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Senate and Assembly Take Action on Hundreds of Bills

June 1, 2012

This week, before adjourning Thursday, the Senate and Assembly took up hundreds of bills before the June 1 house of origin deadline.

 

Neither house held a floor session today, which means that bills that were not taken up yesterday missed the deadline and die. Although a number of League-opposed bills were passed to the second house, there is still time to lobby against them.

City officials are encouraged to send opposition letters for all bills that are currently moving forward. Some sample letters are available on the League’s website by typing the bill number into the search box.

Bills Failing to Move

SB 1330 (Simitian) – Oppose
Action: Failed Deadline

League-opposed Senate Bill 1330 (Simitian), related to license plate recognition technology, failed to pass out of the Senate yesterday and has missed the house of origin deadline. This bill would have severely limited the use of license plate recognition technology, which serves as a critical investigatory tool for local law enforcement and improves revenue collection on unpaid parking citations.

Letters and phone calls from cities made a difference in Senate offices and the League is grateful for the swift, targeted action to stop the progress of SB 1330. City efforts bolstered a coalition effort of the League, law enforcement associations, parking authorities, and contractors providing services to local government.

SB 1182 (Leno) – Oppose
Action: Failed Deadline

This bill would have created broad protections from prosecution for medical marijuana dispensary, cooperative, and collective operators and their employees under the outdated and ill-fitting 2008 Attorney General Guidelines. This bill failed to meet the house of origin deadline. 

HOT BILL – AB 2231 (Fuentes) – Oppose
Action: Referred to the Assembly Local Government Committee

AB 2231 (Fuentes) failed passage on Wednesday with a vote of 29-24, but then received rule waivers on Thursday that allowed the bill to be amended and referred back to the Assembly Local Government Committee. In order to move, the bill will need to become an urgency measure and would require a two-thirds vote of the Assembly. The amendments made on the floor on Thursday are not yet in print, but were characterized by the author as removing the state-mandated local program. 

Bills Moving Forward

SB 1002 (Yee) – Oppose
Action: Sent to the Assembly

This bill was passed off the Senate floor Thursday with no “no” votes. This bill would amend the California Public Records Act to give public agencies the discretion to make documents available in a searchable format and requires the requester to bear the cost to convert documents into searchable formats. Additionally, the bill provides that if a public agency maintains documents in an “open format” the agency must provide electronic data or documents in that format and also provides that for any documents required by law to be placed online that those documents also be in an open format if the agency maintains them in in open format. The bill defines “open format.”  

SB 1003 (Yee) – Oppose
Action: Sent to the Assembly

This bill was passed on the Senate floor Thursday with a 22-11 vote. This bill would amend the Ralph M. Brown Act to authorize any interested person or district attorney to file an action in court alleging a past violation of the Brown Act. The bill limits the retroactive application to actions that occurred up to one-year in the past. The League opposes the bill because an action can be filed against the local agency regardless of whether it has since stopped the practice alleged to be in violation of the Brown Act. The League will continue to oppose the bill unless it is amended to allow public agencies the opportunity to respond to an alleged violation have an opportunity to stop the practice alleged to be in violation of the Brown Act. Without these changes the bill subjects local agencies to unnecessary and costly litigation.

SB 1161 (Padilla) – Watch/Concerns
Action: Sent to the Assembly

This bill was approved by the Senate on Wednesday. While the League does not have an official position on SB 1161, it has submitted amendments to the author’s office designed to ensure the measure will have no harmful impact on local tax and fee collection and land use authority. The author has indicated a willingness to address these issues, and the League will continue to provide updates as negotiations continue. 

SB 1222 (Leno) – Oppose
Action: Sent to the Assembly

This bill was passed on the Senate floor on Wednesday. The bill places a hard cap of $400 for a building permit fee on a solar residential systems 15 kw and under and requires local agencies to justify their “reasonable costs” in a finding and ordinance for any costs more than $400. The bill was amended in Senate Appropriations to give local governments new fee authority to comply with the requirements of the bill for fees exceeding $400. The League remains opposed to the bill.

HOT BILL – AB 1551 (Torres) – Oppose
Action: Sent to the Senate

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.

HOT BILL - AB 1692 (Wieckowski) – Oppose
Action: Sent to the Senate 

AB 1692 was passed in the Assembly on Thursday with a 42-24 vote. 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 early versions AB 506 because they created obstacles to municipal bankruptcy and resulted in a process stacked against local agencies. This measure is an effort to undo an agreement the author reached with local government on the final version of AB 506 last year.

For more please see “Municipal Bankruptcy Bill AB 1692 Passes on the Assembly Floor.”

AB 1831 (Dickinson) – Oppose Unless Amended
Action: Sent to the Senate

This bill moved off the Assembly Floor this week with a 41-34 vote. The bill would prohibit a local agency from inquiring into or considering the criminal history of an applicant or including any inquiry about criminal history on any initial employment application. The bill would authorize a local agency to consider an applicant's criminal history after the applicant's qualifications have been screened and the agency has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment requirements, as stated in any notice issued for the position. The bill would not apply to a position for which a local agency is otherwise required by law to conduct a criminal history background check.

HOT BILL – AB 2312 (Ammiano) – Oppose
Action: Sent to the Senate

This bill passed off the Assembly floor with the author’s pledge for additional amendments. This bill would create a statewide medical marijuana board to oversee regulation of cooperatives, collectives and dispensaries and imposes population-based formula for minimum number of required dispensaries in a local jurisdiction. It would also pose numerous conflicts with federal law and creates restrictions on local law enforcement. Additionally, the bill would requires cities with populations less than 50,000 to provide written findings to the state board showing evidence that medical marijuana is “reasonably” accessible. Cities and counties that do not have ordinances in place are required to follow regulations of the state board.



 
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