The following is a preliminary list of trends and bills of interest to cities that the League is tracking. Please note that the likelihood of these bills being amended is very high.
The League routinely takes positions on bills throughout the legislative session. When the League begins tracking a bill, it is marked as “watch” in its bill tracking system until such time that a policy position is taken. Typically, bill positions are taken early in the year on bills for which the League has standing policy. These policy positions can be found in the League Summary of Existing Policy and Guiding Principles.
For bills that have been identified but for which the League does not have policy, League staff refer the bills to one or more of its eight policy committees for a policy recommendation as well as to the League board of directors for a full position. League policy committees will meet on April 4–5 in Pasadena to make position recommendations to the board of directors. Once a position (support, oppose, etc.) has been identified, state legislative protocol requires that the League first contact the author’s office to let the member know of our concerns and position. The League will then send a letter to the author to formalize our position.
As a bill progresses through the legislative process and is amended, League staff may need to refer the bill back to a League policy committee and the League board of directors for further clarification. The League may change position according to the policy on the subject matter. In the coming weeks, please watch for further updates on League positions on these and other legislative developments in CA Cities Advocate.
Bill language and available League position letters can be found by searching the bill number on the League’s website.
Trends identified by League legislative staff include bills addressing new economic development tools, lowering the local vote threshold for local special taxes and bonds to 55 percent, parking, sidewalks, the Brown Act, Cap-and-trade issues, CEQA reform, realignment follow up, federal transportation, and tax reform. At this point in the legislative session, most bills are still being developed and will likely change over the next few months.
Specific bills that League staff is following are listed below. Many bills are marked “Watch” on this list because these are bills of interest that League’s lobbyists are closely reviewing and may soon take a position.
This list will 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.
2013 Bills of Interest (as of March 8, 2013)
AB 185 (Hernández) Open and Public Meetings: Televised Meetings. League Position: Seeking Feedback. This bill would require that all cable franchise fees be used to televise the open and public meetings of its legislative body and advisory committees. If additional funding is available, it can be used to livestream the meetings. The bill additionally extends the retention requirement from 30 days to two years for audio and video recordings of an open and public meeting made at the direction of the local agency. The League would like feedback on how cities currently handle the retention of audio and video files. Please send comments and feedback to Natasha Karl.
AB 194 (Campos) Open Meetings: Protections for Public Criticism: Penalties for Violations. League Position: Watch. This bill would make it a misdemeanor for the chair of a local agency’s governing body to prohibit public criticism during open meetings conducted under the requirements of the Brown Act. The bill would further authorize any interested person to initiate a legal determination that the governing body has violated the law.
AB 331 (Garcia) Consolidation of Elections. League Position: Seeking Feedback. This bill would require that whenever a city election is consolidated with a county or statewide election, the election must be conducted in accordance with the applicable procedures and practices of the county. The bill additionally requires that the resolution that is to be filed with the board of supervisors and county election official in an election that will be consolidated with a statewide election to acknowledge that the consolidated election will be conducted in accordance with the applicable procedures and practices of the county in which the election is consolidated. The League is seeking feedback and comments, please send comments to Natasha Karl .
SB 338 (Hill) Local Agency Meetings: Teleconferencing. League Position: Watch. This bill would require, if the legislative body of a local agency elects to use teleconferencing and a teleconference location is located outside the boundaries of the local agency, that the agenda be posted at the location at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting rather than 72 hours.
AB 642 (Rendon) Publication: Newspaper of General Circulation: Internet Website. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide that a newspaper available on an Internet website and meet specific criteria may also qualify as newspapers of general circulation.
AB 792 (Mullin) Local Government: Open Meetings. League Position: Pending Support. This bill would provide that if a local agency experiences a software or hardware impairment beyond the local agency’s reasonable control and the agency is unable to post the agenda on its website, the agency must post the agenda immediately upon resolution of the technological problem. Additionally provides that these circumstances do not preclude a legislative body from conducting the meeting or taking action on items of business. At the meeting the legislative body is required to announce the reason for the failure to post, or the delay in posting, the agenda.
AB 1316 (Harkey) Election Ballots: Identical Candidate Names. League Position: Pending Support. This bill would clarify existing law related candidates with identical names and would modify the text of the statement contained within the candidate’s request for a distinguishing mark next to his or her name. The bill also introduces revised numerical specifications for the assignment of a distinguishing mark and requires that the local elections official conduct a randomized drawing pursuant to current law of the numbers assigned to the candidates with identical names.
AB 265 (Gatto) Local Government Liability: Dog Parks. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide immunity from legal liability for a city, a county, or a city and county that operates a dog park with specific signage in the event of a dog-inflicted injury in that park.
