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AB-118 Emergency services: community response: grant program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 12/18/2020 09:00 PM
AB118:v99#DOCUMENT

Revised  May 20, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 118


Introduced by Assembly Member Kamlager
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Kalra)
(Principal coauthor: Senator Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan, Burke, Chiu, Cristina Garcia, Lorena Gonzalez, Grayson, Lackey, Lee, McCarty, Nazarian, Santiago, Stone, and Wicks)
(Coauthors: Senators Becker, Dodd, Durazo, Eggman, and Hertzberg)

December 18, 2020


An act to add and repeal Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 8601) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to emergency services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 118, as introduced, Kamlager. Emergency services: community response: grant program.
Existing law creates the Office of Emergency Services (office) within the office of the Governor. The office is responsible for the state’s emergency and disaster response services for natural, technological, or man-made disasters and emergencies. Existing law requires the office to establish by rule and regulation various classes of disaster service workers, the scope of the duties of each class, and to adopt rules and regulations for the registration of each class of these workers. Existing law requires the office to work with advocacy groups representing the deaf and hard of hearing for the purpose of improving accessibility to emergency information and services for the populations that they serve. Existing law requires the office to develop a plan for state and local utilization of volunteers during a state of emergency.
This bill would, until January 1, 2026, enact the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act for the purpose of creating, implementing, and evaluating the 3-year C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program, which the act would establish. The bill would require the office to establish rules and regulations for the program with the goal of making grants to community organizations, over 3 years, for the purpose of expanding the participation of community organizations in emergency response for specified vulnerable populations. The bill would require that grantees receive a minimum award of $250,000 per year. The bill would require a community organization receiving funds pursuant to the program to use the grant to stimulate and support involvement in emergency response activities that do not require a law enforcement officer, as specified. The bill would require the Director of Emergency Services (director) to assemble staff and resources to carry out certain duties in support of the program.
The bill would require the office to support an 11-member C.R.I.S.E.S. Committee, selected by the Governor, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, and the Speaker of the Assembly, as specified, to be inclusive of community organizations with a proven history of leadership and partnership on emergency response. The committee’s duties would include, among other things, establishing grant application criteria and parameters for eligible community organizations, reviewing and deciding upon grant proposals, ensuring grants are adhering to standards, and making recommendations to the office on program development, implementation, and oversight.
The bill would also establish the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund in the State Treasury in support of the program, to be administered by the director. The bill would authorize the moneys deposited in the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to be expended for the purposes of the act. The bill would require that the act be implemented only if appropriate funding is made available to the office, and after making a determination to this effect, the office would be required to publish a notice on its internet website. The bill would make findings and declarations in regard to innovative approaches to emergency responses.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The complexities of emergency issues surrounding crises in mental health, intimate partner violence, community violence, substance abuse, and natural disasters can, at times, be addressed more safely, with greater impact, and more cost effectively and efficiently with community organizations, which often have deeper knowledge and understanding of the issues, trusted relationships with the people and communities involved, and specific knowledge and relationships surrounding the emergency.
(b) Furthermore, young people of color, people with disabilities, people who are gender nonconforming, people who are formerly incarcerated, people with immigration status issues, and people who are unhoused or homeless, face significant barriers to engaging with law enforcement and other first responder personnel. Data demonstrates that these populations often do not reach out for needed help when dealing with crises in their communities because of their fear and challenges with engaging law enforcement, which puts lives and families at risk for continued harm and trauma. Community organizations that specialize in working with these populations understand those issues, and by maintaining deep relationships in their communities, have a more successful track record of engaging and supporting them.
(c) Elected officials and philanthropic and community organizations have recognized the need to create alternatives to law enforcement and expand innovative approaches to emergencies and have established programs to do so in school districts, cities, and counties throughout the state.
(d) These alternative approaches have strengthened the response to emergencies in places throughout the state by deepening impact, preventing violence, deescalating volatile situations, protecting property and the environment, reducing law enforcement use of force, and ensuring the health and safety of communities while, at the same time, saving money by decreasing calls for service and the sole reliance upon first responders for emergency situations.
(e) Despite the innovative approaches led by community organizations, the state does not have a policy, a set of protocols, or dedicated funding to support community organizations’ involvement in addressing emergencies.
(f) This act seeks to remedy those issues by articulating a policy framework to support innovative approaches to build capacity in, and to make grants for, community organizations to support emergency response.

SEC. 2.

 Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 8601) is added to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  8.5. Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act

8601.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act.

