Over the next days and hours some of these bills may gather momentum and move forward, others may stall given reaction by various interest groups and legislators. The League will take positions on bills that have major impacts on cities. City officials should watch for action alerts in the next few days on priority issues.
SB 1528 (Steinberg) Medical Services: Damages. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Pending. 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.
AB 2592 (Williams) County Free Public Libraries: Withdrawal: Use of Private Contractors. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Oppose. 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.
AB 1235 (Hernández) Energy: Energy Efficiency. (As amended Aug. 24) League position: Seeking Comments. This bill 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 2529 (Wiekowski) California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: Electric Corporations. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Pending. This bill is a clean-up bill to 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. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Concerns. 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.
AB 1634 (Chesbro) Solid Waste: Large-Quantity Commercial Organics Generators. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Watch. This bill mandates commercial recycling for large generators of organic materials.
SB 863 (De León) Workers’ Compensation. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Seeking Comment. 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. (As amended Aug. 24) League position: Oppose. 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.
SB 912 (Lieu) Contractors: Fire Safety: State Fire Marshall. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Oppose. This bill provides the State Fire Marshall with the authority to adopt and administer the regulations and building standards, for all occupancy buildings, that it deems necessary to ensure fire safety in buildings and structures. The bill would also authorize the installation of a fire protection system for new construction of single-family or two-family dwellings to be performed by a contractor holding a fire protection contractor classification, a general building contractor, or a plumbing contractor.
AB 2225 (Perea) Courts: Video Trial Pilot Program: Infractions. (As Amended Aug. 23) League position: Watch. This bill would establish a pilot program in Fresno County to allow court proceedings for vehicle code infractions or truancy charges be conducted over two-way video feed in light of continued court facility closures and reduced hours of operation. This bill will not be moved this year but will be reintroduced for the 2013-14 Session.
SB 1040 (Negrete McLeod) Fire Prevention: Fees. (As Amended Aug. 24) League position: Watch. 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.
SB 1027 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Federal Transportation Funds: Allocation. (As amended Aug. 24) League position: Watch. 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.
Revenue and Taxation
AB 2515 (Hall) Tribal Gaming. Special Distribution Fund. (As Amended Aug. 21) League Position: Support. 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.