry licenses.

California to fine school district $1.5M for rejecting textbooks

A young school girl sleeping on her textbooks.
Author: Staff (ABC10)
Published: 9:18 PM PDT July 19, 2023
Updated: 9:18 PM PDT July 19, 2023
CALIFORNIA, USA — The Temecula Valley Unified School District is getting new textbooks from the state along with the bill and a $1.5 million fine.

In a news release from Governor Gavin Newsom, he said the board’s decision to reject textbooks will leave them without proper instruction materials for the new school year.

The governor said the state is entering into a contract for textbooks to provide students.

“The three political activists on the school board have yet again proven they are more interested in breaking the law than doing their jobs of educating students — so the state will do their job for them,” said Governor Newsom. “California will ensure students in Temecula begin the school year with access to materials reviewed by parents and recommended by teachers across the district. After we deliver the textbooks into the hands of students and their parents, the state will deliver the bill — along with a $1.5 million fine — to the school board for its decision to willfully violate the law, subvert the will of parents, and force children to use an out-of-print textbook from 17 years ago.” 

Officials said district students are using a textbook that was published in 2006. According to a news release, the district is out of compliance with at least three separate state laws and frameworks with its current curriculum.

Despite state officials calling on the school district adopt updated curriculum, the school board voted to reject the adoption of a new social studies curriculum on July 18. The curriculum was recommended by teachers in the district and reviewed by parents. Citing the school district, Newsom’s office said the 98.8% of parents, educators and community members were supportive or impartial to the curriculum.

Newsom is also working with the legislators and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to fine school districts that don’t provide “adequate instructional materials” to students.

Newsom will be visiting schools and high school career academies around the state — including today in Elk Grove — to emphasize career pathways.

The governor, who is helping lead recent efforts against book bans, also pushed back on the narrative from “outside agitators” on classroom culture wars, saying that parents are involved in the educational process.

parental rights rally, led by board members in school districts that have sought to limit classroom materials, is set for the Capitol today. 
ABC News 10