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In 1998, the voters of California approved Proposition 10 on the ballot, the Children and Families First Initiative. This Proposition imposes a surcharge on the sale of tobacco products, with the funds collected by the State. The State then distributes these funds, with 20% going to the California Children and Families Commission and the remaining 80% going to the 58 counties. These county allocations are designed to support the work of local County Commissions, with the amount of funds based on the number of live births in the county.
All these funds are earmarked for programs and services aimed at improving the lives of children prenatal to five years of age and their families. This Proposition generated approximately $700 million statewide during its first full year of operation. Solano County's allocation during the first full year, was $5,500,00 and the current FY2014-15 allocation is forecast at $3,350,000. These revenues decrease steadily over time as people reduce their use of tobacco products or find sources for these products that do not generate California sales tax revenues. Current financial information can be found in the Commission's Program Investment Plan.
The First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission was established by an ordinance passed by the Solano County Board of Supervisors on June 8, 1999. The ordinance defined the number of Commissioners as nine, the maximum allowed under Proposition 10, which mandates that local commissions include a member of the Board of Supervisors and two representatives of the County Health and Social Services Departments. First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission has independent authority to allocate its funds in accordance with its Strategic Plan.
The Commission funds many programs within the community and First 5 funds are an integral part of the safety net for children's and family programs in Solano County. The Commission works closely with community partners to continue to find ways to ensure these critical community investments.
Commissioners who served in the past are:
- Commissioner Dee Alarcón (2007-2011)
- Commissioner Stephan Betz (2011 - 2014)
- Commissioner Ellen Blaufarb (1999-2005)
- Commissioner Nancy Calvo (1999-2005)
- Commissioner Stephen Chun, MD (1999-2002)
- Commissioner Patrick Duterte (2014-2015)
- Commissioner Sheryl Fairchild (2003-2012)
- Commissioner Laura Fowler (1999-2004)
- Commissioner Debbee Gossell (2003-2012)
- Commissioner Willie Graham, Rev. (1999-2003)
- Commissioner Barbara Kondylis (1999-2009)
- Commissioner Lisa Luke Lee (1999-2003)
- Commissioner Jan Maguire (2003-2007)
- Commissioner Maureen Mcsweeney (1999-2007)
- Commissioner Elaine Norinsky (1999-2013)
- Commissioner Linda Seifert (2009-2013)
- Commissioner Norma Thigpen (2005-2012)
- Commissioner Randolph Thomas, MD (2002-2003)
- Commissioner Sharon Tucker, MD (2005-2009)