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>> State Budget Cuts...impact on MLPA and other projects? [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:36 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9444
Location: California

> From: "Steve Aceti" <calcoast.org>
> Date: December 23, 2008 11:42:40 AM PST
> Subject: CalCoast Update - State Bond $ Frozen/Wetlands Recovery Project Layoffs
>
> Due to the state's growing deficit, the past two weeks have been devastating for environmental studies and projects up down the coast. Last week, the state's budget crisis resulted in a directive to state agencies from the Department of Finance (DOF) to halt projects that rely on bond funds (see Items 1 and 2 below).
>
> Also, last week the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (SCWRP), which is part of the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC), furloughed all Local Assistance Planning (LAP) staff, effectively dismantling the SCWRP and its Public Advisory Committee (PAC) - putting dozens of wetland studies and projects in jeopardy (see Items 3 and 4 below).
>
> We are very sorry to hear that the state’s budget crisis has reached the SCWRP. This couldn’t happen at a worse time for SCWRP LAP personnel and our best wishes go out to them and the cities, counties and consultants who have been working on SCWRP projects funded by Prop 40, Prop 50 or Prop 84.
>
> CalCoast and the SCWRP have been allies for more than ten years and CalCoast is a member of the SCWRP's Public Advisory Committee (PAC). CalCoast and the SCWRP have collaborated on ten "Sacramento Forums" in the spring (now known as "Ocean Day") and ten coastal conferences in the fall (now knwon as the “H2O Conference”).
>
> CalCoast is committed to doing whatever is needed to keep the SCWRP functional. CalCoast's board chair, San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price (Third District), is also chair of SCWRP's San Diego Task force and chair of the SCWRP’s PAC and she is committed to doing everything she can to help out.
>
> In the meantime, we wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year. We will continue to keep our members and subscribers apprised of current fiscal year budget "adjustments," as well as FY 09-10 budget negotiations and important bills that are introduced during next year's legislative session.
>
>
> 1. SCC Directive re DOF Suspension of Bond Funding
>
> [EDITOR'S NOTE: Bond fund grantees are required to acknowledge receipt of the SCC's directive by COB today.]
>
> DATE: December 19, 2008
>
> TO: Contractor/Grantee
>
> FROM: Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer
>
> RE: All Contracts or Grant Agreements with State Coastal Conservancy
>
> Reply to: budgetletter@scc.ca.gov
>
> We regret to inform you that the Coastal Conservancy has been directed by the Department of Finance to immediately suspend work on all contracts and grants funded by State bonds, pursuant to the attached Budget Letter. Therefore you are directed to immediately suspend all work under any agreement you have with the Coastal Conservancy funded with State bonds.
>
> You are requested to reply to this message in writing (email is fine) by close of business December 23, 2008. In your reply you should acknowledge that you have received this memo and that you intend to immediately comply. Failure to acknowledge this message and immediately suspend work by the above date will result in termination of the agreement.
>
> Please submit invoices for work completed prior to the date of this letter and not previously invoiced. In a separate document please list and describe any non‐cancellable charges pursuant to this agreement. (Examples of non‐cancellable charges include items that have been specially fabricated and delivered.) We ask that you make every possible effort to limit your exposure in this regard. As the attached Budget Letter makes clear, we cannot make any representation about our ability to pay at this time.
>
> We are heartbroken to be taking this action. We are required to do so based on instructions from the Department of Finance. We trust that when the State’s budget crisis is resolved it will again be able to sell bonds and work may resume under these agreements.
>
>
> 2. Text of Budget Letter Number 08-33 Suspending Bond Fund Expenditures
>
> SUBJECT: INTERIM LOANS FOR GENERAL OBLIGATION AND LEASE REVENUE BOND PROJECTS
>
> DATE ISSUED: December 18, 2009
>
> TO: Secretary of State Department Directors
> State Controller
> All GO Bond Financing Committees
> State Treasurer
> California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
> Superintendent of Public Instruction
> Departmental Budget Officers
> Administrative Office of the Courts Departmental Accounting Officers
> Agency Secretaries
> Department of Finance Budget Staff
> Office of the President, University of California
> Chancellor’s Office, California State University
> Board of Governors, California Community Colleges
>
> FROM: DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
>
> Budget Officers are requested to forward this Budget Letter (BL) to their Department Facilities, Construction, and Contract Managers.
