ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley commented on today’s Board of Supervisors meeting where the Board approved millions in new grant funding for county programs, suggested changes to Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) Reform, approved a response to the grand jury report on group homes, and recognized “100 Years of Flight” at John Wayne Airport.
Supervisor Foley released the following statements highlighting the votes by the Board of Supervisors from the August 22, 2023 meeting:
Mental Health Service Act Reform Updates (Item 25): Directed the County Legislative Office to send a letter of concern to the State Legislature as they consider Senate Bill 326 (Eggman), which would reform the Mental Health Service Act (MHSA), a critical funding source for Orange County’s current system of care. The bill is moving through the legislative process and is currently in a joint informational hearing of the Assembly Health and Housing Committees in the State Capitol.
“I support MHSA modernization and am encouraged to see amendments that increase flexibility for counties like Orange County that are already meeting the goals of the new legislation. The current proposal, even with amendments, would strip away $131 million of annual funding standing up our system of care,” said Supervisor Foley. “Our priority remains to house and help residents of Orange County. I hope our state representatives and Governor Newsom hear our concerns and work with us on finding solutions.”
At Supervisor Foley’s request, the following amendments were proposed by the OC Board of Supervisors:
- Instead of specifying rigid program category percentage requirements, provide more flexibility within the funding categories by establishing target percentage ranges or minimum percentage floors, or allow fund transfers between program categories, to allow counties to respond to economic fluctuations and better meet local needs and priorities.
- Remove the strict subcategory percentage requirements to allow counties to provide consistent/stable funding for programs and successfully meet the unique needs of their communities.
- Provide time/phase-in for transition to the new category requirements, the revised planning process, and enhanced reporting requirements – which will require additional staffing, training, technical assistance, and system changes.
- Allow MHSA funding to be used for capital funding to build necessary housing
In the hearing today and an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee last week, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, of the Steinberg Institute and author of the Mental Health Services Act in 2004, praised Orange County for already meeting the desired standards prescribed in the reforms contained in SB 326,
“Orange County, the only county meeting the required standard, saw a 17% drop in people experiencing homelessness from 2019 to 2022 — even while the statewide homelessness rate went up. That success is not a coincidence.”
Orange County Response to Grand Jury Report on Group Homes (Item 31): Supervisor Foley voted to approve an official response to a grand jury report titled “Welcome to the neighborhood. Are cities responsibly managing the integration of groups homes?” During the board meeting, Supervisor Foley successfully advocated for an amendment to the official county response that articulated how the county has worked to address these issues with state leaders.
“During my time as Mayor of Costa Mesa, I led the development and implementation of a comprehensive Sober Living Home Action Plan and model ordinance in order to close policy gaps and combat bad actors across Orange County. I thank the Grand Jury for their time and attention to this issue, and I look forward to addressing these concerns for our residents and those seeking treatment in our community,” said Supervisor Foley.
- Health Care Agency Grant Award: Approval of the California Home Visiting Program State General Fund grant award of $1,712,424, will expand home visiting services to pregnant and newly parenting families that have medical and social risk factors. The services promote maternal health and child health and development, to ensure strong new families can flourish in our communities.
“I love this program. Last year, my office used some of our discretionary funding to support a similar program through Moms OC for home visits for maternal health. This valuable County program will support pregnant moms and new moms that are socio-economically disadvantaged or even struggle with substance abuse. Through this program, we will conduct home visits for maternal health and wellbeing, improve infant and child health and development, and strengthen family function,” said Supervisor Foley.
- John Wayne Airport Grant Award Approval of the FAA Airport Improvement Program grant award of $695,257 will help strengthen airport infrastructure by replacing an escalator in Terminal A at John Wayne Airport. The County of Orange will also match $167,452 for this improvement to passenger services.
“With millions of passengers traveling through John Wayne Airport, we must ensure we maintain our airport to meet needs. I remain grateful for the federal dollars available to improve our airport infrastructure,” said Supervisor Foley.
- Sheriff Coroner Operation Stonegarden Grant Award: Approval of the 2023 allocation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Stonegarden Grant, commits $842,000 to continued efforts to cut down on human trafficking, drug smuggling, drug cartel and gang activity, and threat interception.
“Cutting crime, ending human and drug trafficking, and securing our borders is made possible by the good work of our Orange County Sheriff’s Department,” said Supervisor Foley.
Approval Public Park in City of Anaheim Near ocV!BE Project (Item 9): Approval of the sale of OC Flood Control District land to the City of Anaheim for $200,000. This allows the City of Anaheim to develop and operate the property as a public park.
“When I was the caretaker for District 2 last year, I advocated that this County land be designated as park space. The sale of this property is a win-win for the County and the City of Anaheim. It relieves OC Flood Control District of maintaining the property while giving Orange County residents and visitors another place to gather as a community. I look forward to seeing this now City land support the plans for the area, including ocV!BE, a new entertainment and commercial district project in Anaheim,” said Supervisor Foley.
Celebrating 100 Years of Flight at John Wayne Airport:
Supervisor Foley presented a proclamation during today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, honoring 100 Years of Flight in Orange County at John Wayne Airport.This proclamation serves as an acknowledgment of the past, a celebration of the present, and an investment in the future of aviation in the region.
“John Wayne Airport plays a crucial role in connecting our community, supporting commerce, and embracing the technological advancements that define modern aviation. The story of the Airport continues with innovations toward sustainable aviation and greener, cleaner, quieter flights,” said Supervisor Foley.
“We pay homage to visionaries who played a pivotal role in shaping our aviation landscape, especially the women too often overlooked. Throughout the celebration year, visitors passing through John Wayne Airport will have the opportunity to participate in interactive activities. I look forward to participating in this historic journey as we celebrate 100 Years of Flight in Orange County,” continued Supervisor Foley.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.