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Appropriations Updates: Bad Sidewalk Repair Bill Held, Open Data Bill Amended, Others Moving Forward

August 16, 2012

Today, both the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees met and took up a number of regular order business items, as well as their suspense files.

 

The suspense file is a holding placing for bills which carry appropriations. Bills which are moved out of suspense then go to the floor, while bills held in suspense die.

Held in Suspense

HOT BILL – AB 2231 (Fuentes) Sidewalk Repairs. Oppose. This bill was held in suspense and is no longer expected to move forward this session. The bill would have set a terrible precedent by requiring voter approval before an ordinance regarding sidewalk repair can be repealed. Specifically, the bill would have required voter approval before cities and counties could repeal an existing ordinance that states that the jurisdiction would take responsibility for sidewalk repair. The bill would have also prohibited cities that have an ordinance from imposing a fee, charge, or assessment, for sidewalk repairs. Voluntary contractual assessments would have been allowed. The League thanks cities for their efforts to defeat this measure.

AB 2037 (Davis) Income Taxes: Hiring Credits: Investment Credits. Support. This bill was held in suspense and is no longer expected to move forward this session. This bill would have created the California New Markets Tax Credit program designed to help incentivize community revitalization projects in low-income communities. The bill would have been funded by appropriating $300 million of unused tax credits originally allocated to the existing California State Hiring Tax Credit program, which was created in 2009 as part of a budget agreement but has been significantly underused. 

Significant Amendments to Open Data Bill Expected

League-opposed hot bill SB 1002 (Yee), which would have amended the California Public Records Act and require a specific data standard for our public records, was passed with amendments in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The committee chair announced that the amendments would replace the bill’s language with a requirement the state’s chief information officer conduct a study on local governments and open data standards. League staff has not seen the amended language yet, but will analyze it as soon as it is available.

Moving to the Floor

HOT BILL – SB 1222 (Leno) Solar Energy: Permits. Oppose. This bill was passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and will head to the Assembly floor. This bill would place a cap on building permit fees on solar residential systems as well as require local agencies to provide a report to the California Energy Commission (CEC) no later than Dec. 1, 2013. The amendments taken in committee will increase the residential permitting cap from $400 to $500 as well as made other clarifying changes. The League’s position letter is available on the League’s website by typing “SB 1222” into the search box. City officials are encouraged to send letters of opposition.

HOT BILL – AB 1551 (Torres) Insurance: Public Safety Employees: Accidents. Oppose. This bill was passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and will head to the Senate floor. This bill would exempt certain public safety officers from a requirement to report accidents that occur in a personal vehicle to a personal insurance provider and instead report those accidents to the employer. This bill unnecessarily shifts the liability for automobile accidents from the employee to the employer. The League’s position letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 1551” into the search box. City officials are encouraged to send letters of opposition immediately.



 
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