AB 583 (Gomez) County Free Public Libraries: Withdrawal: Use of Private Contractors. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide, until Jan. 1, 2019, that a board of trustees, common council, or other legislative body of a city or the board of trustees of a library district in which a withdrawal from the county free library system becomes effective on or after Jan. 1, 2012, shall notify the county board of supervisors that the city or library district no longer desires to be a part of the county free library system before entering into a contract to operate the city's or library district's library or libraries with a private contractor that will employ library staff to achieve cost savings.
SB 13 (Beall) Public Employees’ Retirement Benefits. League Position. Watch. This bill is the technical cleanup bill to AB 340 (Furutani) the pension reform package passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor last year.
AB 160 (Alejo) California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013. Exceptions. League Position: Watch. This bill would except from the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 certain transportation employees.
AB 218 (Dickinson) Employment Applications: Criminal History. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit the state or a local agency from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding the criminal conviction, except as specified, until after the applicant’s qualifications for the position have been determined to meet the requirements for the position.
SB 313 (De León) Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit disciplinary action and denial of promotion against a public safety officer, where such action or denial is based on the placement of his name on a “Brady list” due to evidence of bias on dishonesty on the part of that officer, pursuant to Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83. The bill clarifies that disciplinary action/denial of promotion can be based on the underlying actions that led to placement of the officer’s name on the Brady list.
SB 388 (Lieu) Public Safety Officers: Investigations and Interrogations. League Position: Watch. This bill would broaden coverage of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights to cover not only investigations of peace officers, but any inquiry or interrogation without an actual investigation. The measure provides that an officer’s right of representation attaches where an interrogation under any circumstances could potentially lead to punitive action, not merely upon filing of formal charges vs. an officer.
SB 407 (Hill) Local Government: Officers and Employees: Contacts. League Position: Pending Support. This bill would expand current law that prohibits automatic renewal of an employment contract for a local agency executive that includes compensation increases in excess of a cost-of-living adjustment, to include the same restrictions on deputy or assistant chief executive officers or any person whose position is held in an employment contract with a local agency.
AB 729 (Hernández) Evidentiary Privileges: Union Agent-Represented Worker Privilege. League Position: Seeking Feedback. This bill would empower union agents with the privilege to refuse to disclose any confidential information he or she may have acquired, whether or not the information was revealed in a communication between the union agent and a represented employee, in attending to his or her professional duties or while acting in his or her representative capacity. The privilege may be waived in accordance with current law. Please send comments to Natasha Karl.
AB 822 (Hall) Local Government Retirement Plans. League Position: Seeking Feedback. This bill would require a charter or charter amendment that proposes to alter, replace, or eliminate the retirement benefit plan of employees of the city or city and county to be submitted to voters at a statewide general election. This bill would also require that whenever a local measure qualifies for the ballot that proposes to alter, replace, or eliminate the retirement benefit plan of employees of a local government entity, whether by initiative or legislative action, the governing body of the local government entity to secure the services of an independent actuary to provide a statement, not to exceed 500 words in length, of the actuarial impact of the proposed measure upon future annual costs of the retirement benefit plan, and to have this statement printed on the ballot and makes other changes to the elections code. Please send comments to Natasha Karl.
AB 1373 (J. Pérez) Workers’ Compensation: Firefighters and Peace Officers. League Position: Pending Opposition. The bill proposes to extend the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation death benefits for peace officers and firefighters. Though, the bill leaves open the amount of time for which the statute of limitation should be extended.
AB 52 (Gatto) Native Americans. League Position: Watch. While currently a spot bill, this legislation is intended to promote the preservation of Native American sites and require developers to consult with appropriate entities to determine possible impacts on Native American sites prior to project initiation.
AB 203 (Stone) Coastal Resources: Coastal Development Permits: Penalties. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit the California Coastal Commission from filing as complete an application for a coastal development permit for which a violation notification letter has been sent, or a cease and desist order, restoration order, or notice of violation has been issued or recorded until the violation has been resolved.
SB 245 (Correa) Recycling: Mattresses. League Position: Watch. This bill would declare the intention of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish a program for the management of used mattresses.
SB 254 (Hancock) Solid waste: Used Mattresses: Recycling and Recovery. League Position: Watch. This bill would establish the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act and require a manufacturer of mattresses sold in this state, to provide a plan that ensures the manufacturer will be responsible for the collection and recycling of used mattresses.
SB 323 (Chesbro) Solid Waste: Recycling: Diversion: Green Materials. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to adopt regulations to provide that no later than Jan. 1, 2020 the use of green material as alternative daily cover or alternative intermediate cover does not constitute diversion through recycling and would be considered disposal.
AB 416 (Gordon) CA Air Resources Board: Local Emission Reduction Program. League Position: Watch. This bill would create the Local Emission Reduction Program that would provide grants to develop and implement GHG reduction projects with a focus on creating local job training and job creation benefits and achieve GHG reduction in ways that increase localized energy resources.
