Bill Text: CA AB118 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Department of Social Services: C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 21-1)

Status: (Passed) 2021-10-08 - Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 694, Statutes of 2021. [AB118 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AB118-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  August 26, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 118


Introduced by Assembly Member Kamlager
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Kalra)
(Principal coauthor: Senator coauthors: Senators Stern and 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, and repeal Chapter 19 (commencing with Section 18999.90) of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to emergency services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 118, as amended, Kamlager. Emergency services: community response: grant program. Department of Social Services: C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program.
Existing law establishes the State Department of Social Services in the Health and Welfare Agency and sets forth its powers and duties relating to the administration of various programs relating to public social services.
This bill would enact the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act, or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act, for purposes of creating, implementing, and evaluating the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program, which the act would establish. The bill would require the department to administer the program if appropriate funding is made available to the department. The bill would require the department to award grants to qualified grantees, which include city, county, and tribal departments of social services, disability services, health services, public health, or behavioral health, based on grant eligibility criteria developed in partnership with a stakeholder workgroup.
This bill would require each grantee to receive a minimum award of $250,000 per year under the program. The bill would require a grantee to award at least 90% of grant funds received to one or more qualifying community-based organizations, as defined. The bill would require funds awarded under the program to be utilized to create and strengthen community-based alternatives to law enforcement to lessen the reliance on law enforcement agencies as first responders to crisis situations unrelated to a fire department or emergency medical service response.
This bill would require a grantee to report at least annually to the department on the use of funding awarded under the program. The bill would require the department to convene a stakeholder workgroup consisting of specified individuals to make recommendations to the department regarding the implementation of the program, as specified.
This bill would establish the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund within the State Treasury, and would provide that, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the moneys may be expended by the department for purposes of the program. The bill would prohibit the department from expending more than 5% of appropriated funds on administrative costs, as specified. The bill would require the department to award all grants by January 1, 2023.
This bill would authorize the department to implement, interpret, or make specific the provisions of the program without taking regulatory action, as specified. The bill would grant immunity to the state from liability resulting from the activities of a grantee or community-based organization under the program.
This bill would repeal these provisions on June 30, 2026.

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 by community-based 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 who are unemployed, 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 Community-based 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 community-based 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 reducing harm, saving lives, 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 community-based organizations, the state does not have a policy, a set of protocols, or dedicated funding to support community community-based 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 community-based organizations to support emergency response.
(g) This act also aims to inform, leverage, and align the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program with other state investments for mobile crisis support, with the goal of continuing to support community involvement in 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:
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.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 19 (commencing with Section 18999.90) is added to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  19. Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act

18999.90.
 This chapter 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.

18999.91.
 The Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act is hereby established for the purposes of creating, implementing, and evaluating the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program in accordance with this chapter.

18999.92.
 For purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Community-based organization” means public or nonprofit organization, or organization fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit, that can demonstrate its ability to effectively provide community-based alternatives to law enforcement, and has a demonstrated involvement with the identified communities to be served.
(b) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.
(c) “Fund” means the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund established pursuant to Section 18999.94.
(d) “Grantee” means a county, city, or tribe, or a department of a city, county, or tribe, that receives a grant pursuant to this chapter.
(e) “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, the Department of Justice, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
(f) “Law enforcement officer” means an officer, deputy, employee, or agent of a law enforcement agency as described above.
(g) “Program” means the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program established by this chapter.
(h) “Stakeholder workgroup” means a group of interested parties convened by the department to make recommendations on the implementation of this program pursuant to this chapter, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 18999.93.

