Friday, April 24, 2015

Heather Halsey at Commission on State Mandates explains test claim filing

Heather Halsey is the Executive Director of the California Commission on State Mandates, which will, according to San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer Mark Church, play a crucial role in determining who has to pay for the 17.7 million absentee ballots that would be mailed out to be mailed in under California State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg’s pending legislation, SB 163, aka “Vote-from-Home.”  Here’s what she had to say today in response to an inquiry from Etopia News.

“We just received a request from you asking for ‘any information about the timetable and process by which you will determine if the costs incurred under SB 163 will be considered state mandated costs?’ 

“This is a bill currently pending before the Legislature.  If the bill is eventually enacted and a local government believes it imposes a state-mandated new program on them and related costs, the local government may file a test claim (which functions similarly to a class action for all similarly situated local governments) within one year of the effective date of the statute  (or one year of first incurring costs under the statute) with the Commission for a determination of the mandate issue.   I have attached the Commission's brochure, which lays out the process and time line for a test claim decision.”

To access that brochure, click here.

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