Documented by Matthew Carnero-Macias
What happened: Fresno County supervisors moved forward a proposed quarter-cent tax increase measure that would be used to improve Fresno State University facilities, among other things, at their Tuesday meeting.
The .25% retail transaction and use tax measure will be placed on the March 5 statewide primary election ballot. The money generated would be used to upgrade, repair and build new Fresno State facilities, expand access to some academic programs and provide scholarships to veterans and local students.
The county would receive up to 1% of the proceeds every year to cover administrative costs.
The revised Measure M, dubbed the California State University, Fresno Facility and Academic Program Improvement Initiative Measure, would require that the ordinance establish two endowments for funding scholarships and deferred maintenance or other campus program support. Residents would be taxed countywide.
A seven-member oversight committee would be appointed to ensure that the funds are used appropriately if the measure passes.
And also: SEIU Local 521 members protested and expressed frustration regarding their wages and compensation in a presentation to the board Tuesday. Several workers commented, and the board allowed the union to go past the usual 15-minute limit for public presentations.
One SEIU Local 521 member told supervisors that “worker retention is a real issue.”
Another Fresno County eligibility worker said that her department has a 90% turnover rate, leaving her and other long-time workers with unmanageable caseloads that result in long wait times of 35 to 45 days for clients seeking CalFresh and health benefits.
Up next: The board will meet next on Nov. 7.