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League Submits Letters on Federal Transportation Reauthorization

February 24, 2012
The House and Senate transportation authorizing committees kicked off February with a flurry of action on legislation to reauthorize the nation's surface transportation law, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-Lu), with the House's Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate's Banking Housing and Urban Affairs and Finance Committees all completing markups on their respective portions of their chambers' transportation reauthorization packages.

Hotel and Registration Deadline for Public Works, Planners Conferences Extended

February 24, 2012
The deadline to register and make hotel accommodations for the Public Works Officers Institute & Mini Expo and the Planners Institute & Mini Expo, scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday on March 20 - 22 at the San Jose Fairmont, has been extended to Wednesday, Feb. 29. Don't miss out on these valuable training opportunities!

Register Now For The League's Legislative Action Days - April 25 - 26

February 24, 2012
The League's annual Legislative Action Days will be held this year in Sacramento on April 25 - 26. Legislative Action Days is an opportunity to join fellow city officials to learn about the breaking legislative developments that will affect your city, and meet with legislators.

Senate Committees Hear Options for Economic Development on Same Day as League's Economic Development Task Force Starts Meeting

February 22, 2012
This morning the Senate Governance and Finance and Transportation and Housing Committees held a joint informational hearing on economic development options in the wake of redevelopment agency dissolution through AB 1x 26. Legislators heard testimony from local economic development and affordable housing professionals with League First Vice President and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard testifying on behalf of the League.

Updated HUTA Estimates Available on CaliforniaCityFinance.com

February 17, 2012
New Highway User Tax Account (HUTA) estimates for FY 2011-12 and FY 2012-13 (aka Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax, State Gas Tax) were recently updated and posted online. The estimates include projections for the longstanding Streets and Highways Code Sec 2105-2108 gas tax allocations as well as the new Streets and Highways Code Sec 2103 allocations which replace Proposition 42 state sales tax on gasoline allocations that were repealed in the 2010 gas tax swap.

Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions to Hold Fourth Meeting on Feb. 28

February 17, 2012
The Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions has scheduled a meeting on Feb. 28 to discuss "Examining the Impact of Increasing Normal Retirement Age." This will be the fourth meeting of the committee, which is co-chaired by Assembly Member Furutani (D-Long Beach) and Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino).

League Forms New Task Force To Explore New Community and Economic Development Tools

February 17, 2012
Last week during its meeting, the League's board of directors approved the creation of a new task force charged with recommending to the board new community and economic development tools following the dissolution of redevelopment. In addition to recommending new tools, the task force will also provide guidance to the League's legislative team for broader policy discussions with the Legislature in the future. The task force will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

League Moves to Support Redesignation of Expiring Enterprise Zones

February 16, 2012
AB 484 (Alejo) will help ensure that businesses within an enterprise zone can continue to receive uninterrupted benefits until such time that the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has completed a regulatory and administrative review of the program, issued a request for proposal, and issued conditional designation letters to the maximum number of enterprise zones within the state. Two enterprise zones face losing their designation this year without this legislation (Watsonville is set to expire in April and the Antelope Valley expired as of Jan. 31).

City Managers' Department Award Winners

February 10, 2012
Each year, the League of California Cities' City Managers' Department presents three prestigious awards honoring distinguished members of the department: the Wes Clure Award of Distinction, the John H. Nail Memorial Award and the Award for the Advance of Diverse Communities. This year the department is proud to announce the following winners.

OPR Schedules Workshops on CEQA Guidelines in February

February 10, 2012
In late January, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released for comment its draft CEQA guidelines for streamlining approval of infill projects. Please see the Jan. 27 CA Cities Advocate story "Governor's Office of Planning and Research Releases Draft Guidelines on Infill Development" for background . As part of its review, OPR has scheduled three workshops in Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles in February to discuss the proposed guidelines.

U.S. Department of Transportation Opens Fourth Round of TIGER Grant Program

February 10, 2012
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice of funding availability (NOFA) for the fourth round of TIGER grants. DOT has also released a technical supplement to Appendix A on Benefit Cost Analysis entitled "BCA Resource Guide."

Speaker Pérez Introduces Redevelopment Cleanup Bill AB 1585

February 8, 2012
Last Thursday, Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) introduced AB 1585 to clean up certain provisions of the redevelopment dissolution bill AB 1x 26. This bill includes an urgency clause and will require a two-thirds vote.

Which Path for Governor's State Agency Consolidation Plans: Budget Process or Reorganization Plan?

February 3, 2012
In Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed FY 2012-13 Budget he included a comprehensive proposal to reorganize state government, including the elimination of two state agencies, 39 state entities and nine programs. What remains unclear is how discussions on this component of the Governor's budget will ultimately proceed.

Governor Releases Legislative Language on his Pension Reform Plan

February 2, 2012
On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown released two documents containing language for his 12-point pension reform plan: Part 1 and Part 2. The Governor first released his plan in April 2011. He released a revised version of his plan in October 2011.

League Releases Results of 2012 Statewide Pension Survey

February 2, 2012
A remarkable 71 percent of cities that contract with CalPERS responded to the League's recent comprehensive pension survey. This is the second year in what has become an annual survey conducted by the League. Designed to help ascertain how cities are managing employee pensions, the survey focused on those cities that contract with CalPERS. Of California's 482 cities, the majority, 449 contract with CalPERS. The survey was sent to city managers in late December with all data collected by late January.

League Policy Committees Convene for First Meeting of 2012

February 1, 2012
Last Thursday and Friday, the League's eight standing policy committees met in Sacramento to discuss legislative issues and plan for the coming year.

Is Your City Missing Out on FREE MONEY?

February 1, 2012
In 2011, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) opened up $25 million in noncompetitive grants, funded through Proposition 1C, the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006, for housing related parks programs. Unfortunately, HCD only awarded $8 million.

Redevelopment Agency Dissolution: Next Steps

February 1, 2012
Despite the best efforts of a broad coalition of other organizations and the League to protect local economies, redevelopment agencies across the state were dissolved under AB 1x 26, effective today, leaving many unanswered legal and technical questions.

Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions Discusses Hybrid Plans

January 26, 2012
On Wednesday, the Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions held its third meeting, this time discussing hybrid pension plans.

League Sends Letter to Governor Urging Legislation to Address Problems With Implementation of AB 1 x 26

January 5, 2012
Redevelopment agencies throughout California are required to shut down on Wednesday, Feb. 1 with the Legislature having chosen not to take up and pass SB 659 (Padilla).
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