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

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Date Published: 03/01/2021 09:00 PM
AB106:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 01, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 106


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

December 16, 2020


An act to add Article 8 (commencing with Section 12100.70) to Chapter 1.6 of Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to economic development.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 106, as amended, Salas. Regions Rise Grant Program.
Existing law, the Economic Revitalization Act, establishes the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, also known as “GO-Biz,” in state government within the Governor’s office under the control of a director. The act requires GO-Biz to serve as the Governor’s lead entity for economic strategy and the marketing of California on issues relating to business development, private sector investment, and economic growth.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish the Regions Rise Grant Program in order to close the equity gap and spur economic growth.

This bill would establish the Regions Rise Grant Program within GO-Biz for the purpose of supporting inclusive, cross-jurisdictional, and innovative engagement processes that lead to inclusive strategies to address barriers and challenges confronting communities in creating economic prosperity for all. The bill would define “region” as a geographic area composed of one or more counties and cities that form a functional economy.
This bill would require GO-Biz to develop and implement a process for the awarding of competitive grants to eligible applicants within the program. The bill would define an eligible applicant as a regional collective composed of a diverse set of public and private stakeholders who organize themselves around one or more community challenges or priorities impacting a region and meet certain requirements.
This bill would require the process for awarding grants to meet certain minimum conditions, including that the funds awarded be available for a period of 3 years and that the application contain specified information. The bill would require GO-Biz, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to issue grants to qualified regional collectives, as specified. The bill would also require each regional collective receiving funding to submit a specified annual and final report to GO-Biz, and would require each regional collective to adopt a transparency and accountability tool to track the progress of regional economic development strategies, equity activities, and mobility outcomes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   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) 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) No group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative economic, health, or environmental consequences resulting from industrial, commercial, or governmental operations or policies.
(c) The COVID-19 pandemic has hit certain populations harder than others and exposed more clearly the vulnerabilities in our communities. State policy should address not only the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the structural inequities plagued by gender, race, ethnicity, income, and occupation.
(d) This is an opportunity to promote and build equitable regional economies that leverage the collective capacity of the whole community during this historic time in our nation.
(e) California lacks a process that leverages regional priorities and prosperity strategies to help inform state policies. A process should integrate the values of equity, resiliency and collaboration around issues of shared importance including transportation, housing, homelessness, workforce, sustainability, public health, climate, and governance.
(f) A California policy to advance triple-bottom-line goals of equity, sustainable environment, and economic opportunity should motivate, create capacity for, and invest in regionally driven strategies. This approach will empower and align behind regions, leverage business and civic contributions, and ensure that funds follow strategic decisions. Coordinated efforts are particularly critical to the economic recovery of communities across the state in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
(g) The state should encourage public-private-nonprofit partnerships to better leverage limited financial resources from corporate, philanthropic, and government sources and create pathways for such partners to financially support inclusive planning and decisionmaking processes reflective of a shared vision of a California for all.
(h) Increased alignment and collaboration across sectors will also create meaningful impact, coordinated funding requests, and sustainable systemic change.
(i) The need to address regional inequities calls for a collaborative, community-engaged process that reflects shared decisionmaking and power. 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.
(j) 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.
(k) Such a state program should be informed by those across the state that have been engaged in building out models for regional inclusive planning and development and by those in communities that lack the tools, funding, and human resources to create intentional strategies to help prioritize sustainable policies in their region.

SEC. 2.

 Article 8 (commencing with Section 12100.70) is added to Chapter 1.6 of Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  8. Regions Rise Grant Program

12100.70.
 For purposes of this article:
(a) “Director” means the Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
(b) “Office” means the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
(c) “Program” means the Regions Rise Grant Program created pursuant to Section 12100.71 and administered in accordance with this article.
(d) “Region” means a geographic area composed of one or more counties and cities that form a functional economy. A region may be a metropolitan statistical area, as established by the United States Office of Management and Budget, or by an area of an existing regional government, including, but not limited to, a council of governments.
(e) “Eligible applicant” means a regional collective composed of a diverse set of public and private stakeholders who organize themselves around one or more community challenges or priorities impacting a region and meet the requirements established pursuant to Section 12100.72.
(1) The diverse set of public and private stakeholders may include cities, counties, local agencies, including joint powers agencies, elected officials, private businesses, including minority-owned business enterprises, educational entities, social enterprises, nonprofit, labor, community-based organizations, and individuals.
(2) The regional collective shall have as one of its primary missions to work with and on the behalf of disadvantaged and underserved communities.