AB 440 (Gatto) Hazardous Substances: Releases: Local Agency Cleanup or Remedy. League Position: Watch. This bill would extend protections similar to those under the Polanco Redevelopment Act to local agencies that act to remedy or remove the release of hazardous substances within the boundaries of the local agency.
AB 521 (Hueso and Stone) Solid Waste: Plastics. League Position: Watch. This bill would create the Plastic Pollution Reduction Producer Responsibility Act. While the bill is still being developed, it is meant to address the problem of marine debris.
AB 613 (Hueso) Water: Water Reclamation. League Position: Watch. This bill would make technical changes to water reclamation requirements for regional water quality control boards.
AB 691 (Muratsuchi) State lands: Granted Trust Lands: Sea Level Rise. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide that addressing the impacts from sea level rise for all of its legislatively granted public trust shall be among the management priorities of a local trustee. It would also require specified local trustee to submit a descriptive plan of how it proposes to address sea level rise.
AB 719 (Hernández) Energy Efficiency. League Position: Watch. This bill would require an electricity company to replace low-efficiency light bulbs with high-efficiency light bulbs in street lights at the same or higher rate than the local jurisdiction is making such replacements.
AB 744 (Gordon). Recycling: Beverage Containers. League Position: Watch. This bill would make technical changes to the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, otherwise known as the Bottle Bill. It is expected that this bill will be amended in the future to make significant changes to the program. A number of similar bills on this topic have also been introduced including, AB 1001 (Gordon) AB 1022 (Eggman), AB 1023 (Eggman), AB 1142 (Bloom), AB 1370 (Patterson), and SB 791 (Wyland).
SB 804 (Lara) Solid Waste: Energy. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the California Energy Commission to do an analysis of the opportunities for utilizing waste conversion technologies.
AB 976 (Atkins) Coastal Resources: California Coastal Act of 1976: Enforcement: Penalties. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide that a person who violates the California Coastal Act of 1976 be subject to an administrative civil penalty.
AB 997 (Chesbro) Composting: Anaerobic Digestion. League Position: Watch. This bill would include anaerobic digestion in the definition of “composting” for the purposes of the California Integrated Waste Management Act. Anaerobic digestion is a process using the bacterial breakdown of compostable organic material in a controlled environment.
AB 1251 (Gorell) Water Quality: Stormwater. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the Secretary for Environmental Protection to convene a stormwater task force to review, plan, and coordinate stormwater-related activity to maximize regulatory effectiveness in reducing water pollution.
AB 1259 (Olsen) Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: Delta Plan: Bay Delta Conservation Plan. League Position: Watch. This is a spot bill intended to address issues such as infill within areas that require a 200-year flood plan.
AB 1375 (Chau) Cap-and-Trade: Clean Technology Investment Fund. League Position: Watch. This bill states the intent of the Legislature to establish the Clean Technology Investment Fund that would collect revenues from cap-and-trade to be used as matching funds to facilitate economic, environmental, and public health benefits through the funding of research, development, and deployment of innovative technologies while creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the state tax base.
Proposition 39 Legislation
Prop. 39, passed by voters in November 2012, closed a corporate tax break and will generate approximately $1 billion in state revenue. According to Prop. 39’s requirements, one-half of those revenues per year for the next five years must be dedicated for various energy efficiency programs.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s FY 2013–14 budget proposes to allocate the entire amount, estimated at $450 million, to a special fund to benefit schools. By allocating these moneys to a special fund, the Governor scores additional savings to the General Fund by reducing the state’s Prop. 98 obligation. Despite the Governor’s plan, a number of bills have been introduced proposing alternatives for spending Prop. 39 revenues.
Those bills include: AB 29 (Williams), AB 39 (Skinner and J. Pérez), SB 39 (De León and Steinberg), SB 64 (Corbett), AB 114 (Salas) and SB 729 (Fuller).
SB 617 (Evans) California Environmental Quality Act. League Position: Watch. This bill would mandate that notices during the environmental review process be posted concurrently online and at the county recorder’s office. It would also undo the court’s decision in the Ballona Wetlands Trust case and require project review to examine the impacts of the physical environment on the project. Finally, the bill would provide that electronic records of proceedings be posted concurrently with their preparation.
SB 731 (Steinberg) Environment: California Environmental Quality Act and Sustainable Communities Strategy. League Position: Watch. This legislation states the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation revising CEQA to provide greater certainty for smart infill development, streamline specific projects and establish a threshold of significance for specified impacts.
