The Sacramento City Council has placed Measure L on the ballot. The stated purpose and intent of the measure is “to establish the Sacramento Children’s Fund to support positive youth development and youth violence prevention programs” for children and youth less than 25 years old.
Operation of the measure
Money in the proposed Sacramento Children’s Fund may only be used to engage qualified organizations (non-profits or public agencies) to provide “youth services” in accordance with a commission-developed and council-adopted strategic plan. “Youth services” include mental health counseling and wellness services; substance abuse prevention services; street outreach, violence intervention, and case management; youth workforce development, including career pathways that advance the city’s climate-action goals; summer programs and after-school programs; and early childhood education and family support services. A percentage (starting at 20% and declining to 10%) can be spent on administrative costs.
In addition to the annual minimum General Fund allocation to the Sacramento Children’s Fund, the measure requires the annual council-adopted budget to include a “maintenance of effort” amount for youth services, which amount must be at least as much as the city expended on youth services in Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
The measure also creates a new nine-member Sacramento Children’s Fund Oversight Commission. The commission, which must be supported by city staff, is responsible for developing and reviewing strategic investment plans, annual service performance reports, and periodic youth impact evaluation reports.
The measure’s effect on existing law
The Sacramento City Charter currently requires the city manager, before the beginning of each fiscal year, to prepare and present to the city council budget recommendations for that upcoming fiscal year. The city council, after public hearing, adopts the city’s budget by resolution. That budget may be amended by the city council at any time.
While there are portions of the city’s budget in special funds, which can only be used for particular purposes, the majority of the city’s budget is in what is known as the “General Fund.” The city council can, when adopting and amending the budget, allocate money in the General Fund to any lawful government purpose.
Measure L adds to the charter a section that imposes specific budgeting requirements upon the city council. First, it requires a portion of the General Fund to be allocated to a new Sacramento Children’s Fund. Second, it requires the budget to use a certain amount of the General Fund to maintain previously-provided levels of youth services.
Source: City Attorney's Impartial Analysis of Measure L