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End of Session Bill Status Report

August 30, 2012

This year the League has been tracking a number of major bills which affect cities as reflected in its updated Aug. 10 Major Bills List. This week, the League also published a list of gut and amends that affect cities. The following actions have occurred for the bills the League is tracking.

 

All bills must be taken up by Friday, Aug. 31 at midnight or they will die. Bills that are currently sitting in committee must be passed out of committee and on the floor of both houses. City officials are encouraged to send request for signature and request for veto letter to Gov. Jerry Brown as requested below.

Administrative Services

SB 1528 (Steinberg) Medical Services: Damages.
League position: Pending.
Status: On the Assembly Floor

This bill provides that an injured person whose health care is provided through a public or private capitated health care service plan including Medi-Cal is entitled to recover as damages the “reasonable and necessary value” of medical services.  

Community Services

AB 2592 (Williams) County Free Public Libraries: Withdrawal: Use of Private Contractors.
League position: Oppose.
Status: Senate Rules Committee

This bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. This bill is a follow up to last year’s AB 438 (Williams). The bill states that any city that withdrew from a county free library system, for which withdrawal became effective on or after Jan. 1, 2012 has to comply with AB 438’s requirements.  

Employee Relations

SB 863 (De León) Workers’ Compensation.
League position: Seeking Comment.
Status: Assembly Insurance Committee

This bill was referred to the Assembly Insurance Committee. This bill incorporates major workers’ compensation reforms. This package of reforms is intended to provide an estimated $700 million dollar permanent disability increase to be phased in over two years, but to offset this cost increase by implementing other important reforms in the system. A summary of SB 863 has been posted to the League’s website. Also, the cost analysis from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) is available online.

AB 2298 (Solorio) Insurance: Public Safety Employees: Accidents.
League position: Oppose. 
Status: Enrollment

This bill was passed on the Assembly floor today and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill is nearly identical to AB 1551 (Torres) which was amended into a housing bill last week. As amended, AB 2298 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.

Environmental Quality

SB 965 (Wright) State Water Resources Control Board and California Regional Water Quality Control Boards: Ex Parte Communications.
League position: Support.
Status: On the Assembly Floor

This bill would clarify that there is no prohibition on ex parte communications between members of the State Water Resources Control Board or the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards and the regulated community in connection with specific permit proceedings, including those involving the issuance or modification of general stormwater permits. The legislation will significantly help local government communicate with water boards as permits are in development. This bill, modeled after the Public Utilities Commissions’ ex parte provisions, is very similar to AB 2063, which is modeled after the California Coastal Commission.

HOT BILLSB 1222 (Leno) Solar Energy: Permits.
League position: Oppose.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. 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. City officials are encouraged to send request for veto letters immediately.

SB 1278 (Wolk) Planning and Zoning: Levees.
League position: Support.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill would make changes to the 200-year flood requirements enacted in 2007, including addressing timing issues for cities and counties in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley (northern border of California down to Fresno) that are required to amend their general plan within 24 months of the adoption of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. City officials are encouraged to send request for signature letters immediately.

AB 2529 (Wiekowski) California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: Electric Corporations.
League position: Pending.
Status: Senate Rules Committee

This bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. This bill cleans up the Budget Resources Trailer Bill AB 1018 and clarifies that funding from Cap and Trade auctions going to IOUs intended to offset rate payers costs would go back to all rate payers, including local governments.

SB 568 (Lowenthal) Recycling: Polystyrene Food Containers.
League position: Concerns.
Status: On the Assembly Floor

This bill establishes a statewide ban on polystyrene food containers. Recent amendments would give cities the option to offer a 1-year exemption to the ban for small businesses in their community that meet an “undue economic hardship.”

AB 1634 (Chesbro) Solid Waste: Large-Quantity Commercial Organics Generators.
League position: Watch.
Status: Senate Rules Committee

This bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. AB 1634 mandates commercial recycling for large generators of organic materials.

Housing

AB 1616 (Gatto) Food Safety: Cottage Food Operations.
League position: Oppose.
Status: On the Assembly Floor

This bill was passed on the Senate floor today and sent back to the Assembly for concurrence. This bill would prohibit cities from disallowing cottage food operations and require those operations to be deemed a permitted use of residential property for zoning purposes, local building, and fire codes.