SB 754 (Evans) California Environmental Quality Act. League Position: Watch. While currently a spot bill, the author’s press release indicates that this bill would mandate translation of initial notices and executive summaries where there is a significant Limited English Proficient population and prohibit developers from directly contracting for or overseeing the preparation of the environmental review, as well as limiting the “shelf life” of Environmental Impact Reports for assessing a project to seven years.
AB 158 (Levine) and SB 405 (Padilla) Single Use Carry-Out Bags. League Position: Watch. These bills would prohibit stores from providing a single-use carryout bag to a customer and require stores of a specific size or sales volume to provide a plastic bag collection bin for their customers. The bills would also require a reusable grocery bag producer to be certified by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and would allow a local jurisdiction or the state to impose civil penalties for a violation of the bill's requirements.
SB 529 (Leno) Recycling: Fast Food Facilities. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit a fast food facility from distributing disposable food service packaging or a single-use carryout bag to a consumer, unless the disposable food service packaging or single-use carryout bag meets the criteria for either compostable packaging or recyclable packaging specified in the bill and the fast food facility can meet specific composting rate requirements. The bill would provide for the imposition of a civil penalty upon a person in violation of the act. All penalties would fund public education efforts and assist local governmental agencies in efforts to reduce plastic waste and marine pollution.
SB 700 (Wolk) Natural Resources: Carry-Out Bags. League Position: Watch. This bill would require a retail establishment to collect a charge of $0.05 for each single-use carryout bag provided to a customer, unless a jurisdiction opts out of the program. The collected charges would be deposited in the Local Environmental Enhancement Fund, and available for use by the Natural Resources Agency to issue grants to a city or county for local parks and for local programs aimed at reducing and cleaning up litter. The bill would allow local jurisdictions to apply for grants up to an amount that does not exceed the total amount of revenues generated by the city or county in which the park or program is located.
AB 1337 (Allen) Solid Waste: Plastic Bags: Recycling. League Position: Watch. As currently in print, this bill makes technical changes to current law regarding the recycling of plastic bags.
Housing and Land Use
AB 5 (Ammiano) Homelessness. League Position: Watch. This bill would enact the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act, which would provide that no person’s rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied or abridged because he or she is homeless.
AB 325 (Alejo) Land Use and Planning: Causes of Actions: Time Limitation. League Position: Watch. This bill would expand the statute of limitations with which to sue a city or county on the adequacy of a housing element to over four years. This is a reintroduction of a bill that the Governor vetoed two years ago (AB 1220).
SB 391 (DeSaulnier) California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013. League Position: Watch. This bill would place a $75 recordation fee on real estate transactions with the exception of home sales to generate an estimated $500 million for a permanent source of affordable housing funds. This is a reintroduction of SB 1220 from 2012 The League has negotiated some amendments and looks forward to supporting this legislation once language relating to geographic distribution is inserted into the bill.
SB 510 (Jackson) Land Use: Subdivisions: Rental Mobile Home Park Conversion. League Position: Watch. This bill would require local agencies to consider the results of a resident survey of a mobile home park for a proposed subdivision in making its decision to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the map. It would also authorize local agencies to disapprove the map if it finds that at least a majority of the park’s residents do not support the conversion.
AB 639 (J. Pérez) The Veteran Housing and Homeless Prevention Act of 2014. League Position: Watch. This bill would expand the use of $600 million in Prop. 12 bond funds to construct and rehabilitate multifamily veterans’ housing.
AB 683 (Mullin) Local Government: Fines and Penalties: Assessments. League Position: Watch. This bill would authorize a city, county, or city and county to assess any fines or penalties not paid after demand by the jurisdiction against real property owned by the person owing those fines or penalties as long as the penalties are related to ordinance violations on the real property and constitute a threat to public health and safety. This bill would also authorize a local agency to appoint a hearing officer to hear and decide issues regarding ordinance violations and the imposition of administrative fines and penalties.
SB 684 (Hill) Advertising Display; Redevelopment Agency Project Areas. League Position: Co-Sponsor. This bill would address an unintended consequence of the elimination of redevelopment related to signage in former redevelopment areas. For more, see the CA Cities Advocate story “League Co-Sponsors Bill to Address Signage Issue in Former Redevelopment Areas.”
AB 745 (Levine) Land Use: Housing Element. League Position: Watch. This bill would allow a city or county to request from its council of government an adjustment to its density “deemed appropriate” for purposes of a housing element if the density specified is inconsistent with the city’s or county’s existing density.
AB 1229 (Atkins) Land Use: Zoning Regulation. League Position: Watch. This bill would establish as a condition of development, inclusionary housing requirements, which could include the provision of affordable residential units. This bill would attempt to modify the Palmer Decision.
AB 20 (Waldron) Obscene Matter: Minors. League Position: Support. This bill would impose a fine of up to $2,000 on those convicted of using a government-owned computer or network to produce or view obscene material involving minors. Revenue from this fine will be distributed to sexual assault investigator training, high technology crime task forces, direct services for victim of human trafficking, and related multi-disciplinary teams.
