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June 2013 Policy Committee Summary

June 21, 2013
The League’s eight standing policy committees met June 13–14 in Sacramento. The League’s policy making process relies on the participation of a diverse group of city officials from across the state and is an integral part of shaping the League’s priorities.
City officials were briefed during a general session prior to each committee meeting on issues of statewide importance. League Legislative Director Dan Carrigg and League Fiscal Advisor Michael Coleman provided a report on the status of the state budget as work was being done in the Capitol to meet the June 15 Constitutional budget deadline. Carrigg also reported on the status of the Governor’s economic development proposal and enterprise zones, post-redevelopment bills and economic development and infrastructure-related legislation.
A special briefing was held on the League’s Immigration Reform Task Force before several committees took up its recommendations. League Immediate Past President and Mountain View Council Member Mike Kasperzak is chair of the committee and led the briefing. Policy committee action on the recommendations now goes back to the task force, which will prepare final recommendations for the League board of directors to review at its July meeting.
Carrigg provided an additional briefing for policy committee members who had an opportunity while in Sacramento to visit with legislators and legislative staff in the Capitol on several bills including: AB 325 (Alejo), AB 440 (Gatto), AB 537 (Bonta), AB 564 (Mullin), AB 562 (Williams), AB 616 (Bocanegra), AB 667 (Hernández), AB 1080 (Alejo), AB 1333 (Hernández), SB 7 (Steinberg) SB 33 (Wolk), SB 56 (Roth), SB 311 (Padilla), SB 556 (Corbett), SB 439 (Steinberg).
For the complete list of the League’s 2013 Hot Bills, please see “The League’s Hot Bills List Updated as Bills Taken Up in Second House," CA Cities Advocate, June 12, 2013.
Following the general session, each committee met 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 web page at a later date.
Administrative Services: The committee reviewed the League Federal Immigration Reform Task Force recommendations as well as AB 748 (Eggman), which changes how the judgment interest rate is calculated to the benefit of public agencies on any tax or inverse condemnation claim resulting in a judgment against a public entity. The committee also reviewed other Administrative Services-related legislation.
Community Services: The committee discussed cities engaged in diverting juveniles from the criminal justice system with several speakers: Randi Kay Stephens with the Institute for Local Government; Tony Thurmond, former Richmond City Council member, Lincoln Child Center director of community and government relations; Sacramento City Council Member Jay Schenirer; and West Sacramento City Council Member Oscar Villegas. It also received the recommendations of the League Federal Immigration Reform Task Force and an update on legislative proposals to lower voter thresholds. The committee also reviewed AB 465 (Bonilla/Mainschein) on youth sports and criminal background checks. League General Counsel Patrick Whitnell provided an update on marijuana-related court cases.
Environmental Quality: The committee received an update on the League’s CEQA Working Group and discussed recommendations on SB 731 (Steinberg). It reviewed legislation related to plastic bag bans, Proposition 39 cap-and-trade funding and extended producer responsibility. The committee’s legislative agenda included: AB 719 (Hernandez) on energy efficiency and AB 691 (Muratsuchi) on granted land trusts, sea rise levels. 
Employee Relations: The CalPERS Deputy Chief Actuary provided an update on the pension system and discussed potential future changes likely to impact employer rates including changes to the discount rate (assumed rate of return) and CalPERS’ experience study related to mortality rates. The Chief Actuary has repeatedly recommended lowering the discount rate by half of one-percent. The decision ultimately lies with the CalPERS Board with the help from its asset allocation workshop, which occurs later this year. The asset allocation workshop will help the CalPERS Board determine how much risk they are willing to incur. This risk assessment will help the CalPERS Board decide what the discount rate should be. The decision before the board will likely include a discussion about whether to keep the status quo, adopt the Chief Actuary’s recommendation, or adopt a rate of their own choosing. As to the experience study, CalPERS is finding that people are living longer and the assumptions used to calculate rates must be adjusted to accommodate for this change
Housing, Community and Economic Development: Claudia Cappio, California Housing Finance Agency executive director, briefed the committee. Committee members reviewed recommendations from the League Federal Immigration Reform Task Force, CEQA policy and SB 731 (Steinberg), Enterprise Zones, AB 116 (Bocanegra) related to subdivision map expiration dates, AB 325 (Alejo), related to extending the statute of limitations a city can be sued related to the adoption of a number of housing descisions, AB 1147 (Gomez) on massage therapy business regulation, AB 1229 (Atkins) on inclusionary housing and SB 684 (Hill), which relates to redevelopment project area signage.
Public Safety: California Police Chiefs Association President and Covina Police Department Chief Kim Raney provided a realignment update. The committee reviewed recommendations from the League Federal Immigration Reform Task Force and received reports from various subcommittees: 201 Rights/Medical Transportation; Realignment; Technology; and Gun Violence. Thomas Lawson, deputy chief of staff to Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) presented on the senator’s SB 194, which is related to wireless communication devices. The committee also reviewed a number of other bills, including: AB 790 (Gomez) child abuse reporting, AB 986 (Bradford) flash incarceration, SB 47 (Yee) assault weapons and SB 683 (Block) firearms safety certificates.
Revenue and Taxation: Michael Coleman, League fiscal advisor, joined the committee for its discussion on the state budget. The committee reviewed information from the CEQA Working Group and the recommendations from the League Federal Immigration Reform Task Force. League General Counsel Patrick Whitnell provided a redevelopment dissolution litigation update and a report on McWilliams v. Long Beach. The committee also discussed Enterprise Zones, economic development-related and subsidies legislation, SB 56 (Roth) on annexations and incorporations, Proposition 39 cap-and-trade funds and heard a report on a June 6 meeting of the League’s fiscal officers and staff from the State Controller’s office.
Transportation, Communications and Public Works: The committee addressed CEQA and SB 731 (Steinberg), the primary CEQA legislation still moving. The committee heard a presentation from San Francisco on disabled parking placard abuse and discussed recommendations from the TCPW working group. The committee’s state legislative update included: the budget, AB 1194 (Ammiano) on the Safe Routes to Schools program, and AB 719 (Hernández) on street lights and energy efficiency. Committee members also received an update on HUTA revenues, the Transportation Agency Funding Workgroup and a presentation on the newly released Safe Routes to School Decision Maker’s Toolkit from Jennifer Armer, ILG program coordinator.
Next Steps
The League board of directors will consider any recommendations from policy committees during its next meeting on July 11–12 in San Diego. The League’s next policy committee meetings will be held on an as needed basis during the League’s Annual Conference & Expo in Sacramento, Sept. 18–20. Committee members will be notified prior to any meetings called.

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