From Measure J to Care First and Community Investment:
A Continuing Commitment
Click each headline for links to supporting documents.
The Board of Supervisors, on a motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis, voted 4-1 to put an amendment to the County charter on the November ballot to allocate at least 10% of the County’s locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund to address the disproportionate impact of racial injustice through community investment and alternatives to incarceration. Click the header above to read the Board motion.
During the Board discussion, then-Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai said the amount of the set-aside would be subject to complex analysis, but based on a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, she estimated that locally generated unrestricted revenues for fiscal year 2020-21 would total approximately $3.6 billion so that roughly $360 million would need to be reallocated to meet the 10% set-aside, subject to future analysis. Click the header above to view the transcript of the July 21, 2020 meeting.
Voters by a 57%-43% margin approved Measure J in accordance with the proposed charter amendment to establish ongoing funding to make Care First, Jails Last programs a reality. For a Measure J overview, click the header above.
The Board established the 17-member Measure J Re-imagine LA Advisory Committee, charged with developing spending proposals for the Measure J investments. The Board directed the Committee to submit its proposals to the CEO, who would work with the ATI and ARDI offices before submitting funding recommendations to the Board as part of the County’s annual budget process. Click the header above to view the Board motion.
County budget analysts worked with departments to determine a methodology for calculating restricted and unrestricted locally generated revenues. Based on 2020 revenues, a baseline estimate of $300 million was established for the full 2024 set-aside, subject to calculations based on the actual 2023-24 budget. (See Timeline on 3/16/21 and 4/1/21 for a CEO Memo and presentation.)
The CEO issued a memo to the Board with a copy to the Measure J Advisory Committee chair and recommended $100 million as the first year “down payment” for the Measure J set-aside, based on the $300 million estimate. The memo calls out the $300 million as subject to additional due diligence. To read the CEO memo, click the header above.
The Chief Executive Office presented to the Advisory Committee on the methodology for the Measure J set-aside and calculation of restricted versus unrestricted locally generated revenues. To view the presentation, click the header above.
The Board approved a $100 million “down payment” as part of the 2021-22 Recommended Budget presented by the CEO. Click the header above to read the Board letter.
The CEO reported to the Board on the methodology for calculating locally generated unrestricted revenues and reiterated that the initial set-aside amount is “both an estimate and a projection.” Click the header above to read the CEO memo.
The CEO and budget team met with members of the Advisory Committee in a small group discussion to provide some background on the CEO’s role and answer questions about the budgeting process. On June 29, 2021, the CEO provided written responses to questions raised in the May meeting about the County budgeting practices, budgeting terminology, and the methodology by which the projected estimated set-aside amount was calculated. To read the response from CEO, click the header above.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel tentatively ruled Measure J “constitutionally invalid” because it interferes with the Board of Supervisors’ authority, as granted by state law, over the budget. Click the header above to read the tentative ruling issued June 17, 2021.
Judge Strobel filed a Final Statement of Decision confirming her tentative ruling. Click the header above to read the Final Statement Decision.
The Board voted to transform the Measure J Re-imagine LA Advisory Committee into the Care First and Community Investment Advisory Committee, a 24-member body comprised of 23 voting members and one non-voting member. Click the header above to read the Board letter.
A Board policy on CFCI investments was established. Click the header above to read the Board letter and related County code.
The newly established CFCI Advisory Committee held its first meeting. Click the header above to view the meeting minutes.
As part of the Recommended Budget, the Board approved a second-year installment of $100 million in direct community investments and alternatives to incarceration, bringing year two CFCI spending to $200 million total—a reflection of the initial estimate, which is expected to change in future years. The Recommended Budget also included additional commitments, outside of the CFCI spending plan, to support these priorities, including funding to establish two new departments committed to Youth Development and to Justice, Care, and Opportunities, as well as support for existing departments committed to racial justice, such as the offices of the Public Defender and Alternate Public Defender. Click the header above to read the Board letter.
The Department of Youth Development was launched to coordinate and build capacity for a wide range of youth development services and opportunities as part of care-first efforts to equitably reduce youth justice system involvement, in line with CFCI principles.
The Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department (JCOD) was launched to unify the County’s efforts to serve vulnerable justice-impacted people and communities and drive forward the Board’s Care First, Jails Last vision. JCOD provides dedicated staff and resources for the CFCI Advisory Committee to support budgeting, contracting, community engagement, program evaluations and other services consistent with the Board’s Care First Community Investment objectives.