The Little Hoover Commission, after a year of study, released their Final Report on August 30, 2017, on Special Districts. The report, titled: "Special Districts: Improving Oversight & Transparency", is a culmination of a year-long study by the Commission that included two public hearings and two roundtable discussion forums. The report focuses on district oversight and transparency and has a special emphasis on healthcare districts as well as climate change.
There are twenty (20) final recommendations, eight (8) of which are directly related to LAFCo. They fall in the areas of governance, transparency and healthcare districts. Most notably, the Commission recommends a one-time infusion of grant funding by the Legislature to LAFCos of $1 - $3 million, and recommends the Legislature curtail special legislation that either bypass LAFCo or divest LAFCo of authority.
In the report's cover letter to the Governor and State Legislators, Chair Pedro Nava stated, "As much as the Commission wanted to find a magic bullet to ensure these 2,000 districts were performing efficiently and effectively, it didn’t. The LAFCO process may not be working as it could and should in every corner of the state, but special districts remain best served by local decision-making. To that end, the Commission recommends the Legislature curtail its practice of bypassing the local process. Additionally, the Commission offers a number of common-sense recommendations to help LAFCOs exercise their authority."
CALAFCO fully supports the final recommendations in the report, after having worked with the Commission and their staff for the past 14 months.