At their Tuesday meeting, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) adopted the 2022 legislative platform for the county. The document outlines the BOS’ priority objectives and state budget priorities. It describes the position of the county as it relates to proposed legislation at the state and federal level and funding priorities for both the county and the region.

The executive summary of the document reads:

“The Nevada County Legislative Platform (Platform) provides an advocacy framework to support legislative and regulatory advocacy to ensure the sustainable delivery of core public services, advance top priority objectives of the County as adopted by the Board of Supervisors, and to solicit funding for infrastructure needs, capital projects and other services and programs that support and promote the well-being of Nevada County residents and community. Annual updates to the Platform also facilitate proactive response to top legislative priorities or regulatory positions in a given year.”

The somewhat dry and esoteric paragraph is like catnip for policy wonks. This is a user manual to understand why the BOS will send letters of support for proposed legislation, what Supervisors will advocate for at California State Association of Counties (CSAC), at Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and at National Association of Counties (NACo). It lays out the work done by staff on behalf of all residents of Nevada County beyond county boundaries. The issues identified in the platform are divided into five distinct areas:

  1. Administration of Justice (AOJ)
  2. Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources (ANR)
  3. Government Finance and Administration (GFA)
  4. Health and Human Services (HHS)
  5. Housing, Land Use and Transportation (HLUT)

The BOS, the CEO’s office and senior executives in county departments will develop and update the platform annually and as needed in case of emergencies/drastic changes to support the county’s funding priorities and reach out for legislative support of major county projects.

How does it affect residents?

The BOS priorities for the year: Fiscal stability, core services, emergency preparedness, economic development, housing, broadband, recreation, homelessness and cannabis.

Focusing county dollars on these priorities can get some work accomplished. Advocating for state and federal funding to multiply local resources brings tax dollars back to Nevada County and accelerates projects, to the benefit of the whole community. Supporting rulemaking (laws) that minimizes burdensome requirements and legal obstacles, takes into consideration the various environments of the state and minimizes duplication of regulations by multiple agencies is also part of the platform.

Projects advancing the priorities can benefit from the work done through the platform, like state and federal funding for housing projects or increased funding for state and federal wildfire mitigation projects.

What exactly is in the platform and who will work on this?

The full platform is available on the county’s website as a 43-page .pdf file, complete with the issues, which actions are planned, who will carry the action item and what the target (state or federal) is.

The county’s contract legislative advocates, aka lobbyists, will support staff and elected officials.

The agenda item was presented by Senior Management Analyst Jeffrey Thorsby and Projects Administrator Ariel Lovett and unanimously adopted by the BOS.