Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Springtime means LA officials lobbying in Washington

L.A. county and city officials are in Washington this week.
L.A. county and city officials are in Washington this week.
Kitty Felde/KPCC

Now that the polar vortex has melted away to a riot of cherry blossoms in the nation's capitol, Angelenos are flocking to Washington. But it’s not just the spring weather that’s bringing them east.

On Tuesday, L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe will join Texas Republican Congressman Ted Poe at the National Press Club to talk about the issue he’s passionate about these days: child trafficking. Knabe will unveil a survey detailing the extent of the problem across the country. The county's two federal grants for a specialized juvenile court for victims of child sex trafficking expire at the end of the year. The court avoids the typical adversarial nature of delinquency proceedings. 

Knabe’s not the only L.A. county official coming to Washington. Fellow supervisors Zev Yaraslovsky and Gloria Molina, as well as the County CEO, fire chief and others will be making the rounds on Capitol Hill and meeting with White House officials Wednesday and Thursday. They'll lobby for renewal of a pilot program to manage the 327,000 new patients who qualify for MediCal under the Affordable Care Act. The county also wants greater flexibility over its federal funds for foster care programs.

Immigration reform is also on the agenda. Supervisors will once again lobby for higher contributions from the federal government to cover the cost of incarcerating undocumented immigrants. And as conversations continue on Capitol Hill about passing some sort of immigration reform, supervisors want to ensure that the cost of health care for beneficiaries wouldn't shift to the county. Some immigration proposals restrict their eligibility for federal health and public assistance benefits.

Just as the Supervisors are leaving town, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will arrive. City Hall is still nailing down appointments and hasn’t yet released details about his visit.