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League’s Regional Divisions Contribute to Defeat of Legislation Undermining Local Control of Regional Authority

September 2, 2016
A bill proposing to add state appointments to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) board, was defeated on the Assembly Floor in the final hours of the legislative session.
The measure represented a clear threat to local control and was strongly opposed by all four of the League’s affected regional divisions — Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County and Inland Empire. Many stakeholder organizations, individual cities and the state League also opposed the measure.
Under SB 1387 (de León), Gov. Jerry Brown, the Senate and the Assembly would each have had the authority to appoint one new member to the SCAQMD board. These state appointments would have comprised 40 percent of the board. The broad coalition opposing this measure reminded legislators that regional boards should be overwhelmingly comprised of representatives selected by and from local communities within the geographic region. Having a disproportionate number of state-appointed members completely undermines the role and effectiveness of a regional board. For more, please see “Legislation Giving State Appointments to SCAQMD Threatens Local Control,” CA Cities Advocate, Aug. 24.
There often can be a diversity of perspectives on legislation affecting regional matters — but not in this case. All four League divisions were in agreement that it was inappropriate for the state to have such authority over a regional body. The League joined in the opposition effort because of the impacts this measure would have had on the local control of cities within the region and its disturbing precedent for further state intrusion into local affairs. The successful outcome on this bill demonstrates the power that can come from a collective effort focused on a specific goal, which is captured by the League’s motto: “cities working together.” The League thanks legislators who did not support this measure.

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