8601.1.
 (a) The Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act is hereby established, as a three-year program, for the purposes of creating, implementing, and evaluating the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program in accordance with this article.
(b) For purposes of this article the following definitions apply:
(1) “Committee” means the C.R.I.S.E.S. Committee, as described in Section 8601.2.
(2) “Community organization” means a public or private nonprofit organization, or organization fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit, of demonstrated effectiveness that is representative of significant segments of a community and provides educational, direct, or related services to individuals in the community.
(3) “Director” means the Director of Emergency Services.
(4) “Fund” means the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund.
(5) “Law enforcement agency” means any police department, sheriff’s department, district attorney, county probation department, transit agency police department, school district police department, highway patrol, the police department of any campus of the University of California, the California State University, or a community college, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and the Department of Justice.
(6) “Law enforcement officer” means an officer, deputy, employee, or agent of a law enforcement agency.
(7) “Office” means the Office of Emergency Services.
(8) “Program” means the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program established by this article.
(c) The C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program is hereby established. The office shall establish rules and regulations for the program with the goal of making grants to community organizations. Grantees shall receive a minimum award of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) per year. The program shall create and strengthen community-based alternatives to law enforcement in response to crisis situations not related to a fire department or emergency medical service response in communities where there is a history and pattern of racial profiling, law enforcement violence, gaps in law enforcement service, or where vulnerable populations live, including people of color, elderly people, people with disabilities, people who are gender nonconforming, people who are likely to face disproportionate police contact, people who are formerly incarcerated, people with immigration status issues, people who are unhoused, people facing mental health crises, people involved in intimate partner violence, vulnerable youth, people likely to be engaged in community violence, people challenged by substance abuse, and people living in areas that are environmentally insecure with vulnerable populations and subject to natural or climate disasters or public health emergencies.
(d) A community organization receiving assistance pursuant to the program shall use the grant to stimulate and support involvement in emergency response activities that do not require a law enforcement officer. Those activities include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Project planning and community engagement.
(2) Project implementation.
(3) Staffing, subject to the requirement that grantees adhere to all applicable laws relating to scope of practice, licensure, and certification.
(4) Facilities, subject to the requirement that the facility is to be utilized by the grantee, which may extend beyond the term of the program.
(5) Operational costs, including, but not limited to, startup or expansion, marketing, language translation, and transportation costs.
(6) Consulting services.
(7) Training.
(8) Program and project evaluation, including, but not limited to, evaluation of program and project efficacy, staff performance, and service delivery.
(e) The director shall assemble staff, resources, and, if necessary, engage consultants with technical expertise, to carry out all of the following duties and responsibilities:
(1) Following appointment of the committee, provide organizing, staffing, and facilitation support, including, but not limited to, outreach and engagement, cooperatively creating meeting agendas, providing recordkeeping and facilitation support, reimbursements for travel and participation in committee meetings and activities, and detailed information on rules, regulations, and relevant deadlines.
(2) With the guidance of the committee, develop the program, with grants to be issued no later than January 1, 2023.
(3) Provide technical assistance to prospective applicants, solicit and review all grant proposals, and support the committee’s review and scoring of proposals, as well as preparing proposals for final approval by the committee.
(4) Publish and maintain an internet website to report details relevant to the committee for the public to view, including, but not limited to, committee meeting agendas, minutes, vote counts, committee member information, photos, and videos.
(5) Consult with local emergency services personnel and community-based or grassroots organizations for input and potential approaches on issues related to emergency response.
(6) Assist the committee in carrying out its work and perform other duties as directed by the committee.
(f) (1) The office shall issue a public report, to be posted on its internet website six months following the end of the program, on the programmatic and fiscal savings associated with the program, key conclusions, populations served and the benefits conferred or realized, and resulting policy recommendations to provide guidance to the Legislature and Governor in fully implementing and scaling a permanent program.
(2) The report required by this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.

8601.2.
 (a) The office shall support an 11-member C.R.I.S.E.S. Committee, selected pursuant to subdivision (b), that shall be inclusive of community organizations with a proven history of leadership and partnership on emergency response, for the three-year period of the program.
(b) The committee shall be selected by the Governor, Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, and Speaker of the Assembly as described in this subdivision. Racial, gender, and ethnic diversity, and representation of communities described in subdivision (c) of Section 8601.1, shall be considered for all appointments. The members shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing entities.
(1) The Governor shall select all of the following members:
(A) An emergency medical system professional.
(B) A survivor of an emergency or crisis.
(C) A representative from a community organization providing direct services to vulnerable populations.
(D) A public health professional.
(E) A representative of an advocacy or community organizing group serving vulnerable communities.
(2) The Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules shall select all of the following members:
(A) A survivor of an emergency or crisis.
(B) A representative from a community organization.
(C) A representative of an advocacy or community organizing group serving vulnerable communities.
(3) The Speaker of the Assembly shall select all of the following members:
(A) A survivor of an emergency or crisis.
(B) A representative from a community organization providing direct services to vulnerable populations.
(C) A public health professional.
(c) (1) The committee shall establish grant application criteria and parameters for eligible community organizations, review and decide upon grant proposals, ensure grants are adhering to standards, and monitor progress, conclusions, and challenges. The committee shall make recommendations to the office on program development, implementation, and oversight on an ongoing basis. Scoring of grant proposals shall prioritize, and give preference to, projects in locations with a demonstrated need, as evidenced by metrics such as a high record of police use of force, a high volume of civilian complaints, and racial profiling, and community organizations that have a history of serving the populations described in subdivision (c) of Section 8601.1.
(2) After an initial meeting, the committee shall meet a minimum of once per quarter. A majority of the appointed committee shall constitute a quorum. Committee meetings shall be held in accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3).

8601.3.
 (a) The Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury in support of the program that shall be administered by the director. Moneys deposited in the fund, both public and private, upon appropriation by the Legislature, may be expended by the office for the purposes of this article.
(b) This article shall be implemented only if appropriate funding is made available to the office. Upon finding that appropriate funding has been made available to implement the article, the office shall publish a notice stating this on its internet website. If the appropriation is not made, the office bears no responsibility for implementation of this article.

8601.4.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

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REVISIONS:

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