Senator Janet Nguyen successfully advocates for $100 million for Counties to be reimbursed for State Mandated Services for Public Safety and Elections

Monday, April 20, 2015

As member of the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Senator Janet Nguyen successfully led efforts to encourage her colleagues to support reimbursing counties for mandates that the State is currently failing to pay for. Funding these mandates will help enhance public safety and ensure fair and uniform elections.

On the public safety front, Senator Nguyen led the effort to secure $22.6 million in funding for two public safety mandates that are intended to protect victims of domestic violence. As a result, counties would now be reimbursed for the costs incurred to report the presence of firearms or deadly weapons at the scene of a domestic violence incident and domestic violence-related calls for assistance and take custody of firearms or deadly weapons under certain circumstances. Counties would also be reimbursed to perform database searches of people who are charged with domestic violence or when considering domestic violation restraining orders.

“As a former County Supervisor, I was able to experience first hand the struggle that counties go through to implement mandates when there is no funding attached,” said Senator Janet Nguyen.

“Protecting the safety of our residents, especially those who are victims of domestic is of utmost importance and we need to provide our counties with the funding necessary to carry out these critical duties.”

In order to ensure fair and uniform elections, Senator Nguyen also took the lead in pushing to reimburse counties for eight previously suspended election mandates. The mandates cover areas such as primary elections, absentee ballots and voter registration and verification. In the past, concerns have been raised regarding the lack of incentive for counties to review late absentee and provisional ballots due to the costs associated with these processes. This appropriation would provide counties with a $77.4 million General Fund appropriation to pay for these costs.

“Elections are at the backbone of American democracy so we need to ensure that Counties have the resources to protect the integrity of the election process,” said Senator Nguyen.

The reimbursements still need to be approved by the Conference Committee on Budget before being implemented.