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League of California Cities’ 2012 Major Bill List – June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012

The League revised its major bills list this week. The following list represents the bills that League staff is following closely.  

 

For bills marked “Pending,” League’s lobbyists have continued to review these bills as they have changed or progressed through the session. It is possible that a position may be taken depending on a number of factors including amendments or negotiations. This list, and the bills on it, is likely to change over the next few weeks and months as bills are amended, die or change focus. The League will produce periodic updates of this list.

All League position letters can be found under the bill number in our bill search function on the website

2012 Major Bills (June 29, 2012)

Administrative Services

NEW 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.  

Employee Relations

HOT BILLAB 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.  

Environmental Quality

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.

NEW AB 2063 (Alejo) 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 Coastal Commission's ex parte provisions, is very similar to SB 965, which is modeled after the Public Utilities Commission. 

Housing and Community Developments

NEW HOT BILL – AB 904 (Skinner) was gutted and amended from an energy bill into a revival of last year’s parking bill, AB 710 (Skinner). AB 710 was strongly opposed because it prohibited communities from determining the level of sufficient parking appropriate for their neighborhoods. AB 904, sponsored by the infill builders, fails to address the League’s concerns from last year’s AB 710. AB 904 prohibits local governments from determining how much parking is appropriate in a transit-intensive area, causing a host of problems in cities with current and planned transit-intensive areas.

Public Safety

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 1351 (Rubio) Peace Officers. League position: Support. This bill would restore peace office status for custody officers while on duty in a community correction facility. These custody officers previously had peace officer status under their contract with the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation but this designation was not carried forward under the 2011 Public Safety Realignment program.

Post-Redevelopment Legislation

SB 214 (Wolk) Infrastructure Financing Districts: League position: Pending. This measure is one of several bills seeking to make infrastructure financing districts a more workable tool.  Recently, the author amended the bill to incorporate many amendments proposed by the League designed to make the bill more workable for cities.  This measure and AB 2144 (Pérez) will need to be reconciled.

SB 1156 (Steinberg) Community Development and Housing Joint Powers Authority. League position: Notice of Concerns. 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 to them, except for the finding of blight. Cities could not establish an authority without county involvement and 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.

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. 

AB 2144 (Pérez) Infrastructure Financing Districts. League position: Pending. This bill proposes to make numerous changes to infrastructure financing districts, with the intent to make this tool more workable.  This measure and SB 214 (Wolk) will need to be reconciled.

Revenue and Taxation

HOT BILL – AB 1692 (Wieckowski) Bankruptcy. League position: Oppose. This bill would remove provisions of AB 506 (Wieckowski) related to the mediation process including giving the "neutral evaluator" independent decision-making authority and allowing other parties to create delays by allowing the process to continue without the concurrence of the affected public entity. Last year the League vehemently opposed to similar provisions in AB 506 because they created obstacles to municipal bankruptcy and resulted in a process stacked against local agencies.  The bill remains held in Senate Rules, but must be watched closely.

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 and relevant state taxes on prepaid wireless services.

AB 1706 (Eng) Transit Bus Axle Weight Increase. League Position: Oppose. This bill was recently amended and would now set new weight limits for transit buses beginning in 2019. The unladen (i.e., no passengers) weight of a bus would not be allowed to exceed 21,000 pounds and the laden weight of a bus would not be able to exceed 24,000 pounds.  Buses in operation, or in the procurement process before Jan. 1, 2013, would be grandfathered in.  The bill also requires state regulatory agencies to take into account vehicle weight impacts when establishing new regulations.  Additional amendments are expected to be made in committee to address the interim time period between 2013 and 2019.  The amendments would remove provisions requiring local government approval for operation of overweight buses and adding provisions that would allow transit operators to operate and procure buses of any weight up to the heaviest bus in their inventory as of Jan. 1, 2013.  For more, please see “Legislation to Increase Bus Weights to be Heard Next Week.”

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. 



 
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