On Feb. 2, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted to create a Community Advisory Committee for Measure X, which was passed by voters in November. Measure X raises the local sales tax by a half cent and places the revenue into the county’s general fund, though the ballot language did indicate that funding for the county hospital, fire and emergency services, and other crucial safety net services would be prioritized.
The vote creates a 17-member committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors to make funding recommendations. There was significant debate about whether the committee’s authority should extend to making recommendations for all Measure X funding or just a portion of it. Ultimately, the board decided not to limit the scope of the committee’s recommendations.
While the Hospital Council took no position on Measure X, at the request of our members, we did write to the board in favor of establishing an Advisory Committee and giving it the authority to make recommendations for all Measure X funding.
On Jan. 27, RVP Rebecca Rozen convened East Bay hospital government relations executives for the quarterly meeting. The group heard from CHA’s advocacy team about its 2021 state budget and legislative priorities and then reviewed the Hospital Council’s planned first quarter advocacy activities, which are focused on building relationships with newly elected county supervisors and Oakland city councilmembers. Finally, the group discussed key local policy issues, including county behavioral health funding and services, Contra Costa County Measure X, and vaccine messaging and administration to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
On Jan. 20, the East Bay Section held its first membership meeting of the year. Hospitals discussed new developments related to COVID-19 and shared current needs and concerns around the supply of vaccine. CHA’s advocacy team provided an update on the current political climate and legislative and budget priorities for this year. The section then approved a goal of 100% participation in CHPAC in 2021.