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Cities' Final Day of 2015 Legislative Session Begins with Major Legislation Still in Play, RDA Proposal Goes to Floor without Public Scrutiny

Agreement on Medical Marijuana Legislation Reached, Drone Bill Set for Hearing

September 11, 2015
As the temperatures in Sacramento promised to reach well into the triple digits on Friday, the Capitol was abuzz with the usual late-breaking legislative maneuvers that are de rigueur in the Legislature.
 
Top on that list was the introduction of SB 107, the newest version of the redevelopment dissolution proposal, a 104 page bill that went straight to the Assembly Floor at 11 a.m. after only being in print for hours and without any committee hearings.
 
Cities up and down the state took to the phone and Twitter starting late Thursday afternoon to voice their strong opposition when it was confirmed that legislators would try to jam through the redevelopment proposal in the waning hours of the session. First put forward by the Department of Finance (DOF) back in January, the proposal has struggled through the legislative process as legislators questioned the harmful effects to cities that had been faithfully operating under the laws (AB 1484 of 2012) governing the dissolution of redevelopment agencies. DOF is seeking to change the definition of loans, carve outs and the definition of interest rates. 
 
The League quickly analyzed the bill and delivered a strong opposition letter.
 
Assembly Member Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) is one of a number of Assembly members who spoke in opposition, naming a long list of cities that would lose $5,000 or more from the measure. “This isn’t about taking money back. It’s about keeping faith with local governments. When we make a promise we should keep it. I can’t and will not do this to my constituents.”
 
Others including Assembly Member Young Kim (R-Fullerton) objected to the fact that the bill emerged without review or input from the cities she represents. Assembly Member Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) stated: “This is too soon with this language and we should let some daylight into this process.”
 
In the end, the Assembly passed SB 107 with a vote of 41-24. It now heads to the Senate.
 
Medical Marijuana
 
Also late Thursday, word spread that lawmakers had come to an agreement on medical marijuana legislation. The League obtained bill language late Friday morning for the three bills, AB 266 (Bonta), AB 243 (Wood) and SB 643 (McGuire).
 
The League is currently reviewing the language and will update members on the legislation’s provisions related to local control and public safety as well as vote results.
 
Drones
 
League co-sponsored SB 168 (Gaines and Jackson) had been held at the Assembly desk until late Thursday when it received a rule waiver and was referred to the Assembly Privacy Committee for a hearing on Friday. It passed out of committee this morning and heads to the floor for a vote. This measure has bipartisan support and would provide immunity for first responders who damage a civilian drone directly interfering with ambulance services, firefighting-related services and search and rescue operations.
 
SB 350
 
Senate President pro Tem Kevin De León’s (D-Los Angeles) climate change legislation, SB 350, is still in motion. On Wednesday, provisions were removed that would have mandated a 50 percent reduction in petroleum consumption in California by the year 2030.
 
Final Analysis
 
The League will continue to report legislative developments as they occur throughout the day to members. A complete analysis and wrap up of major developments, including redevelopment dissolution and medical marijuana will be published as soon as possible.
 
 
 


 
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