18999.93.
 (a) (1) Subject to an appropriation in the 2021 Budget Act for purposes of this chapter, the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program established pursuant to Section 18999.91 shall be administered by the department.
(2) (A) The department shall award grants to eligible grantees, as determined by the department, based on grant eligibility criteria developed in partnership with the stakeholder workgroup.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, an eligible grantee is a city, county, or tribe, or a department of a city, county, or tribe, including, but not limited to, departments of social services, disability services, health services, public health, or behavioral health. Law enforcement agencies and organizations are not eligible grantees.
(3) Each grantee shall receive a minimum award of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) per year.
(4) (A) Funds awarded pursuant to this chapter shall be utilized to create and strengthen community-based alternatives to law enforcement to lessen the reliance on law enforcement agencies as first responders to crisis situations unrelated to a fire department or emergency medical service response.
(B) Community-based alternatives may include, but are not limited to, providing mobile crisis response teams or community para-medicine programs. Community-based alternatives shall not include law enforcement officers or agencies as first responders or coresponders.
(5) The department shall prioritize grantees that propose interventions that serve historically marginalized populations and that serve communities with a demonstrated need for community-based alternatives to law enforcement, as evidenced by metrics, including, a high record of police use of force, a high volume of civilian complaints, high rates of imprisonment, and racial profiling.
(b) (1) Grantees shall award 90 percent or more of the grant funds to one or more qualifying community-based organizations, to create and strengthen community-based alternatives to law enforcement as described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a). No more than 10 percent of the grant funds shall be used to support program administration of the grantee.
(2) Grantees shall publicly solicit partnerships with community-based organizations. This public solicitation shall include, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Issuing a public notice and invitation to create a partnership to establish a program pursuant to this chapter.
(B) Inviting letters of intent from community-based organizations.
(C) Convening public meetings to hear questions, concerns, and suggestions from the community that would inform the development of the program.
(3) Grantees shall prioritize the awarding of program funds to qualified community-based organizations that demonstrate the capacity to lead the proposed program and demonstrate experience providing community-based alternatives to law enforcement or civilian crisis response in the communities listed in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a). This includes, but is not limited to, the ability to do any of the following:
(A) Respond to emergency calls.
(B) Provide treatment, screening, and assessment.
(C) Provide stabilization and deescalation services.
(D) Coordinate with health, social services, and other support services, as needed.
(E) Maintain relationships with relevant community partners, including a range of community organizers, and medical, behavioral health, and crisis providers.
(4) A grantee and the community-based organization that receives funds may collaborate on program planning and implementation of community-based alternatives to law enforcement, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Local stakeholder engagement.
(B) Mechanisms for response requests.
(C) Crisis response activities.
(D) Crisis response followup, including coordination with local services and supports, tracking service delivery data, and submitting grant reports.
(c) A grantee shall report at least annually to the department on the use of program funding, which shall include data reporting on clients served and program outcomes, as determined by the department in consultation with stakeholder workgroup.
(d) (1) The department shall convene a stakeholder workgroup to make recommendations to the department regarding implementation of the program. The department shall convene regular meetings with the stakeholder workgroup in which the workgroup shall do all of the following:
(A) Provide input regarding criteria for qualified grantees.
(B) Provide best practices and program recommendations.
(C) Provide consultation on implementation and priorities for technical assistance.
(D) Identify barriers to implementation and suggest solutions to address those barriers.
(E) Recommend anonymous data to be collected.
(F) Collaboratively review data and program outcomes.
(G) Advise on the design of the evaluation.
(2) (A) The members of the stakeholder workgroup shall include, but not be limited to, a minimum of one of each of the following individuals:
(i) Emergency medical system practitioners with experience providing community-based, trauma-informed, culturally competent care, deescalation strategies, and harm reduction support.
(ii) Public health or behavioral health practitioners with specific experience in community health and an understanding of health care, mental health services, trauma-informed, culturally competent care, deescalation strategies, and harm reduction support.
(iii) Members of the public, who have survived an emergency or crisis, and have used community-based services in response to the emergency or crisis.
(iv) Survivors of police brutality.
(v) Surviving family members of someone who has been subject to use of force resulting in death or serious bodily injury by a law enforcement officer.
(B) The stakeholder workgroup shall not include current or former law enforcement officers or immediate family members of law enforcement officers.
(e) The department 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, using quantitative and qualitative data, and resulting policy recommendations to provide guidance to the Legislature and Governor in fully implementing and scaling a permanent program.

18999.94.
 (a) The Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund is hereby created within the State Treasury. Moneys deposited in the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, may be expended by the department for the purposes of this chapter.
(b) The department may enter into agreements with one or more entities to facilitate the implementation of the program, which may not exceed 5 percent of funds appropriated for purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Convening and facilitating the stakeholder workgroup.
(2) Providing technical assistance to grantees and community-based organizations receiving funding pursuant to this chapter.
(3) Evaluating program data and information and preparing the public report described in subdivision (e) of Section 18999.93.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the department may not expend more than 5 percent of funds appropriated for purposes of this chapter on its administrative costs.
(d) The department shall award all grants pursuant to this chapter on or before January 1, 2023.

18999.95.
 (a) This chapter shall be implemented only if appropriate funding is made available to the department.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, funding awarded pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from the personal services contracting requirements of Article 4 (commencing with Section 19130) of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law, funding awarded pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from the Public Contract Code and the State Contracting Manual, and shall not be subject to the approval of the Department of General Services.
(c) The state shall be immune from any liability resulting from the activities of a grantee or community-based organization under the program.
(d) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the State Department of Social Services may implement, interpret, or make specific this chapter without taking any regulatory action.
(e) This chapter shall remain in effect only until June 30, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

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