AB 47 (Gatto) Emergency Telephone System: Abuse. League Position: Watch. This bill would impose penalties for fraudulent 911 calls claiming there is a hostage situation or other serious situation which would cause SWAT teams and/or paramedics to be dispatched. Penalties would include a $10,000 fine and one year in county jail for fraudulent calls resulting in Emergency services dispatch, felony penalties for fraudulent calls resulting in Emergency services dispatch resulting in property damage or death or bodily injury, with involuntary manslaughter charges in the event of a death.
SB 47 (Yee) Firearms: Assault Weapons. League Position: Watch. This bill would clarify in statute the definition of “fixed magazine” related to assault weapons. The measure would effectively ban “bullet buttons” which are used by gun manufacturers to detach 30-round or other large-capacity magazines from a firearm, frustrating the ban on several weapons. Current law allows bullet buttons because courts have construed that tools, including bullets, can be used to detach a magazine under the existing ban.
AB 176 (Campos) Family Law: Protective and Restraining Orders. League Position: Watch. This bill would clarify that when both civil and criminal restraining orders are in force regarding the same parties, peace officers must enforce the more restrictive of the orders in relation to the restricted person.
SB 191 (Padilla) Emergency Medical Services. League Position: Support. This bill would remove the sunset provision on a law authorizing counties to voluntarily levy $2 in additional penalties for every $10 of a base fine to fund pediatric trauma centers. The current statutory authority is set to expire on Jan.1, 2014.
SB 199 (De León) Probation: Community Corrections. League Position: Watch. This bill would add to the membership of local community corrections partnerships established by AB 109 a rank-and-file deputy sheriff or a rank-and-file police officer, and a rank-and-file probation officer or a deputy probation officer. One of each would be added to the membership of each local Community Corrections Partnership. These Partnerships currently include but are not limited to a Sheriff and a Chief of Police, and are required to recommend a local plan to the county board of supervisors for the implementation of Public Safety Realignment. Each of the two new positions would be appointed by a local labor organization, and would be required to have a vote on the local plan.
SB 225 (Emmerson) Imprisonment: Sentences Punishable in State Prison. League Position: Watch. This bill would require a sentence to be served in state prison if the defendant is convicted of a felony punishable by more than three years. This is a reintroduction of last year’s SB 1441 (Emmerson).
AB 313 (Frazier) Vehicles: Electronic Wireless Communications Devices: Prohibitions. League Position: Watch. This bill would remove an exemption to existing law which requires the use of voice-operated, hands-free devices while operating a motor vehicle.
SB 333 (Lieu) Crimes: Emergencies: False Reporting. League Position: Watch. This bill would enhance misdemeanor penalties for false reporting of an emergency, by requiring a minimum sentence of 120 days in county jail, even if granted probation — unless a court finds it is in the interests of justice not to impose the sentence, and justifies not imposing the sentence on the record.
SB 366 (Wright) Traffic Fines: Ability to Pay. League Position: Watch. This bill would authorize courts, at their discretion, to waive civil assessment of not less than $10, and not more than $300, if that defendant fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court for any proceeding authorized by law, or who fails to pay all or any portion of a fine ordered by the court or to pay an installment of bail.
AB 443 (Lowenthal) Vehicles: Delinquent Parking and Traffic Violations. League Position: Watch. This bill would remove the 3-year time frame that a local agency currently has to make an offset request, in an attempt to collect back fines, penalties, assessments, bail, or court-order reimbursements from a person’s tax refund or state lottery winnings. It would further allow the accrual of additional charges owed to the local agency to be collected.
AB 465 (Maienschein) Youth Sports: Criminal Background Checks. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the Department of Justice to provide a state summary of criminal history information to the director of a community youth athletics program or his designee for purposes of screening volunteer or hired coaches. The measure prohibits individuals from having access to youth until the director has received and reviewed the information.
AB 666 (Wieckowski) Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems. League Position: Watch. This bill would increase the rate of enforcement/collections for red light camera violations by establishing an Individual Owner Liability program, under which local law enforcement will contact the registered owner of a vehicle when red light cameras fail to capture a good facial image of the driver, or the image is of someone other than the registered owner. If the owner is unable to identify the person within a specified period of time, the owner remains liable for the fine/moving violation.
AB 810 (Muratsuchi) Law Enforcement: Data Sharing. League Position: Sponsor. This bill would ensure that appropriate methods are used when law enforcement agencies share basic information stored in state or local criminal offender record information systems. For each arrest made, existing law requires the reporting agency to report to the Department of Justice concerning each arrest, the applicable identification and arrest data, and fingerprints.