12100.71.
 (a) There is hereby created, in the Office of Business and Economic Development, the Regions Rise Grant Program for the purpose of supporting inclusive, cross-jurisdictional, and innovative engagement processes that lead to inclusive strategies to address barriers and challenges confronting communities in creating economic prosperity for all.
(b) The goals of the program are to achieve all of the following:
(1) To enable local governments, economic development entities, community-based nonprofit organizations, businesses, and other key local stakeholders to establish regional collectives tasked with identifying and developing strategies to address one or more key regional barriers to prosperity for all and build resilient, equitable, and green communities.
(2) To champion community engagement and inclusive regionally driven solutions to address systematic barriers in creating equitable economies across California.
(3) To ensure that economic strategies are developed in conjunction with community organizations, governmental entities, elected officials, key jurisdiction staff, and other partners across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
(4) To help maintain a deliberate focus on historically unrepresented community voices throughout the process and build capacity at the local level for inclusive collaboration and planning with the active engagement of representatives from disenfranchised communities.
(5) To create interdisciplinary, cross-jurisdictional, and cross-sectoral regional strategies for addressing one or more key regional challenges.
(6) To further enhance the long-term sustainability of communities in relation to the local economy, environmental factors, and social equity measures.
(7) To support regions in developing recovery strategies that meet the immediate and short-term needs of the community and build towards a stronger regional economy.
(8) To consider and align, as appropriate, existing regional and local planning efforts and regional collaboratives.
(9) To establish pathways to implement strategies developed by the regional groups established pursuant to this article.
(10) To create a mechanism for greater state and regional collaboration.

12100.72.
 (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 government agency, one local business, one educational or workforce entity, one economic development entity, and one nonprofit organization working on behalf of social and racial justice.
(2) 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 strategies that are supported across the community.
(3) One of its primary missions is addressing two or more common regional issues and challenges that are larger than a single community, including, but not limited to, workforce development, educational pathways, land use, climate planning, transportation, housing, homelessness, economic mobility, equity gaps, and economic development.
(4) (A) The partners of the regional collective are representatives of the region’s diverse demographic makeup, key industries, city and county governments, councils of governments, private businesses, educational and workforce partners, 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.
(b) A regional collective that receives funding pursuant to Section 12100.73 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 membership of the region.
(2) Establish an inclusive public process for community residents, including underserved, disadvantaged, and rural populations, to identify, prioritize, and vote on strategies and priorities.

12100.73.
 (a) The office shall develop and implement a process for the awarding of competitive grants to eligible applicants meeting the requirements pursuant to this article. At a minimum the process shall meet all of the following conditions:
(1) Eligible activities shall include funding to support regional collectives at different collaboration stages, including, but not limited to, initiating or expanding regional convenings and planning activities, sustaining regional convenings and planning activities in process, and implementing recommended strategies resulting from those 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 12100.72, 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, council 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 find funds to match nonstate funds. If 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, council of governments nonprofit organizations, private businesses, education partners, ethnic communities, 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 in building strategies for regional prosperity and to hold partners accountable for progress.
(H) A plan for an inclusive, transparent community-driven process where residents who will be affected may identify, prioritize, and vote on priorities. This includes demonstrated capacity of the regional collective to directly engage and financially 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.
(2) The readiness and capacity to support rural, disadvantaged areas, or underserved population groups.
(3) The assessment of key deliverables and the potential of the initiative to make system changes that can be operationalized based on success stories and best practices.

12100.74.
 Upon appropriation of funds by the Legislature to the office for the purpose of implementing this article, the office shall make grants to qualified regional collectives, consistent with Section 12100.73.

12100.75.
 (a) Each regional collective receiving funding pursuant to this article 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, such as the California Dream Index, 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 article shall submit a copy of its 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 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.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish the Regions Rise Grant Program in order to close the equity gap and spur economic growth.