AB 1784, having cleared it’s first hurdle – policy committee – moved on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Keri and Michelle had been told that their bill was destined for the Suspense File and that they wouldn’t need to testify. That all changed the day before, and after a flurry of text messages Keri and Michelle found themselves pulling together testimony for Appropriations.
The tricky part of testifying in Appropriations is finding the right balance. Appropriations is a fiscal committee. You need to talk about the fiscal impact of your bill. But you also need to talk about the policy in the bill, just don’t talk about policy too much – just enough to provide proper context. And you need to do that in two minutes or less. You have to find that Goldilocks balance with your testimony.
Their testimony went as well as it could go. AB 1784 is still on Suspense, but that’s the nature of having a bill that costs over $150,000. And because they have a bill that costs a decent chunk of change – $4.75 million to be precise – Keri and Michelle launched a parallel effort to line up the funding for their bill through the budget process.
Fun fact about that – when you’re going through the budget process to get funding for a bill you cannot talk about the bill you’re trying to get funding for. You can essentially copy/paste your bill language into the budget request, you just can’t name the bill. So AB 1774 becomes foster care pilot program.
That request has led to two more hearings that Michelle and Keri have had to navigate, Budget Subcommittee hearings in both houses of the Legislature. They’ve completed both of those hearings and we’ll pick back up next week with the latest developments surrounding AB 1784.