AB 986 (Bradford) Post-release Community Supervision: Flash Incarceration: City Jails. League Position: Watch. This bill would address county jail overcrowding by specifically authorizing city jails to be used by counties for flash incarceration of offenders.
AB 1065 (Holden) Parole. League Position: Watch. This bill would require mandatory parole supervision for ex-offenders diagnosed with severe mental disorders requiring treatment, where the disorder was the cause or an aggravating factor in the commission a violent offense or sex offense against a child. The measure further clarifies that this class of offenders remains subject to state parole supervision, notwithstanding realignment.
Revenue and Taxation
AB 562 (Williams) Economic Development Subsidies: Review by Local Agencies. League Position: Watch. This bill would require as of Jan. 1, 2014, each local agency to provide specific information before approving an economic development subsidy.
AB 673 (DeSaulnier) Land Use: Development Project Review. League Position: Watch. This bill would require a city to prepare a cost-benefit analysis, which would be paid for by the project applicant, prior to approving a project with an economic development subsidy.
AB 741 (Brown) Local Government Finance: Tax Equity Allocation Formula: Qualifying Cities. League Position: Watch. This bill would, beginning with FY 2012–13 and each fiscal year thereafter, increase the allocation of property tax revenues under a new TEA formula, as specified, for qualifying cities, as defined.
Local Fiscal Management Legislation
A number of bills have been introduced which attempt to manage local fiscal management practices by requiring standardizing fiscal training, procedures and guidelines. Those bills include AB 1235 (Gordon), AB 1237 (Garcia), AB 1248 (Cooley), and AB 941 (Rendon). The League will be reviewing these bills for effects on cities with the assistance of the League’s Fiscal Officers’ Department.
Post-Redevelopment Dissolution Legislation
SB 341 (DeSaulnier) Redevelopment. League Position: Watch. This bill would change provisions relating to the functions to be performed by the entity assuming the housing functions of the former redevelopment agency to instead refer to the housing successor.
AB 427 (Mullin) Local Government: Polanco Redevelopment Act. League Position: Pending Support. This bill will serve as a vehicle to assist local governments during the course of clean-up of brownfields within former redevelopment areas; however, the language is currently incomplete.
AB 564 (Mullin) Community Redevelopment: Successor Agencies. League Position: Support. This bill would ensure successor agencies that receive a finding of completion from the Department of Finance will be able to rely over the long term on the loan repayment, expenditure of bond proceeds and property retention benefits provided in AB 1484.
AB 981 (Bloom) Redevelopment Dissolution. League Position: Watch. This bill would extend the date a successor housing entity is authorized to designate the use of, and commit, indebtedness obligation proceeds that were issued for affordable housing purposes prior to Jan. 1, 2011 to June 28, 2011.
AB 1320 (Bloom) Redevelopment: Successor Agencies. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the continuation of pass-through payment obligations even after the final termination of the successor agency. It would also eliminate the prohibition on the allocation of property tax to the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund for that agency.
New Economic Development Tools Legislation
SB 1 (Steinberg) Sustainable Communities Investment Authority. League Position: Watch. This measure is a reintroduction of last year’s SB 1156 (Steinberg), which authorizes tax increment and former redevelopment authority to be used in areas adjacent to commuter rail and high volume transit corridors. Last year the League had various technical and implementation concerns with the drafting of SB 1156 and is working on a proposed set of amendments to SB 1 which would address these concerns.
SB 33 (Wolk) Infrastructure Financing Districts: Voter Approval: Repeal. League Position: Support. This bill would make updates to current Infrastructure Financing District Law. For more background please see the CA Cities Advocate story “Sen. Lois Wolk Reintroduces Legislation on Infrastructure Financing Districts.”
AB 229 (J. Pérez) Local Government: Infrastructure and Revitalization Financing Districts. League Position: Watch. The bill would authorize the formation of a district to finance a project or projects on a former military base, if specified conditions are met.
AB 243 (Dickinson) Local Government: Infrastructure and Revitalization Financing Districts. League Position: Watch. This bill would remove the current requirement that a two-thirds voter approval to create or initiate debt for an infrastructure financing district and reduce the requirement to 55 percent.
AB 294 (Holden) Infrastructure Financing Districts: Use of Incremental Property Tax Revenue. League Position: Support. This bill would authorize the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank to augment local investments in infrastructure by approving the use of the ERAF share of property tax for specific Infrastructure Financing Districts.
AB 305 (V. Manuel Pérez) Income Taxes: Hiring Credits: Investment Credits. League Position: Watch. This bill would inject investment capital into small business throughout California using a combination of state funds and federal matching funds under the federal New Markets Tax Credit program. It would be funded by a diversion of $100 million from the State Hiring Tax Credit.