Public Safety

SB 1040 (Negrete McLeod) Fire Prevention: Fees.
League position: Watch.
Status: Assembly Budget Committee

This bill is currently in the Senate Budget Committee. This bill would repeal the $150 rural fire prevention fee imposed on private and unimproved lands within CALFIRE state responsibility areas. This issue is linked to AB 1500 (Pérez) Corporation Taxes: Apportionment: Single Sales Factor: Middle Class Scholarship Fund.

AB 2031 (Fuentes). Community Corrections Partnerships.
League position: Oppose.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill expands membership on the local Community Corrections Partnerships and state Board of State and Community Corrections to include duplicative county sheriff and probation and social services representatives, further diluting the voice of cities. City officials are encouraged to send request for veto letters immediately. A sample request for veto letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 2031” into the search box.

AB 2366 (Eng). Fix-It Tickets.
League position: Support.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill increases the fine associated with “fix-it” tickets from $10 to $25 when issued by parking enforcement officers. The fix-it ticket is already $25 when issued by a peace officer. This citation penalty has not been updated for nearly 20 years and local agencies are not recouping the cost of citing and processing citations that ensure the safety of vehicles operating on public streets and roads.  City officials are encouraged to send request for signature letters immediately. A sample request for signature letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 2366” into the search box.

AB 2515 (Hall) Tribal Gaming. Special Distribution Fund.
League Position: Support.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill would appropriate $9.1 million from the tribal gaming Special Distribution Fund in mitigation grants to local governments with adjacent jurisdictions to tribal-owned casinos for public safety and infrastructure services.  A sample request for signature letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 2515” into the search box.

Post-Redevelopment Legislation

HOT BILL – SB 214 (Wolk) Infrastructure Financing Districts.
League position: Support.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill removes the existing vote thresholds, authorizes rehabilitation and maintenance, and makes numerous other changes focused on making the tool more flexible. The author amended the bill to incorporate many amendments proposed by the League designed to make the bill more workable. City officials are encouraged to send request for signature letters immediately.

AB 2144 (Pérez) Infrastructure Financing Districts.
League position: Watch.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. This bill proposes to make numerous changes to infrastructure financing districts. One significant difference with SB 214 (Wolk) is the bill has 55 percent voter thresholds for establishing a district and issuing debt. 

AB 2037 (Davis) California New Markets Tax Credit.
League position: Support. 
Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee

AB 2037 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will not move forward. This measure would have reallocated some existing unused state tax credits to benefit job creation and economic development projects in local communities. 

SB 1156 (Steinberg) Sustainable Communities Investment Authority.
League position: Oppose Unless Amended.
Status: Enrollment

This bill is currently awaiting action on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. SB 1156 authorizes the creation of local Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities. These authorities could be established under the legal authority of former redevelopment agencies, but limited in numerous ways. The provisions of redevelopment law would also apply, except for the finding of blight. The author recently took an amendment requested by the League to clarify that a city could form an authority without county approval; other implementation issues remain unaddressed.

Transportation, Communications, and Public Works

SB 1027 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Federal Transportation Funds: Allocation.
League position: Watch.
Status: Assembly Budget Committee

SB 1027 is currently in the Assembly Budget Committee. This bill contains implementing language for specified sections of MAP-21 (new federal transportation authorization) as they relate to bridge funding, Safe Routes to School, regional transportation agency funding, and air quality improvement programs. The author has indicated that the bill is for discussion purposes only, as much of the work will be done over the legislative break. However, as with any bill in print, there is a chance that it could be taken up this week. 

AB 1050 (Ma) Telecommunications: Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services: Taxes and Fees.
League position: No Position.
Status: Senate Governance and Finance Committee

This bill was not taken up in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. It is not expected to move this year. AB 1050 would provide a process for collection of utility users taxes (UUT) and relevant state taxes on prepaid wireless services.

AB 1235 (Hernández) Energy: Energy Efficiency.
League position: Seeking Comments.
Status: Senate Rules Committee

This bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. AB 1235 requires an electrical company to replace low-efficiency light bulbs with high-efficiency light bulbs at the same rate that cities and counties replace light bulbs on publicly-owned streetlights. Electrical companies would not be required to replace more than 100 light bulbs. The cost would be covered by unspecified existing collection mechanisms. Also requires the electrical company to post information on its cost-efficient energy efficiency programs and energy efficiency targets. The author has indicated that the bill fixes a problem where cities want to make streetlights more efficient, but because they do not own all the light poles, they are unable to replace the lights.   

AB 2231 (Fuentes) Sidewalks: Repairs.
League position: Oppose.
Status: Dead

This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 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. 



 
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