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Governor Signs Bill Authorizing ‘Polanco Act’ Brownfield Remediation Tools, Among Other League-Supported Measures

Several Hot Bills Remain Pending Governor’s Action as Oct. 13 Signing Deadline Approaches

October 8, 2013
Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing pen has been busy as he took action on six League-priority measures over the last few days.
On Saturday he signed League-supported AB 440 (Gatto), which would restore “Polanco Act” brownfield remediation authority to local governments. While this authority was previously targeted only to redevelopment project areas, the bill restores and expands this authority and applies it broadly to cities and counties. The League wishes to recognize and thank the author who tenaciously fought for the bill and resisted efforts to narrow it. Below is a summary of the Governor’s other actions.
League-Supported Measures Receive Governor’s Signature
AB 440 (Gatto): Brownfield Remediation Tools & Polanco Redevelopment Act.  
Status: Signed, Oct. 5
League Position: Support, HOT BILL

Following the state’s dissolution of local redevelopment agencies (RDA), issues arose regarding local access to brownfield remediation tools previously granted under Polanco Redevelopment Act authority. AB 440 grants cities, counties and housing authorities the power to access this brownfield remediation tool. 
Established in 1990, the ‘Polanco Act” authority provides for the expedited removal of hazardous substances from existing urban parcels, in accordance with state-approved clean-up plans. Furthermore, clean-up costs can be recovered from responsible parties and, upon completion of remediation actions, immunity for liability is provided to both the local agency in charge of cleaning up the property as well as future developers and owners.
AB 576 (V. Manuel Pérez): Establishes Revenue Recovery Pilot Program.
Status: Signed, Oct. 7
League Position: Support

AB 576 establishes a pilot program to create a multi-agency team to collaborate in addressing criminal tax evasion associated with California’s underground economy, representing an estimated $9 billion on untaxed commercial transactions within our borders each year.
This measure will strengthen California’s economy and business climate by providing an additional information gathering mechanism that supports enforcement activity. This in turn will help to curb the illicit commerce that places legitimate businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The Governor issued a signing message instructing his Department of Industrial Relations to lead this effort.
AB 719 (Hernández): Energy Efficient Street Lights.
Status: Signed, Oct. 7
League Position: Support   
AB 719 helps local agencies reduce their energy consumption and achieve greater energy cost savings. Specifically, the bill requires the Public Utilities Commission order electrical corporations submit a tariff to be used, at the discretion of local governments, to fund energy efficient street light poles. 
Previously a local mechanism to pay for energy efficient upgrades owned by investor-owned utilities was virtually nonexistent. AB 719 addresses this issue by providing local agencies a way to pay for street light pole retrofits in exchange for reduced overall user rates in the future. 
League-Supported Measures That Were Vetoed
AB 683 (Mullin): Local Government Nuisance Abatement
Status: Vetoed, Oct. 5
League Position: Support
AB 683 would have addressed the growing problem of distressed properties and incompliant property owners of local government abatement requests. Simply put, the bill would have provided cities with an additional tool to recover costs associated with abating ongoing nuisances in their communities.
In his veto message the Governor mentioned his rejection of a similar bill last year and stated: “While the bill requires additional outreach to a homeowner, there is no limit on the accrual of fines until that time.”
League-Opposed Measures That Were Vetoed
AB 1235 (Gordon): Mandated Training for Local Officials
Status: Signed, Oct. 7
League Position: Oppose
AB 1235 would have required city, county, special district elected officials and employees they designate to periodically complete a course in financial management training in accordance with criteria developed in coordination with the State Treasurer and Controller. Although the bill may have been well intended, the League already offers such training to city officials. Furthermore, the bill was drafted to not apply this requirement to school officials, legislators or state officials. The League argued that if such state training has policy merit then carve outs should not have been included.
Subsequently, in his veto message, Gov. Brown stated: “I believe local governments can impose appropriate financial management training without the aid of the General Fund.” 

League-Opposed Measures That Were Signed
AB 691 (Muratsuchi): Sea Level Rise and Local Planning 
Status: Signed, Oct. 5
League Position: Oppose
AB 691 requires a local trustee of granted public trust lands to prepare and submit an assessment of how to address sea level rise to the State Lands Commission. Given that a number of California communities already have begun addressing sea level rise in their hazard mitigation documents, their General Plans, their local coastal programs (LCPs) through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, the requirements of AB 691 are duplicative and costly.  
Urgent Action Needed
With the clock winding down on the Oct. 13 bill signing deadline, the League urges city officials and stakeholders to act on the following priority measures in these final days. To have your voice heard follow the bill hot link and tailor the position sample to your city or organization.
League-Supported Measures (Action Pending) 
AB 532 (Gordon): Local Housing Trust Fund.

AB 564 (Mullin): Community redevelopment: successor agencies.

AB 986 (Bradford): Postrelease community supervision: flash incarceration: city jails.

AB 1042 (Hall): Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund.

AB 1090 (Fong): Public officers: conflicts of interest: contracts.

HOT BILL AB 1229 (Atkins): Land use: zoning regulations.

AB 1253 (Blumenfield): Vehicles: mobile advertising displays.

HOT BILL SB 470 (Wright): Community development: economic opportunity.

League Opposed-Measures (Action Pending)
AB 218 (Dickinson): Employment applications: criminal history.
HOT BILL AB 537 (Bonta): Meyers-Milias-Brown Act: impasse procedures.
HOT BILL AB 562 (Williams): Economic development subsidies: review by local agencies.

HOT BILL AB 1373 (John A. Pérez): Workers’ compensation: firefighters and peace officers.

HOT BILL SB 7 (Steinberg): Public works: charter cities.

HOT BILL SB 313 (De León): Public Safety Officers Procedural Bills of Rights Act.
Status Update
Below is a breakdown on how many bills have been signed or vetoed this year:
For detailed information regarding bill signings and vetoes, please see the Governor’s press release website.

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