> The Pooled Money Investment Board (PMIB) voted yesterday to freeze all disbursements from AB 55 loans (Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA) loans) with the exception of accrued interest and necessary administrative costs.
>
> The PMIB took this action to preserve necessary cash resources to pay the day-to-day operational needs of the state for the balance of the fiscal year pending further PMIB action in January. If loan disbursements continue at the current pace, the state's portion of the PMIA is projected to run out of liquid cash before the end of the current fiscal year (cash held in the Local Agency Investment Fund will remain). No future loans or higher amount of loan renewals will be approved until the budget crisis is resolved in a manner sufficient to allow the state to resume issuing bonds.
>
> AGENCY LIABILITY
>
> Please be advised that any expenditure not in compliance with this BL could result in your department's or agency's operating budget being obligated to pay that expenditure.
>
> PROJECT SUSPENSION AND FREEZES
>
> Effective immediately, all state entities that have expenditure control and oversight of General Obligation and lease revenue bond programs shall:
>
> 1. Cease authorizing any new grants or obligations for bond projects, including new phases for existing projects.
>
> 2. Suspend all projects, excluding those for which Department of Finance (DOF) authorizes an exemption based on criteria described unless the contracting entity can continue with non-state funding sources (private, local, or federal funds).
>
> 3. Freeze all disbursements on AB 55 loans that were not authorized nor submitted to the Controller for payment prior to December 17, 2008.
>
> 4. Instruct all grant or loan recipients not to enter into any new construction, other agreements or contracts that would be funded from AB 55 loans.
>
> State entities are not permitted to substitute cash in special funds for previously approved AB 55 loans. Utilizing cash in other state special funds that are in the PMIA would not comply with the PMIB’s actions taken yesterday.
>
> EXEMPTIONS
>
> Immediately report to your DOF Program Budget Manager any project, which if suspended, will subject the state to unacceptable legal liability, fines or penalties. Such projects will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if continued funding is appropriate or feasible.
>
> In the next few days, additional project information and status will be required so that the PMIB may determine what additional expenditures will be authorized to comply with its direction that all future AB 55 disbursements not exceed $500 million through June 2009.
> Additional information and direction will be forthcoming.
>
> /s/ Michael C. Genest
> MICHAEL C. GENEST
> Director
>
>
> 3. Text of 12/22/08 Memorandum from SCWRP's PAC re Staff Layoffs (Local Assistance and Planning Staff)
>
> Dear PAC members,
>
> I regret to inform you that the Coastal Conservancy has been directed by the Department of Finance to immediately suspend work on all contracts and grants funded by State bonds. This includes the bond-funded contract which funds the staff for the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project’s Local Assistance Program. I am optimistic that the state will resolve its financial dilemma and will again be able to sell the bonds that will enable us to resume our contract. Until that time, please contact Karen Bane (kbane@scc.ca.gov) or Greg Gauthier (ggauthier@scc.ca.gov) with any questions regarding the WRP and Shawn Kelly (skelly@scwrp.org) with questions regarding the Community Wetlands Restoration Grants Project (which is funded by the Earth Island Institute).
>
> As always, I appreciate our partners and stakeholder’s patience and support and I look forward to working with you in the near future. If you wish to reach me directly, I can be reached at wetlandsrecovery@gmail.com and I’m happy to answer any questions and provide assistance as needed to make this an easy transition.
>
> Sincerely,
> Stephanie
> Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project
> www.scwrp.org
>
> Newsletter Items: wetlandsrecovery@gmail.com
>
>
> 4. Text of 12/22/08 Memorandum from SCWRP's San Diego Task Force re Staff Layoffs (Local Assistance and Planning Staff)
>
> Greetings,
>
> I regret to announce that the State has cut funding for the Wetlands Recovery Project Local Assistance and Planning staff until further notice. We may or may not be reinstated as budget issues are tackled. I will keep you all informed of any changes.
>
> Thanks so much for your support as Task Force members. I hope to resume working with you in the near future.
>
> Sincerely, Shirley Innecken
> Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project

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