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Actions Taken on Appropriations Suspense File Items

The Good, the Bad, the Temporary Setback and the Expected

May 24, 2013
Two days of Appropriations Suspense File hearings in both the Senate and Assembly concluded on Friday with the League receiving mixed news. With the deadline to pass bills from house of origin next week, all action now shifts to the Senate and Assembly floors.
 
The Good News
 
League-opposed AB 5 (Ammiano) on homelessness was held in committee Friday morning. This bill would have created costly mandates, blur the line between local jurisdiction authority, and undermine the local decision making process.
 
AB 564 (Mullin), which provides certainty to successor agencies and all other public and private entities that benefits offered by a finding of completion from the Department of Finance (DOF) can be relied upon, now moves to the Assembly Floor.
 
SB 64 (Corbett), which addresses Proposition 39 implementation, moves to the Senate Floor.
 
The Bad News
 
Several significant economic development/post-redevelopment bills failed to make it off the Suspense File: AB 981 (Bloom), AB 294 (Holden) and AB 305 (V. Manuel Pérez). These priority bills would have authorized the expenditure of redevelopment bonds issued between Jan. 1 and June 28, 2011, created a pilot program to enable state to invest in local public works projects and created a hiring tax credit to channel new investment into low-income areas.
 
The Temporary Setback
 
AB 416 (Gordon) and AB 574 (Lowenthal), two League-supported cap-and-trade fund allocation bills, were held in committee Friday. The issue of how to distribute revenues generated by the cap-and-trade auctions is expected to continue in budget discussions during the coming weeks.
 
The Expected
 
SB 7 (Steinberg), which denies charter cities state funding as leverage over prevailing wages on local projects, heads to the Senate Floor.
 
Two bills opposed by the League affecting local employee relations, AB 537 (Bonta) and AB 616 (Bocanegra), passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
 
Background on Suspense File
 
The suspense file is a holding placing for bills with significant fiscal impacts. Bills are generally held on the suspense file before each fiscal deadline so that each house of the Legislature can evaluate the total impacts to the state. Bills which are moved out of suspense then go to the floor while bills held in suspense are typically dead for the year.
 
Results of Suspense Hearings
 
City officials are encouraged to send position letters for bills moved off of suspense this week. Sample letters are available on the League’s website by typing the bill number into the search box.
 
Below is a list of bills that have either moved to the floor for a vote or are being held in committee.
 
Held in Committee
 
AB 5 (Ammiano) Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Fairness Act. League Position: Oppose.
Creates the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights prohibiting denial of a person's rights, privileges, or access to public services because s/he is homeless, low income, or suffers from a mental illness or physical disability.

AB 294 (Holden) I-Bank Investments in Infrastructure. League Position: Support.
Creates a pilot program to be administered by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank), which would authorize the I-Bank to partner with local agencies to make strategic investments in local public works projects that further state policy objectives.
 
AB 305 (V. Manuel Pérez) Income Taxes: Hiring Credits: Investment Credits. League Position: Support.
Diverts $200 million from the State Hiring Tax Credit to create a New Markets Tax Credit Program and create jobs by channeling investment into low-income areas for small business via a 39 percent tax credit for investors. This new tax credit includes both federal matching funds and the ability to leverage additional private investment monies into low income areas.
 
AB 416 (Gordon) State Air Resources Board: Local Emission Reduction Program. League Position: Support.
Creates the Local Emission Reduction Program. Upon appropriation by the Legislature, provides funds for grants and financial assistance to develop and implement greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects.
 
AB 574 (Lowenthal) Sustainable Communities Strategies. League Position: Support.
Creates the Sustainable Community Infrastructure Program to provide funding from the transportation-related Cap and Trade revenues for integrating transportation and public infrastructure investments that will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
 
AB 981 (Bloom) Redevelopment dissolution. League Position: Support.
Provides flexibility for communities to use bonds issued between Jan. 1–July 28, 2011 to important local priorities including infrastructure and affordable housing. Bond proceeds issued before June 28, 2011, and backed by Low and Moderate Income Housing funds, to be used for affordable housing purposes. Successor agencies that receive a finding of completion to use proceeds from bonds issued before June 28, 2011 for their intended purposes.
 
Sent to the Floor
 
AB 14 (Lowenthal) State freight plan. League Position: Support.
Requires the Transportation Agency to prepare a state freight plan with specified elements to govern the immediate and long-range planning activities and capital investments of the state with respect to the movement of freight. It also requires the agency to establish a freight advisory committee with various responsibilities in that regard. The initial state freight plan would be submitted to the Legislature, the Governor, and certain state agencies by Dec. 31, 2014, and updated every 5 years thereafter.
 
AB 473 (Ammiano) Medical marijuana: state regulation and enforcement. League Position: Oppose Unless Amended.
Seeks to establish a statewide regulatory structure for medical marijuana dispensaries that would be run by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The League is working to ensure that the recent City of Riverside case, which upholds the principle that the power to regulate includes the power to ban, remains in effect even if this bill should become law.  
 
AB 564 (Mullin) Community redevelopment: successor agencies. League Position: Support.
Clarifies the statute to reflect legislative intent so successor agencies can rely on access to these benefits over the long term. The bill requires that after the initial approval of oversight board action by the Department of Finance, the successor agency and all other public and private entities may rely with certainty upon that decision. This important clarification will avoid unnecessary future disputes, confusion and litigation, and assist the affected communities in moving on from redevelopment so they can focus on their future.
 
AB 537 (Bonta) Meyers-Milias-Brown Act: Impasse Procedures. League Position: Oppose.
Authorizes the representatives of a public agency or an employee organization to request mediation if an impasse is reached. Current law requires the public agency and employee organization to agree to mediation in the event of an impasse. Under this bill, no agreement is required, and mediation would be mandatory if either party requests it. Additionally, significant amendments add provisions regulating arbitration agreements, ground rules, contract ratification and employer-employee relations rules.

AB 616 (Bocanegra) Local Public Employee Organizations: Factfinding Panel. League Position: Oppose.
This bill was significantly amended to delete the provisions related to local rules. However, the bill remains a significant concern for cities. The bill extends the timeline of when an employee organization can request factfinding from 30 to 60 days and gives PERB authority to determine whether a “genuine impasse” has been reached before a matter can go to factfinding. This unnecessarily delays the negotiation process.
 
AB 1235 (Gordon). Local agencies: financial management training. League Position: Oppose.
Requires that if a local agency provides any type of compensation, salary, or stipend to, or reimburses the expenses of, a member of the legislative body, all local agency officials, except a member whose term of office ends before Jan. 1, 2015, in local agency service as of Jan. 1, 2014, or thereafter receive training in financial management, as specified. It provides that if any entity develops criteria for the financial management training, then the Treasurer's office and the Controller's office shall be consulted regarding any proposed course content. Because this bill would impose new duties on local governments, it would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
 
SB 7 (Steinberg) Public Works: Charter Cities. League Position: Oppose.
Prohibits 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 state prevailing wage requirements on any public works contract funded by city funds.

SB 64 (Corbett) Proposition 39 Implementation. League Position: Support
Requires the California Energy Commission to develop and administer programs to provide financial assistance to school districts, cities and counties to install energy efficiency and clean energy technology projects for their facilities.


 
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