Today's Law As Amended

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AB-106 Regions Rise Grant Program. (2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Growing inequality, which disproportionately affects communities of color, and the erosion of upward mobility in California calls for state policy to be intensely focused on increasing economic opportunity and security for all Californians.
(b) The COVID-19 pandemic has hit certain populations harder than others and exposed more clearly the vulnerabilities in our communities. State policy and investments should address not only the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the structural inequities plagued by gender, race, ethnicity, income, and occupation.
(c) The need to address regional inequities calls for a collaborative, community-engaged process. There needs to be greater support for capacity building of historically underserved communities and disenfranchised groups to meaningfully participate in those cross-sectoral regional initiatives in every step of the process.
(d) There is also a need to create a state program that provides competitive grants for multijurisdictional collectives that involve local and regional governments, labor, community-based organizations, and private and civic organizations covering locally defined economic regions, to adopt a comprehensive shared prosperity strategy focused on the priority challenges of the respective region.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 66310) is added to Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code, to read:

CHAPTER  13. Regions Rise Grant Program
 For purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Director” means the Director of State Planning and Research.
(b) “Office” means the Office of Planning and Research.
(c) “Program” means the Regions Rise Grant Program created and administered in accordance with this chapter.
(d) “Region” means a geographic area composed of one or more counties and cities that form a functional economy.
(e) “Regional collective” means a nongovernmental group of a diverse set of public and private stakeholders who organize themselves around one or more community challenges or priorities impacting multiple adjacent geographic areas and has as one of its primary missions to address issues impacting and to amplify the voices of disadvantaged and underserved communities.
 (a) There is hereby created, in the Office of Planning and Research, the Regions Rise Grant Program for the purpose of supporting inclusive, cross-jurisdictional, and innovative engagement processes that lead to inclusive consensus-based strategies to address barriers and challenges confronting communities in creating economic prosperity for all.
(b) Upon appropriation of funds by the Legislature to the office for the purpose of implementing this chapter and a determination by the director pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 66314, the office shall initiate the development of regulations for the implementation of the program in accordance with this chapter.
 (a) A regional collective shall be an eligible applicant if the regional collective meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Consists of at least one local business organization, one educational or workforce entity, one economic development entity, and two nonprofit organizations working on behalf of social and racial justice.
(2) (A) The regional collective is able to demonstrate that is has meaningful relationships with the region’s diverse demographic makeup, key industries, city and county governments, local economic development and planning practitioners, councils of governments, private businesses, educational and workforce partners, labor, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
(B) Diverse demographic makeup includes, but is not limited to, Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, women, and individuals who identify as being a member of the LGBTQIA community.
(3) Brings together a diverse set of sectors and anchor institutions with the leadership of trusted intermediaries to establish a coalition representing all regional interests that is ready to develop and implement a set of consensus-based strategies that are supported across the community.
(b) A regional collective that receives funding pursuant to Section 66313 shall, as a condition of receiving funds, agree to do both of the following:
(1) Establish a steering committee that is inclusive of historically underrepresented persons and representative of the people, organizations, and entities within the region.
(2) Establish an inclusive public process for community residents, including underserved, disadvantaged, and rural populations, to identify, develop, prioritize, and otherwise contribute to the selection of strategies and priorities.
(3) Invite all affected local government agencies to participate.
 (a) The office shall develop and implement a process for the awarding of competitive grants to eligible applicants meeting the requirements pursuant to this chapter. At a minimum, the process shall meet all of the following conditions:
(1) Eligible activities shall include funding to support regional collectives initiating, expanding, or sustaining regional convenings and planning activities.
(2) Funds awarded pursuant to this program shall be available to the successful applicant for a period of three years.
(3) Applications with overlapping geographic boundaries may be funded if, in the determination of the director, the regional issues and challenges being addressed in the applications are sufficiently distinct.
(4) The application shall include, at a minimum, each of the following:
(A) Identification of how the funding is to be used to facilitate the resolution or mitigations of one or more regional issues and challenges, including information on why and how an inclusive, cross-jurisdictional, and innovative process is best suited to address these challenges and result in greater economic prosperity for all.
