The 2013 Federal and State Legislative Platform was adopted by the City Council in February 2013. Using the legislative platform as a guide, the City Council Legislative Subcommittee is able to make recommendations in support of or opposition to many bills. The platform, along with recommendations by the subcommittee, establishes a reference for the City's elected representatives during legislative sessions in Sacramento and Washington D.C. to support testifying in related committee hearings and communicating with legislative representatives.
The City monitors active bills that would have an effect on local government and Travis AFB. Key bills are continuously monitored throughout the 2013 legislative session in order to protect the best interests of Fairfield.
In early 2011, the Governor signed significant legislation with the intent to reduce the state’s historically overcrowded prison system and associated costs. AB 109 established the 2011 Public Safety Realignment plan, and several budget related trailer bills provided the funding streams. Realignment is intended to allow the state to comply with a federal court order to reduce the state’s prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. However, the impact on cities and counties is still unknown.
Our Police Department and the majority of municipal police agencies in the state believed that a new strategy was needed to address the issues of prison overcrowding and recidivism. In accordance with AB 109, the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) was established and in November 2011, a realignment implementation plan was adopted by the County Board of Supervisors. The CCP meets regularly and is in the process of executing the realignment plan for Solano County.
The increase in parolees released to Solano County has been costly with inadequate funding provided by the state. However, the recent passage of Proposition 30 in November 2012 provides a permanent, constitutional funding source for local law enforcement. The Fairfield police department continues to work closely with the CCP and is monitoring the effects of realignment throughout the city.
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The recent decision by the Department of Defense to pare the federal budget by approximately $450 billion over the next 10 years and the Secretary of Air Force’s decision to eliminate 13,000 civilian personnel positions country-wide has made a direct impact on Travis AFB. Fifty-eight civilian positions and 35 active-duty military positions are being eliminated, and the 15th EMT and 615th CRW headquarters will be inactivated and relocated to other bases. The Travis Community Consortium (TCC) continues to advocate for the preservation of Travis’ missions and to reach its 2013 Strategy & Legislative Goals.
The Air Force has been discussing the idea of retiring the KC-10, which nearly half of its fleet is located at Travis Air Force Base. The Travis Community Consortium (TCC) started to lobby to keep Travis from suffering personnel and mission losses if that happens.
Proposed cuts to the Air Force’s A-10 attack jet could affect the likelihood of the KC-10 Extender fleet retirement. The retirement of the A-10 and the U-2 reconnaissance jet are two cuts included in the Defense Department’s 2015 Budget proposal. If the budget sequester is not repealed we may see the retirement of the KC-10 in 2016.
Previous efforts to retire the A-10 were opposed from members of Congress whose districts contained bases where the A-10’s were stationed. 16 states have an interest in keeping the A-10, including Army and Guard Reserve. If the A-10 is not retired, then the retirement of the KC-10 may be moved up.
The TCC has set a four-year, eight-point strategic plan. They are working to seek public assurances that Travis will get bridge missions that will backfill the loss of the KC-10, that manpower levels will stay constant at the base, and are pushing to have Travis keep its air refueling mission. They will be cornering congressional representatives and Air Force leaders, with lobbying trips to Washington, D.C. and Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base. The TCC is realistic in the expectation that there will be changes at Travis, with the expected departure of the KC-10s, but their mission is to make sure Travis maintains a solid position to bed down the next generation, the KC-46s. There will be a massive effort to make sure the Travis is the best base with its geopolitical location, good infrastructure and no encroachment.
TCC 2014-2018 Strategy
1. Seek public assurances that Travis Air Force Base will receive “bridge missions” to backfill the retirement of the KC-10. Additionally, acquire assurances that manpower levels will remain constant in the meantime due to the retirement of the KC-10, and strongly advocate that Travis will retain an air refueling mission.
2. Engage with key federal representatives to ensure those assurances become reality, maintaining close contact with the TCC’s Congressional delegation and encouraging optimum advocacy for Travis and the region.
3. Actively engage with the US Air Force by visiting the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, IL as needed, in addition to key leadership at Travis AFB. Also, participate and maintain communication within the Governor’s Military Council and its staff and utilize the Council’s access, expertise, and resources.
4. Seek to preserve other existing missions and enhance the potential to assume additional missions at Travis AFB during future BRAC or non-BRAC realignments by advocating for continued investment in base infrastructure, operating and maintenance funding, demolition funding for condemned buildings and modernization of Travis’ Aircraft.
5. Seek to protect and preserve Travis’s existing aircraft including technology upgrades and ongoing maintenance costs by advocating for continued investment and funding.
6. Strengthen and enhance partnerships and joint ventures with civilian agencies such as Solano Community College, the University of California at Davis, local medical service providers, and corporate partners. Explore new and additional cooperative areas of benefit through public-private, public-public agreements (P4) or any ventures that will reduce base overhead costs. P4 and Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) opportunities should be viewed as opportunities to partner with Travis to the mutual benefit of both.
7. Implement policy that will ensure continued compatible regional development, the preservation of unrestricted air space and other base operations from encroachment, and remediate situations that may detract from Travis’s standing in future BRAC or non-BRAC decisions.
8. Expand TCC membership, financial resources, administrative capability and community outreach to further achieve the TCC goals.