AB 690 (Campos) Jobs and Infrastructure Financing Districts: Voter Approval. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide for the creation of jobs and infrastructure financing districts (JIDs) with 55 percent voter approval. It would authorize a public financing authority to enter into joint powers agreements with affected taxing entities with regard to non-taxing authority or powers only. In addition, tthe bill would authorize a district to implement hazardous cleanup pursuant to the Polanco Redevelopment Act, as specified.
SB 798 (De León) California Green Infrastructure Bank. League Position: Watch. This bill would create the California Green Infrastructure Bank to facilitate and support green economic development.
AB 1080 (Alejo) Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities. League Position: Support. This bill would authorize redevelopment authority for disadvantaged communities by creating a new entity called a Community Revitalization Investment Authority.
Lower Vote Threshold Legislation
Since legislative Democrats obtained a “supermajority,” discussions have begun about the prospect of providing more flexibility for local governments to raise revenue by reducing various two-thirds voter thresholds to 55 percent. Eight measures have been introduced to date and represent efforts by legislators and interest groups to stake political ground. Differences will need to be reconciled because many amend the same sections of the Constitution and the placement of measures on the ballot requires a two-thirds vote in each house. Voter preferences and polling will also shape the final decisions, because any such measure will require voter approval at the statewide ballot in 2014. From a local government perspective, SCA 11 (Hancock) is currently the most broadly drafted measure, allowing local agencies to decide their own priorities for special taxes and parcel taxes.
The League has prepared a brief summary of the proposed measures, which is available on the League’s website.
Transportation, Communications, and Public Works
AB 14 (Lowethal) CA Freight Plan and Advisory Committee. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to prepare a state freight plan, due by Dec. 31, 2014, with specified elements to govern the activities and investments related to the state’s freight. It would also establish a freight advisory committee.
AB 178 (Gaines) Highways: Exit Information Signs. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the Department of Transportation to allow placement of business information signs near exits on freeways in areas with a population of 50,000 or more as long as the area has had a highway bypass completed since 2002.
AB 204 (Wilk) and AB 209 (Lieu). Transportation Funding. League Position: Watch. These bills all state the intent of the Legislature to increase revenue or funding for transportation in one way or another. The League will provide additional information on these bills when they are more fully developed.
SB 454 (Corbett) Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. League Position: Watch. This bill would require that an electric vehicle charging station installed at a public parking spot be open to the general public and that persons desiring to use the charging station shall not be required to pay a subscription or membership fee as a condition of using the charging station.
AB 574 (Lowenthal) State Highways: Relinquishment. League Position: Pending Support. This bill would allow California Transportation Commission to relinquish highways to local jurisdictions whenever there is agreement on the relinquishment between CalTrans and the local agency. The measure removes the legislature from the process.
SB 604 (Anderson) Vehicles: Rules of the Road. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit a person from soliciting, displaying, selling, offering for sale, or otherwise vending while in an intersection controlled by a traffic control signal.
AB 738 (Harkey) Public Entity Liability: Bicycles. League Position: Watch. This bill would remove liability from local governments for injuries caused to a person riding a bicycle on a roadway where a bike lane has been provided.
AB 755 (Ammiano) Suicide Barriers. League Position: Watch. This bill would require that plans for construction or reconstruction of a bridge take into account the need for suicide barriers in order to receive federal funding, HUTA, or toll funds.
AB 898 (Ting) Zero-Emission Vehicles: Infrastructure. League Position: Watch. This bill states the intent of the Legislature to expand infrastructure related to zero-emission vehicle charging.
AB 1192 (B. Gaines) Parking: Motorcycles. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit an owner of an off-street parking facility from prohibiting motorcycles from using the facility. The measure also prohibits local authorities from prohibiting motorcycle parking at locations where other vehicles are allowed to park.
AB 1193 (Ting) Bikeways. League Position: Watch. This bill would declare the Legislature’s intent to authorize all city, county, regional, and other local agencies responsible for the development or operation of bikeways or roadways to exercise the same discretion in the design of their bikeways that they exercise in the design of local streets, roads, and highways.
AB 1194 (Ammiano) Safe Routes to School Program. League Position: Watch. This bill would require the Safe Routes to School Program to be funded at a minimum of $46 million annually and transfer the responsibility for grant administration from CalTrans to the new Transportation Agency.
AB 1253 (Blumenfield) Vehicle: Mobile Advertising Displays. League Position: Watch. This bill would authorize local authorities to adopt civil penalties for a violation of an ordinance or resolution regulating mobile billboard advertising displays.
Contracting and Prevailing Wage Legislation
SB 7 (Steinberg) Public Works: Charter Cities. League Position: Oppose. This bill would prohibit a charter city from receiving or using state funding or financial assistance for a construction project if the city has a charter provision or ordinance that authorizes a contractor to not comply with prevailing wage provisions on any public works contract.
