With only about three weeks left until the end of the end of session, city officials should watch for action alerts on priority bills.
All League position letters can be found under the bill number in our bill search function on the website.
2012 Major Bills (Aug 10, 2012)
HOT BILL - SB 1002 (Yee) Public Records: Electronic Format. League position: Oppose Unless Amended. This bill would amend the California Public Records Act to require agencies to create new records at public expense and dictates the format in which agencies maintain and disclose electronic records.
HOT BILL – AB 1551 (Torres) Insurance: Public Safety Employees: Accidents. League position: Oppose. 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.
SB 965 (Wright) State Water Resources Control Board and California Regional Water Quality Control Boards: Ex Parte Communications. League position: Support. 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 BILL – SB 1222 (Leno) Solar Energy: Permits. League position: Oppose. 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.
SB 1278 (Wolk) Planning and Zoning: Levees. League position: Support. 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.
AB 2031 (Fuentes). Community Corrections Partnerships. League position: Oppose. Expands membership on the local Community Corrections Partnerships and state Board of State and Community Corrections to include duplicative county sheriff and probation and state parole representatives, further diluting the voice of cities.
AB 2366 (Eng). Fix-It Tickets. League position: Support. Increases the fine associated with “fix-it” tickets from $10 to $25. 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.
SB 214 (Wolk) Infrastructure Financing Districts: League position: Support. As amended, Aug. 6, this measure accomplishes a long-needed rewrite of existing Infrastructure Financing Districts Law; it 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.
AB 2144 (Pérez) Infrastructure Financing Districts. League position: Watch. 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. This measure would reallocate 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. This measure authorizes the creation of local Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities. These authorities would 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. Cities could not establish an authority without county approval. On June 28, the League sent a letter to the author outlining various areas of concern with this measure that need to be addressed to make the bill workable for cities. The League board approved an Oppose Unless Amended position on July 20. Since then, the League has met with the author’s staff and sponsors to discuss ways to make the bill more workable for cities, and followed up by providing the author’s office with a set of proposed amendments. The legislation is expected to be amended again during the week of Aug. 13-17, and the League will evaluate the amended bill.
Transportation, Communications, and Public Works
AB 1050 (Ma) Telecommunications: Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services: Taxes and Fees. League position: Pending. This bill would provide a process for collection of utility users taxes (UUT) and relevant state taxes on prepaid wireless services. The League recently held a conference call to discuss the newest proposal to collect these taxes and has been polling our members for input. The ultimate outcome for AB 1050 is still uncertain, as is the League’s position. If your city has a telecommunications UUT, but you have not received information on the newest proposal, please contact League staff.
HOT BILL – AB 2231 (Fuentes) Sidewalks: Repairs. League position: Oppose. This bill sets a terrible precedent by requiring voter approval before an ordinance regarding sidewalk repair can be repealed. Specifically, the bill would require 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 also prohibit cities that have an ordinance from imposing a fee, charge, or assessment, for sidewalk repairs. Voluntary contractual assessments would be allowed.