Bills that fail to pass out of their original house by May 31 are considered dead. The Senate finished its work on Thursday and the Assembly completed Friday. Votes this week produced mixed results for California cities.
Bills Failing Passage
SB 673 (DeSaulnier) This bill, opposed by the League, was stopped on the Senate Floor, failing to get enough votes. The bill would have undermined local land use authority and further restricted economic development by layering an additional parallel “CEQAesque” analysis upon any commercial development if the project benefits substantially from any financial assistance including but not limited to a state or federal grant, low-interest loan, land donation or acquisition, remediation or environmental cleanup activity.
AB 473 (Ammiano) This bill, which proposed to establish a statewide regulatory structure for medical marijuana dispensaries that would be run by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, was stopped on the Assembly Floor. While recent amendments added to the bill addressed various local control issues, the League had remaining concerns over inadequate standards for the issuance of medical cards.
AB 1147 (Gomez) While this bill did not come up for a vote, it remains located on the Assembly Floor and could, with appropriate rule waivers, be moved at a later date. This bill seeks to address issues surrounding legislation passed in 2008 relating to massage establishments. Recent amendments were added into the measure to reflect the League’s concerns in restoring local ability to properly regulate these businesses. Negotiations are expected to continue over its contents.
Positive Bills for Cities Now in Second House
AB 440 (Gatto) This League-supported bill authorizes cities, counties and housing authorities to use the brownfield remediation tools previously granted to redevelopment agencies under the Polanco Redevelopment Act.
AB 564 (Mullin) passed out of the Assembly Thursday morning. The League is sponsoring this bill that provides certainty to successor agencies and other public and private entities when a finding of completion from the Department of Finance is issued. The bill clarifies the statute to reflect legislative intent so that successor agencies can rely on access to loan repayment and other provisions over the long term.
AB 1229 (Atkins) The inclusionary housing measure advanced to the Senate floor early Thursday afternoon. The bill, supported by the League, reauthorizes inclusionary housing ordinances to address the 2009 Palmer/Sixth Street Properties v. City of Los Angeles decision.
AB 1080 (Alejo) passed to the Senate for action. This League-supported measure is a critical first step to affording local governments with a return of a narrowed form or redevelopment authority. The bill authorizes the creation of a new entity at the local level, a Community Revitalization Investment Authority, to provide a redevelopment option for the most disadvantaged and poorest areas of the state.
SB 33 (Wolk) provides major clarifications and improvements to Infrastructure Financing District Law, enabling local agencies to use this tool for a wide variety of local infrastructure needs.
SB 64 (Corbett) 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.
SB 391 (DeSaulnier) generates $500 million annually for affordable housing needs through a $75 recordation fee on real estate transactions with the exception of home sales. Creating a reliable and permanent source of funds allows funding for affordable housing programs at dependable levels.
SB 470 (Wright) provides cities and counties with enhanced flexibility when disposing of publicly-owned property for economic development purposes and would provide former Polanco Redevelopment Act brownfield remediation tools to cities and counties.
Negative Bills for Cities Now in Second House
AB 325 (Alejo) expands from one to four years the statute of limitations to sue a city or county over a self-certified housing element, the implementation of the housing element, the adoption of a density bonus ordinance, and other local government decisions related to housing.
AB 537 (Bonta) Meyers-Milias-Brown Act: Impasse Procedures.
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 added provisions regulating arbitration agreements, ground rules, contract ratification and employer-employee relations rules.
AB 562 (Williams) imposes many costly and burdensome mandates on local governments to track and maintain comprehensive data on any expenditure or loss of revenue by the local agency for economic development purposes valued more than $100,000. The measure also imposes additional requirements for public hearings, biennial reports, and publication of information on websites.
AB 616 (Bocanegra) 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 667 (Hernandez) requires an exhaustive economic impact report to be prepared for a narrow set of projects – “superstores” (as defined) in “economic assistance areas.” Such stores could not be permitted prior to finding that the store will not materially adversely affect the economic welfare within an “impact area” of a five-mile radius around the proposed store. The reporting obligation is extremely lengthy and proscriptive, and the finding requirement would expose any approving agency to litigation.
AB 1333 (Hernández) threatens decades of longstanding authority entrusted to local governments under the guise of creating greater transparency. This bill imposes state-mandated contract review and findings for local agency evergreen contracts of more than $250,000. This “camel’s nose under the tent” approach is unwarranted and unnecessary as current law requires openness and transparency in all actions of a local agency governing body and assumes local governments are incapable of making informed decisions in a transparent manner.
AB 1373 (John A. Pérez) This is a reintroduction of AB 2451 (Pérez) of 2012 with one important change. Last year’s measure would have extended the statute of limitations from 240 to 480 weeks for a presumptive death benefit claim for cancer, tuberculosis, or MRSA to be filed on behalf of a firefighter or peace officer. This measure leaves open the question of how long the statute of limitations should be by simply deleting the timeline.
SB 7 (Steinberg) 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 311 (Padilla) restricts a city's ability to govern effectively and efficiently by restricting charter amendments and proposed charters to statewide general elections, thereby eliminating the option to place these items before the voters at regularly scheduled municipal elections and statewide primaries. By doing so the bill restricts cities’ flexibility to deal with technical changes that may be needed to avoid litigation or generate much needed revenue.
SB 313 (De León) prohibits 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.