SB 124 (Corbett) Public Contracts: Bid Preferences: Clean Energy. League Position: Watch. This bill would authorize a public agency to award a contract on the basis that a clean energy device, technology, or system was manufactured or assembled in the state if the contract is an energy service contract determined to be in the best interest of the agency.
AB 164 (Wieckowski) Infrastructure Financing. League Position: Watch. This bill would require for public-private partnership projects a lease agreement between a governmental agency undertaking an infrastructure project and a private entity to include performance bonds as security to ensure the completion of the construction of the facility and payment bonds to secure the payment of claims of laborers, mechanics, and material men employed on the work under contract.
AB 302 (Chau) Public Works: Public Subsidies. League Position: Watch. This bill would define when a public subsidy is de minimis for the purpose of the prevailing wage requirement exemption for otherwise private development projects that receive a public subsidy. The bill would define a public subsidy as being de minimis if it is both less than $10,000 and less than 1 percent of the total project cost.
SB 469 (Corbett) Public Contracts: Local Agencies: Public Transit Vehicles. League Position: Watch. This bill would require a local authority awarding a procurement contract for the purchase of a public transit vehicle to give a 10 percent preference to any bidder that agrees that all vehicles to be purchased under the contract are to be manufactured within the state of California. This bill also includes language stating that it is a matter of statewide concern and that all jurisdictions, including charter cities, shall give the bid preference.
AB 603 (Cooley) Public Contracts: Design-Build. League Position: Watch. This bill would include in the definition of a “local transportation entity” a city, county, city and county, and a joint powers authority. This bill would only apply the specified procedural requirements to the state design-build projects. This bill would delete the repeal date on Jan. 1, 2014 and authorize the Capital Southeast Connector Joint Powers Authority to use design-build procurement, as specified.
SB 785 (Wolk): Design-Build. League Position: Watch. This bill would provide a general authorization for public agencies to use the design-build procurement process for specific public works. The bill would also repeal a variety of specific authorizations for design-build in current law.
AB 1140 (Daly): Public Works: Prevailing Wages. League Position: Watch. This bill states that if the Director of Industrial Relations determines, within a semiannual period instead of a quarterly period, that there is a change in any prevailing rate of per diem wages in a locality, that determination applies to any public works contract, whether or not notice to bidders has been published or a contract has been awarded (currently it does not apply to public works contracts for which the notice to bidders has been published). The bill also states that this determination is not final and sets up a procedure for any contractor, awarding body, or specified representatives affected by a change in rates on a particular contract to, within 20 days, file with the director a verified petition to review the determination of that rate. The director’s decision after the process will be final.
AB 1212 (Levine) Public Contracts: Bids. League Position: Watch. This bill would eliminate a local agency’s right to require substitution requests from bidders prior to the submission of bids.
AB 185 (Hernández) Open and Public Meetings. Televised Meetings. League Position: Seeking Feedback. This bill requires that all cable franchise fees be used to televise the open and public meetings of its legislative body and advisory committees. If additional funding is available, it can be used to livestream the meetings. The bill additionally extends the retention requirement from 30 days to two years for audio and video recordings of an open and public meeting made at the direction of the local agency. The League would like feedback on how cities currently handle the retention of audio and video files. Please send comments to Natasha Karl.
AB 300 (Perea) Telecommunications: Prepaid Mobile Telephone Services: State Surcharge and Fees: Local Charges Collection. League Position: Watch. Provides for a uniform system of collection for state and local (Utility User Taxes) taxes from consumers of prepaid wireless services.
Public Works Legislation
AB 22 (Blumenfield) Sidewalk Repairs. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit a city, county or city and county from repealing an existing ordinance requiring that city, county or city and county to repair sidewalks, streets or driveways that have been damaged as the result of tree growth. The bill also declares sidewalk repairs an issue of statewide concern.
AB 61 (Gatto) Parking Meters. League Position: Watch. This bill would prohibit local governments from passing any ordinance to restrict parking at inoperable meters. Current law allows parking at an inoperable parking meter for up to the posted time limit if no ordinance or resolution has been passed to prohibit it.
AB 513 (Frazier) Tire Recycling Program: Rubberized Asphalt. League Position: Watch. This bill would set up a $10 million grant program for local agencies to fund projects that utilize rubberized asphalt concrete.
AB 1092 (Levine) Electric Charge Stations: New Construction Projects. League Position: Watch. This bill would require that any new construction projects with more than four off-street parking spots include one electric vehicle charging station for every four spots.
AB 1158 (Waldron) Vehicles: On-Street Parking for Electric Vehicles. League Position: Watch. This bill would expressly authorize local authorities to adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution regarding designation and enforcement of on-street parking spaces for electric vehicles.