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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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County

City and County of San Francisco
Measure I Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passing

245,962 votes yes (66.26%)

125,224 votes no (33.74%)

Shall the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco be amended to: 1) establish the Dignity Fund to support Seniors and Adults with Disabilities; 2) require an annual contribution by the City to the Fund including an annual baseline amount of $38 million, increasing by $6 million for fiscal year 2017-2018, and increasing by $3 million a year for the next 9 years until fiscal year 2026-2027, and continuing at that amount, adjusted annually for changes in aggregate discretionary City revenues, for the next 10 years until fiscal year 2036-2037; 3) establish a planning process for expenditures from the Fund; 4) create an Oversight and Advisory Committee; 5) set an expiration date of June 30, 2037; and 6) change the "Commission on Aging" to the "Aging and Adult Services Commission" and update its responsibilities?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

If you vote “yes,” you want to amend the Charter to establish the Dignity Fund and set aside at least $38 million a year, plus scheduled increases, from the General Fund until June 30, 2037, to pay for programs and services to assist seniors and adults with disabilities. 

NO vote means

 If you vote “no,” you do not want to make these changes.

Summary

Ballot Simplification Committee

The Way It Is Now: The City’s Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) is responsible for planning, coordinating and advocating for services for seniors and adults with disabilities. The City’s Commission on Aging oversees many of DAAS’ activities. DAAS provides a range of programs and services for seniors and adults with disabilities, including:

• in-home supportive services,

• nutrition and wellness programs,

• senior centers and activity centers and

• legal services.

DAAS is also responsible for administering the Community Living Fund, which helps fund programs to assist individuals to age in their own homes, assisted living facilities or supportive housing. 

Each year, the City determines the funding for DAAS’ programs and activities, including the Community Living Fund. The City is not required to appropriate any specific annual amount for DAAS in the budget.

In addition to DAAS, the City has established a Long Term Care Coordinating Council to advise and coordinate community-based long-term care planning services for older adults and adults with disabilities. 

The Proposal: Proposition I is a Charter amendment that would create a Dignity Fund to provide guaranteed funding for programs and services for seniors and adults with disabilities. This Fund would expire on June 30, 2037.

Services and programs would include home- and community-based long-term care and support, food and nutrition, consumer and caregiver education and support, seniors/disabled community and service centers, legal services, health and wellness, and targeted outreach.

Under Proposition I, the City would be required to set aside monies from its General Fund each year to contribute to the Dignity Fund, as follows:

• for the first year, the City would contribute at least $38 million, the same amount the City budgeted in fiscal year 2016–17 for services that could be funded in the future by the Dignity Fund;

• for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, the City would contribute at least $44 million;

• for fiscal years from July 1, 2018, until June 30, 2027, the City would increase its contribution by $3 million each year, until it reaches $71 million a year. If the City faced a projected budget deficit exceeding $200 million, the City would not have to increase the contribution to this Fund;

• for fiscal years from July 1, 2027, until June 30, 2037, the City’s contribution to this Fund would equal the prior year’s contributions, adjusted for changes in the City’s revenues.

Under Proposition I, this Fund would pay for many of the same types of programs and services currently provided by DAAS. Proposition I would also establish a four-year planning process and require a regular evaluation of the services and programs this Fund supports.

In addition to the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, Proposition I would create an 11-member Oversight and Advisory Committee to monitor and participate in the administration of this Fund.

Financial effect

City Controller Ben Rosenfield

City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition I:

Should the proposed charter amendment be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would have a significant impact on the cost of government. The amendment would create an annual baseline for services for seniors and adults with disabilities at a required level of $38 million beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2016–17 and increasing over time. In fiscal year 2015–16, the City’s general fund budget for these services was approximately $32 million.

The proposed charter amendment would establish a new fund (the Dignity Fund) to support seniors and adults with disabilities. The Dignity Fund would be used exclusively for services to seniors and adults with disabilities, such as home and community-based long term care, food programs, caregiver programs, community centers, advocacy programs and wellness programs.

Under the proposed amendment, the City would be required to create a $38 million baseline for the Dignity Fund in FY 2016–17. In FY 2017–18, the City would increase the Dignity Fund by $6 million, and beginning in FY 2018–19 increase that amount by $3 million per year for nine years, reaching an annual budget amount of $71 million in fiscal year 2026–27. For the subsequent ten year period to fiscal year 2036–37, the budget would be adjusted by the aggregate change in the City’s overall discretionary revenues. The City would be able to temporarily suspend the required budget increases in any year beginning in FY 2017–18 in which a general fund deficit of $200 million or more was forecast.

The amendment would modify the powers and duties of the Commission that advises the City on services for seniors and adults with disabilities and would create a new eleven member Oversight and Advisory Committee to make recommendations regarding the planning, evaluation, reporting and other aspects of administering the Dignity Fund. The proposed amendment specifies a four year planning cycle that requires community consultation, equity analysis and working with service providers on how to allocate Dignity Fund dollars, among other requirements.

The proposed amendment is not in compliance with a non-binding, voter-adopted city policy regarding set-asides. The policy seeks to limit set-asides which reduce General Fund dollars that could otherwise be allocated by the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors in the annual budget process.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

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