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Legislation and Policy Affecting Our Region

August 7, 2014
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RC Report

Highlights from the Regional Council Meeting

Image: Hon. Mary Ann Lutz, City of Monrovia and President of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, City of Monrovia and President of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, gives a presentation to the Regional Council on efforts to inform Congress on the high costs of implementing new federal wastewater permits.

ACTION – RC URGES CITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN WATER AFFORDABILITY SURVEY

The Regional Council adopted a recommendation today urging cities within the region to participate in a water costs survey that would assist in informing Congress on the costs to cities of operating and maintaining the nation’s critical utility systems. The survey was designed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in reaction to high fees associated with implementing a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Sanitary Storm Sewer permit. Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, City of Monrovia, gave a presentation on the impact of the permit on local jurisdictions and how the survey will be used to guide potential legislation on the affordability of federal mandates and providing additional funding to communities to help them comply. Cities are encouraged to access the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/watercosts and provide information on the average annual household costs of providing drinking water, sanitary sewers, combined storm and sanitary sewers and flood control systems in their jurisdictions.

RC RECOGNIZES 2014 SCAG SCHOLARSHIP AWARDEES

This morning, the Regional Council recognized the seven awardees of the 2014 SCAG Scholarship Program. They included: Amber Valenzuela, a Calexico High School graduate from Imperial County; John Marcus, a graduate from Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles; Elena Villaescusa Pineda, graduate from El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills; Andrea Kim, graduate from Oxford Academy in Cypress; Taylor Thomas, graduate from Santa Rosa Academy in Menifee; Oscar Sandoval-Banuelos, a graduate of Don Antonio Lugo High School in Chino; and Marisa Pedroso, a Moorpark High School graduate from Ventura County. Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship award and participate in a two- week internship with SCAG or a local planning agency. SCAG’s scholarship program was launched in 2010 to encourage young leaders to pursue careers in urban planning and local government.

Image: 2014 SCAG Scholarship Award Recipients

RC Officers with SCAG Scholarship Award Recipients, front row, from left: First Vice President Cheryl Viegas-Walker, Andrea Kim, Marisa Pedroso, Amber Valenzuela, Elena Villaescusa Pineda and Second Vice President Michele Martinez; back row, from left: SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, Immediate Past President Greg Pettis, John Marcus, President Carl Morehouse and Taylor Thomas; not pictured Oscar Sandoval-Banuelos.

News From the Executive Director

Additional News for the Month

Fifty Years Into The War On Poverty - August 20, 2014 - 9AM-3PM - California Science Center - Register Now!

SCAG HOSTS SUMMIT ON POVERTY

SCAG and the Southern California Leadership Council will be hosting an important discussion on the growing number of people living in poverty in the region on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The event, "Fifty Years Into the War on Poverty," aims to raise awareness about the issue; develop a broad coalition of stakeholders to help find solutions; identify specific actions needed to move people out of poverty and into jobs; assure Southern California’s future prosperity for our economy and residents; and outline ways for attendees to get involved. Speakers include former California Gov. Gray Davis; Connie Rice, Co-Founder & Co-Director of the Advancement Project; Nolan Rollins, President and CEO of the L.A. Urban League, and many others. The event is free, but space is limited. For more information and to register, please visit www.scag.ca.gov/PovertySummit.

WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPING GUIDELINES FOR NEW SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS

The Strategic Growth Council is seeking public input on the development of guidelines for its Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC), a new funding opportunity created by the recently approved California Cap-and- Trade Expenditure Plan. The program is intended to further the purposes of AB 32 and SB 375 by investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the creation of more compact infill development patterns; encouraging active transportation and mass transit usage; and protecting agricultural land from sprawling development. An AHSC guideline development workshop will be held on Friday, Aug. 15th, at the Caltrans District 7 office, 100 S. Main St., in Los Angeles. Additional information on the SGC workshop, including instructions on how to register, is available at www.sgc.ca.gov.

CONGRESS APPROVES SHORT-TERM FIX FOR HIGHWAY TRUST FUND

On Thursday, July 31st, Congress passed HR 5021, a short-term measure that provides approximately $10.8 billion in offsets to support transfers of general funds into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and to extend the authorizations for transit, highway, and highway safety programs funded from the HTF through May 31, 2015. The bill was signed by President Obama on Aug. 1st. The HTF was set to run out of money this month had Congress not passed a bill addressing the funding shortfall. Extending HTF funding until May 2015 means that any long-term structural funding for the HTF and the successor to MAP-21 will likely be addressed by the next Congress. More information is available in SCAG’s August State and Federal Legislative Update.

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    September

  • 1st Labor Day Holiday - SCAG Offices Closed
  • 3-5th League of California Cities 2014 Annual Conference & Expo
  • 11th Regional Council & Policy Committee Meetings
  • 13-16th APA California Annual Conference
  • 16th Legislative/Communications & Membership Committee Meeting
  • 18th Technical Working Group
  • 19-20th 2014 AltCar Expo & Conference
  • 21-24th Rail~Volution 2014
  • 23rd Transportation Conformity Working Group Meeting
  • 24th Modeling Task Force Meeting

Questions or comments? Contact us at spotlight@scag.ca.gov.