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April 2013 Policy Committee Summary

April 12, 2013
On April 4–5, the League’s eight standing policy committees met in Pasadena.
 
The League’s policy making process relies on the participation of a diverse group of city officials from throughout the state.

City officials were briefed by League Executive Director Chris McKenzie and League President and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard during a general session prior to each committee meeting. The briefing addressed the state budget and key issues including: legislation affecting redevelopment dissolution and proposed economic development tools, implementation issues with the federal Affordable Care Act, enterprise zones, and federal issues. The committees met following the general session and took up a number of issues, both information items and formal recommendations to the League board of directors.
 
All bills referenced in this summary can be searched on the League’s website by typing the bill number into the search box.
 
Meeting Summaries
 
The following summaries represent the topics each policy committee discussed. More detailed policy committee meeting highlights will be available on each policy committee webpage at a later date.
 
Administrative Services: Attorneys Michael Jenkins and Christi Hogin, partners, Jenkins and Hogin, gave a brief presentation on amending the Brown Act. League staff provided the committee with a legislative update on AB 748 (Eggman), a bill that is related to judgment interest rates for public entities. Committee members will review this bill again at its next meeting in June. The committee also discussed how they are working in their cities to build lasting relationships with state legislators, legislative staff and other stakeholder groups with common interests.
 
Community Services: The committee discussed proposed legislation on issues of interest to cities, in particular legislation related to revenue raising flexibility and lowering the 55 percent vote threshold. The committee also discussed AB 1027 (Bonilla) and AB 465 (Maienschein), which are both related to criminal background checks for volunteers and employees that work with minors.
 
Environmental Quality: The committee discussed legislation related to plastic bags, CEQA, cap-and-trade, Proposition 39 and extended producer responsibility. Specifically, the committee discussed AB 823 (Eggman) related to California Farmland Protection Act, AB 719 (Hernandez) related to energy efficiency, AB 691 (Muratsuchi) related to sea level rise and CEQA reform and modernization. 
 
Employee Relations: Kanat Tibet, local policy specialist, HEAL Cities Campaign, California Center for Public Health Advocacy presented information on the League Partner program: Cities for Workforce Health Initiative. Steve Berliner, with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, shared negotiation strategies at the collective bargaining table in a post-PEPRA world. The committee also heard a presentation and discussed the impact of CalPERS proposal to change asset smoothing and amortization policies. John Bartel, Bartel and Associates and Steve Gedestad, Keenan and Associates presented on cities’ obligations to report and fund Other Post-Employment Benefit (OPEB) liabilities as well as strategies for funding them. League staff provided a state legislative update and the latest on pension reform implementation.
 
Housing, Community and Economic Development: The committee discussed a number of bills including legislation related to CEQA modernization, inclusionary housing, veterans housing, homelessness, the housing element, farmland protection and continued discussions from January on CalEnviroScreen, enterprise zones and mobile homes. Specifically, the committee discussed the League-sponsored bill SB 684 (Hill), which addresses an unintended consequence of the elimination of redevelopment related to outdoor signage, AB 5 (Ammiano), which addresses homelessness, AB 745 (Levine) related to land use and housing, and AB 823 (Eggman) related to the California Farmland Protection Act.
 
Public Safety: The 2013 Committee Work Program was approved. The committee discussed AB 47 (Gatto) Emergency Telephone System Abuse, AB 666 (Wieckowski) Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems, and AB 986 (Bradford) Flash Incarceration: City Jails. The committee also discussed several bills relating to parole, firearms, electronic monitoring of offenders, false reporting of emergencies, service interruptions of communications, and the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights. League staff provided an update on the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
 
Revenue and Taxation: The committee heard presentations on the proposed Department of Finance revision to end the triple-flip mechanism as well as the Highway Users Tax Account (HUTA) allocations. The committee also discussed legislation related to: new economic development tools, lower vote threshold measures, Prop. 39 and cap-and-trade allocation, vehicle license fee litigation results, an update on redevelopment dissolution litigation, enterprise zones, city budgeting, accounting, fiscal management and subsidies. The committee also discussed The Federal Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 336/H.R. 684) federal internet use tax collection legislation.
 
Transportation, Communications and Public Works: The committee approved the 2013 Committee Work Program. The committee reviewed several state and legislative issues including AB 719 (Hernandez) related to street lights, AB 755 (Ammiano) related to suicide barriers, a budget proposal on an active living program, cap-and-trade legislation, Prop. 39 implementation and municipal bonds. The committee discussed policies related to freight and goods movement and the abuse of disability placards.   
 
Next Steps
 
The League board of directors will consider any recommendations from policy committees during its next meeting on April 25, in Sacramento. The League’s next policy committee meetings will be held June 13-14, in Sacramento.


 
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