Minutes from May 1, 2018 Member Only Board Meeting-Federal Issues

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Member Only Board of Directors Meeting

Norton Event Center
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:   Patti Arlt, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Sandra Espadas, Louis Goodwin, Mark Kaenel, John Mirau, Kevin Porter, Brian Reider, Michael Rivera, Daniel Roberts, Kristine Scott and Ray Wolfe.

Announcements: 1) Committees were asked to send their Washington, D.C. issue papers to staff as soon as possible and reminded they must be submitted no later than May 8, 2018. 2)  Ray Wolfe, SBCTA announced that San Bernardino County was very successful in receiving SB1 grants that total 286M.  3) The SBCTA requests support for the Express Lanes from Inland Action at their June 6, 2018 board meeting.

M/S/P: Minutes from April 24, 2018. One abstained

Appreciation was expressed to the Committee Chairs for attending today’s meeting.  Special thanks were expressed to the Healthcare Committee for already submitting their Washington, D.C. issues.

Committee’s key issues are needed and should be submitted to staff (if not already submitted) as appointments are dependent on this information.  Committees presented and discussed their key issues.  The draft includes:

  • Judicial
    • Appointment of Federal Judge to the Eastern Division of the Central District of the Federal Court
      • 6 vacancies exist in the Central District. There is only one judge in the Eastern Division, forcing a majority of local cases to be heard in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
    • Transportation
      • Fast Act funding
        • We have submitted three times for INFRA funding.  Our last two applications were jointly submitted with LA Metro, OCTA and RCTC.  The Trump Administration has not acted on the last one for nearly a year, so we would want to highlight that.
      • Capital Investment Grants
        • We will be requesting about $80 million in CIG funding for the West Valley Connector Bus Rapid Transit line proposed to connect ONT with the San Bernardino Metrolink line in Rancho and the Riverside Metrolink line in downtown Pomona.
      • Creating an Inland Port supporting User Fee airports in the greater Inland Empire region.
    • Ontario International Airport, Palm Springs Airport, San Bernardino Internation Airport, John Wayne Airport, Southern California Logistics Airport and others have experienced growing demand for international traffic. Creating an Inland Port would support the region’s quickly growing demand for Customs and Border Protection services. This would be self-funded by airport user fees and would be revenue neutral. This would be a shift to delegating CBP staffing outside of LAX.
      • Encourage the development of a strategy and coalition with other regions in the country to avoid the loss of transportation funding from EPA proposals to adopt more stringent standards for ground-level ozone and encourage an enhanced federal role in reducing emissions from interstate and international goods movement vessels.
      • Discussion of Federal Infrastructure Plan
      • Technology advances in autonomous vehicle
        • STAR Program
      • Continue to seek legislation to maintain the FAA policy that excise taxes on aviation fues must only be spent on aviation projects.
        • However, it should exempt from the 2014 FAA rule voter-approved general sales taxes in effect prior to September 30, 2017. In addition, it should allow for general sales taxes on aviation fuel to be spent on surface transportation projects in addition to aviation projects.
  • Housing (HUD)
    • Support for EnVision Centers
      • The Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino submitted an LOI to HUD for an EnVision Center in partnership with Hope through Housing Foundation and City of San Bernardino.

The EnVision Center demonstration focuses on empowering people to leave HUD-assisted housing through self-sufficiency to become responsible homeowners and renters in the private market.  EnVision Centers will provide communities with a centralized hub for support in the following four pillars: 1) Economic Empowerment, 2) Educational Advancement, 3) Health and Wellness, and 4) Character and leadership.  As part of this demonstration, HUD will provide technical assistance, evaluation and monitoring, access to online resources such as the EnVision Center mobile application, access to stakeholder offerings made available to participating communities and a network of support from HUD’s departments to ensure that all relevant HUD knowledge resources are made available to participating communities. The Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino submitted an LOI to HUD for an EnVision Center in partnership with Hope through Housing Foundation and City of San Bernardino 

  • Preserve HUD VASH vouchers
    • Maintain funding for programs that support our homeless community, especially homeless veterans – (HUD-VASH) Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. This collaboration between HUD and Veterans Affairs provides the Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families, with supportive services. This program, which since 2008 has enabled about 138,000 homeless veterans to find permanent housing, is crucial in helping our homeless veterans and their families afford housing while getting the services needed through the VA. 
  • Economic Development
    • HR 4115 Partners Act – Apprenticeships
      • To promote registered apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs for small and medium-sized businesses within in-demand industry sectors, through the establishment and support of industry or sector partnerships. A bipartisan effort seeking to promote registered apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs for small and medium sized businesses in-demand industry sectors, through the establishment and support of industry or sector partnerships.
  • S 1599 – Work based vouchers to upscale workers
    • The purpose of this Act is to promote industry or sector partnerships that engage in collaborative planning, resource alignment, and training efforts across multiple businesses, for a range of workers employed or potentially employed by infrastructure industries, in order to encourage industry growth and competitiveness and to improve worker training, retention, and advancement.  Which would provide dedicated funding to partnerships among infrastructure employers, community colleges and other stakeholders to ensure that any project receiving federal funding also has the resources to upskill workers and keep projects on track. 
  • Healthcare
    • We want to work with allies in Congress to protect the 340B drug discount program by elevating the program’s integrity and purpose.
      • The 340B drug discount program is a federal program that allows qualified safety net hospitals to opt-into the program in order to purchase certain drugs directly from manufacturers at a discount. The program is focused on hospitals that serve the uninsured and underinsured.  Drug manufacturers that participate in the Medicaid program are required to offer covered outpatient drugs at a discount. All of this at no cost to the government.
    • Graduate Medical Education funding
      • We strongly support an increase in funding for additional medical residencies.
    • The opioid epidemic is a national issue that needs to be addressed at this level.
    • Housing as a social determinant of health
      • We urge our legislators to take action on spending for the upcoming fiscal year that addresses the need for housing assistance for our citizens with the lowest income.
  • Education
    • HR 2902 IDEA – Full funding for mental health and special needs.
      • Our region has a disproportionate number of children who need these services
    • ESSA – We support it in its present form and will be watching for any proposed changes from the Department of Education.
    • DACA remains a critical area of focus for our region
      • 1500 students are impacted at Cal State, San Bernardino
  • Environment
    • HR 497 Santa Ana River Wash Plan Exchange Act (Senate side)
    • HR 857 & S 32 CA Off-Road Recreation & Conservation Act of 2017; CA Desert Conservation & Recreation Act of 2017 (out of committee)
    • S 1464 & HR 448 – Water Conservation Tax Parity Act
      • About 30 percent of Southern California’s water supply comes from Northern California, passing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on its way to the State Water Project pumping plants in the south Delta. The current water system is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, and sea level rise. Existing operations have contributed to a decline in native fish populations and environmental damage. For more than a decade, state and federal water and wildlife agencies have been working on plans to modernize the State Water Project and restore the Delta’s ecosystem. California WaterFix and California EcoRestore represent a strategic action plan that will achieve the state’s co-equal goals of a more reliable water supply and improved Delta ecosystem. In 2017, California WaterFix made significant progress as state and federal agencies approved key permits and water agencies from around the state committed to significant financial investment. As a supporter of WaterFix, the Inland Action will continue to advocate for the state-wide adoption and implementation of the project. Inland Action supports administrative, legislative, and funding actions that ensure more reliable long-term water delivery for the State Water Project, including the implementation of California WaterFix and California EcoRestore.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 a.m.