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2015 League Hot and Priority Bill List — April 8

April 8, 2015
With the 2015 Legislative Session underway, the League has sifted through hundreds of bills and is working on those of most import to cities.
The following is a list reflecting bills of current priority interest to the League. These are bills that the League has taken an official position on by writing a letter. This is only a preliminary list; many bills are being amended; others will be reviewed later this week by League policy committees. Cities should expect this list to be updated frequently in the coming weeks of heavy legislative action. Positions are subject to change as bills do while winding their way through the legislative process.
Titles are linked to more information about a bill’s status, as well as to sample letters that cities can use.
HOT AB 2 (Alejo): Community revitalization authority.
This bill authorizes the creation of a new entity at the local level called a Community Revitalization Investment Authority (CRIA) that would provide a redevelopment option for the most disadvantaged and poorest areas of our state.
HOT AB 35 (Chiu): Income taxes: credits: low-income housing: allocation increase.
This bill would increase the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million to build and rehabilitate affordable housing.
HOT AB 185 (Garcia, Eduardo): Income taxation: insurance taxation: credits: California New Markets Tax Credit.
AB 185 creates the California New Markets Tax Credit Program, with the goal of stimulating private sector investments into lower income communities by providing a tax incentive to qualified entities.
HOT AB 266 (Cooley) Medical marijuana.
This bill provides a framework for medical marijuana distribution that upholds local control, addresses public safety concerns, and includes important health and safety requirements. The League is a co-sponsor of this measure with the California Police Chiefs Association.
AB 323 (Olsen) California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: roadway improvement.
AB 323 would extend the sunset date for current law that exempts city roadway improvement projects from California Environmental Quality Act requirements if the project is within the existing right-of-way, improves safety and is within a jurisdiction with a population of less than 100,000 people.
AB 327 (Gordon) Public works: volunteers.
This bill would eliminate the sunset date on Labor Code Section 1720.4, permanently enabling local governments to use volunteer labor on public works projects. Examples include tree planting, park maintenance and playground construction.
HOT AB 1335 (Atkins) Building Homes and Jobs Act.
AB 1335 would generate up to $700 million per year for affordable rental or ownership housing, supportive housing, emergency shelters, transitional housing and other housing needs via a $75 recordation fee on real estate transactions. This fee would not apply to home sales.
HOT ACA 4 (Frazier) Local government transportation projects: special taxes: voter approval.
This bill would lower the voter threshold requirements for special taxes by a local government for the purpose of providing funding for transportation projects from 2/3rds approval to 55 percent approval.
HOT SB 321 (Beall) Motor vehicle fuel taxes: rates: adjustments.
This bill would infuse more stability into the variable gas tax rate set by the Board of Equalization by taking into account fuel prices of the previous four years in addition to the estimated fuel price of the current year.
HOT AB 278 (Hernandez): District-based municipal elections.
This measure would require that a city, with a population of 100,000 or more, switch to a by-district election system.
HOT AB 1220 (Harper): Transient occupancy taxes: residential short-term rentals units.
This bill would prohibit cities, counties, or a city and county from levying a transient occupancy tax (TOT) on residential short-term rental units, including single family homes, apartments, condos or other residential real estate in which the public pays for accommodations for less than 90 days.
HOT AB 1347 (Chiu) Public contracts: claims.
AB 1347 would mandate a new claims resolution process on all public contracts. It would require payment due on any undisputed portion of the claim to be made within seven days after the public agency issues its written response to a written demand or assertion. By comparison, current prompt payment law requires public agencies to make progress payments within 30 days after receipt of an undisputed and properly submitted payment request. Under AB 1347, if a public agency failed to respond to a written demand, a 10 percent per annum would be applied.
HOT AB 1301 (Jones-Sawyer):  Voting rights: preclearance.
AB 1301 creates a statewide pre-clearance system requiring that all changes to an election system within a qualifying jurisdiction obtain approval by the Secretary of State before implementation.

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