Securing Special District Funding for Covid-19
Help them keep serving us – please support the coalition
Regular readers of our publications are no doubt aware that our community's municipal government - Sacramento County - is sometimes, well...let's just say, less than stellar. Fortunately there are several special districts that provide the area with certain municipal services beyond what the County offers and they do it pretty well. We're talking about the variety of independent special districts that serve us, such as: Metro Fire, the Del Paso Manor and Sacramento Suburban Water Districts, SMUD and several local recreation and park districts (Arcade Creek, Arden Park, Arden Manor and Fulton-El Camino).
Districts like these are dealing with budget shortfalls in the wake of the pandemic. Unlike other government entities (the state, school districts, cities, counties and dependent districts run by Sacramento County itself) California’s independent special districts have received no direct access to COVID-19 relief funding programs to date.
While the federal government, through the CARES Act and Rescue Plan Act, has provided a combined $58 billion to California in State and Local Government funding, special district local governments like the ones that serve us have received none of that funding. For example, the County gave the Sheriff's Department, probation officers and park rangers 70% of its $181M CARES Act money. None of those funds flowed to any other first responder and local law enforcement entities - like Metro Fire's EMTs or Fulton-El Camino's multi-agency Park Police - who have also been on the front lines throughout the pandemic.
Unlike other government entities, California’s special districts have received no direct access to COVID-19 relief funding programs to date.
For this reason, the Districts have formed a statewide coalition of local governments and other community stakeholders seeking broad support from business, non-profit, labor, and other leaders to request that funds coming to the State of California from the recently signed federal American Rescue Plan Act be made available to California’s special districts, including those that provide our community with vital services.
The Districts need your help. We all well know, understand, and rely on the valuable work our special districts do here in the community. They are asking you to please support their coalition, and join the effort to advocate for these funds, whether as an individual or as part of an organization in the community. The Advocates for Arden Arcade have signed on as a community organization. We hope residents, businesses and other community organizations will too.
Across the state, special districts now face a projected $2.4 billion unmet fiscal need. Without access to the federal relief funds allocated to California, this impact will translate into lost jobs, reduced services, and compounding economic consequences to our local economy.
California has both the authority and the resources to assist the state’s special districts, but if we want the state to act, they need to hear from all of us.
Please take two minutes to visit www.csda.net/take-action/covid and support this effort!
The special districts' coalition will keep us informed as they work to educate legislators and the Governor on the critical work of special districts, and the equally critical need to ensure they are not left out of state and federal COVID-19 relief funding.
Thank you for your attention. We hope our special districts can count on your help!