Detailed research and public engagement will serve as hallmarks of San Bernardino County’s effort to fulfill the call by voters to determine if the county is getting its fair share of state funding. 
A committee created by the Board of Supervisors to undertake this effort conducted its initial meeting on Tuesday (July 11) to outline what the task will entail. The voters approved Measure EE in November, and since then County leadership has been focused on laying the groundwork for what will be an exhaustive study of both state and federal funding received by the County compared to what is received by other jurisdictions. 

“As the fifth most populated county in the state, it’s imperative that we take a close look at whether we’re receiving our fair share of resources,” said Board of Supervisors Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe. “I represent almost 10,000 square miles, including many unincorporated rural areas. This is a chance for our communities to be heard and ensure that government isn’t leaving them behind.” 

“It is fundamentally important to know precisely how the tax dollars we send to Sacramento and Washington are being invested in our local communities,” said committee chairman and Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman. “We are committed to engaging the public in this discussion and making this an open and transparent process.”  

The committee also includes County Chief Executive Officer Leonard X. Hernandez and County Chief Financial Officer Matthew Erickson. The County will develop avenues by which the public can participate in, comment on, and receive information about the process. 

Shortly after Measure EE was certified, County staff began identifying and selecting a qualified consultant to assist the County finance team with conducting an analysis to determine the County’s fair share of state funding. The County expects to award a contract next month and share its findings in approximately four months.  

The County’s finance team is intimately familiar with the County’s various funding sources, including the amounts received from the state and federal government to support state-mandated programs and other local needs and obligations. The services of a consultant are needed to assist with examining what is received by other local government agencies within the county, what is received by other counties, and other aspects of the fair-share project. 

The study will focus on the 41 percent of the County’s $9.5 billion budget that is funded by state and federal dollars to provide services mandated by state and federal requirements. The Board of Supervisors has discretion over only 15 percent of the budget.

Additional County Update News – July 14, 2023

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