(B) Identification of the principal agency or intermediary organization that shall be the main point of contact with the office.
(C) Identification of the members of the steering committee, required by subdivision (b) of Section 66312, with documentation of how the steering committee members represent historically underrepresented persons within the region and the region’s demographic makeup, key industries, city and county governments, councils of governments, private businesses, educational and workforce partners, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. A commitment letter by each member of the steering committee shall accompany the application.
(D) A letter from each member of the regional collective documenting their participation in the regional collective and participation in the activities proposed in the application. If the member is also a member of the steering committee, these letters shall be combined.
(E) To the extent possible, a commitment to provide nonstate funds to match grant awards. If nonstate matching funds are not available, the applicant shall include a statement documenting the reason for the lack of matching funds.
(F) Letters of support from local government agencies, councils of governments, nonprofit organizations, private businesses, education partners, organizations representing communities of color, and philanthropic organizations that indicate a significant threshold of community support for the application.
(G) A commitment to collect and share data, as required by the office, that can help inform as to the effectiveness of the grant dollars.
(H) A plan for an inclusive, transparent community-driven process where residents who will be affected may identify, prioritize, and otherwise be engaged in the selection of priorities. This includes demonstrated capacity of the regional collective to directly engage and assist community members in meaningfully contributing to the design of an inclusive economic development roadmap.
(I) A list of key deliverables during the grant period.
(b) The office shall give priority when awarding grants to regions that are able to demonstrate all of the following:
(1) The need for cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional solutions to the demonstrated key regional challenges that impact equity and economic mobility.
(2) The readiness and capacity to support rural, disadvantaged areas, or underserved population groups.
(3) The potential of the initiative to make system changes that can be operationalized based on best practices.
 (a) Upon appropriation of funds by the Legislature to the office for the purpose of implementing this chapter and a determination by the director pursuant to subdivision (b), the office shall make grants to qualified regional collectives, consistent with this chapter.
(b) The office shall not commence implementation of the program before the director makes a determination that sufficient money has been appropriated to the office to cover the costs of implementing the program, including, but not limited to, appropriate oversight costs.
(c) Funding shall be awarded to selected regional collaborative in phases. Following an initial amount of funding to initiate the activities in the grant proposal, subsequent allocations shall be based on the regional collaborative meeting predetermined milestones.
 (a) Each regional collective receiving funding pursuant to this chapter shall submit an annual and a final report to the office detailing the regional issues analyzed, priorities identified, strategies developed to address regional issues, and plans to implement priority efforts. The report shall also provide information on how the regional collective engaged with community residents on a regular basis to review and guide the activities funded by this grant.
(b) In preparing the report, the regional collective shall engage community residents on a continuous and annual basis to review progress to date.
(c) The regional collective should adopt a transparency and accountability tool to help track the progress of regional economic development strategies and track equity activities and mobility outcomes.
(d) The regional collective receiving funding pursuant to this chapter shall submit a copy of each annual and final report to each city and county within the area identified in their application as the geographic boundary of their work.
(e) The office shall post on its internet website the following:
(1) A copy of each annual report and final report submitted by a regional collaborative.
(2) Links to two or more free-to-access databases and platforms that regional collectives may use to as a transparency and accountability tool when selecting metrics, setting baselines and benchmarks, and tracking outcomes.
(f) The office shall provide an annual report to the Legislature, in accordance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, beginning 12 months following funding becoming available. The first report shall identify the regional collectives selected, the purpose of their grants, including meters and milestones that will be used to track the success of the engagement. The following reports shall report on the progress of each regional collective in meeting milestones.
(g) The office shall create a process for issues, recommendations, and regional priorities identified through the collaborative work funded by the program to be brought forward to the Governor, the Legislature, and any other relevant agency, including the Office of Planning and Research and the Department of Housing and Community Development. This information shall be considered in the development and recommended actions of related state functional plans, strategies, and investments.