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Governor’s Final Action on Bills Mixed for Cities

October 1, 2018
Gov. Jerry Brown concluded his work on bills that reached his desk on Sunday, Sept. 30, with decisions pending on some major bills until the final hours.
The results were a mixed bag. The League submitted 53 total requests, of which 36 were requests for signatures and 17 requests for vetoes. In total, the Governor’s decisions matched the League’s request approximately 68 percent of the time.
Positives among the Governor’s decisions were his signatures on: SB 901 (Dodd), the comprehensive bipartisan conference committee report addressing wildfires; SB 833 (McGuire), which improves emergency notifications; and SB 822 (Wiener), which restores net neutrality principles in California. Other helpful signatures include: AB 3162 (Friedman), which improves regulation of drug and alcohol treatment; AB 2035 (Mullin) and SB 1145 (Leyva), which facilitate the use of new tax increment tools; and AB 2598 (Quirk), a League-sponsored bill that expands local code-enforcement tools. The League also appreciates vetoes on several bills including: AB 2681 (Nazarian), a well-intentioned but costly unfunded local mandate to seismically assess buildings; and AB 3131 (Gloria), which would have overly-restricted access by local law enforcement’s to surplus military equipment.
Disappointments included the Governor’s signature on a number of bills that further micromanage local land use authority, such as: AB 1771 (Bloom) and SB 828 (Wiener), which contain comprehensive changes to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process; SB 946 (Lara), which restricts local regulation of sidewalk vending; and AB 2923 (Chiu), which sets a disturbing precedent by giving land use authority to a transit district.
City officials are invited to the League’s annual webinar on the new laws approved during 2018 Legislative Session. The briefing will be held Nov. 13. Registration will be announced soon. 
The League thanks all city officials for their contributions to advocacy efforts on behalf of California cities.
Below are all the bills the League requested a signature or veto on this year. Where the Governor’s decision is at odds with the League’s request, it is noted in red
Request for Signature
AB 1766 (Maienschein) Swimming Pools: Automatic External Defibrillators
Requires public swimming pools that provide lifeguard services and charge a direct fee to provide an automatic external defibrillator (AED) during pool operations. (Signed by Governor)
AB 1772 (Aguiar-Curry) Fire Insurance: Indemnity
Extends the minimum time limit for an insured person to collect the full replacement cost of a loss related to a “state of emergency” from 24 to 36 months. Insured persons may extend coverage for six months for good cause, including a delay in the approval or reconstruction of the home. (Signed by Governor)
AB 1775 (Muratsuchi) State Lands: Oil and Gas Leasing
Prohibits the State Lands Commission or a local trustee from approving new leases for new construction of oil and gas-related infrastructure within state offshore waters. Requires the State Lands Commission or a local trustee to follow a new process and consider at least several specified factors. (Signed by Governor)
AB 1884 (Calderon) Single-Use Plastic Straws
Prohibits full-service restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested. (Signed by Governor)
AB 1933 (Maienschein) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Recycling Infrastructure Projects
Expands the list of eligible projects for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) waste diversion grant funding to include recovery of food for human consumption and food waste prevention, as well as expansion of facilities that process recyclable materials and improve quality of recycled materials.
(Signed by Governor)
AB 1959 (Wood) Telecommunications: Universal Service Programs
Extends the sunset date for a program that provides subsidies for rural California to ensure access to basic communications are available. (Signed by Governor)
AB 1968 (Low) Mental Health: Firearms
Prohibits a person who has been taken into custody more than once within a year because of mental health disorders, determined to cause a danger to themselves or others, from owning a firearm for the remainder their life, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Also continues to protect the due process rights of the individual to petition a court to restore access to their firearms. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2020 (Quirk) Cannabis: Local Jurisdiction Licensees: Temporary Event Licenses
Allows the Bureau of Cannabis Control to issue a temporary state event license for a venue that has been expressly approved by a local jurisdiction under specific conditions. Makes common sense changes to existing law and gives cities more control over authorizing a temporary cannabis event. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2035 (Mullin) Affordable Housing Authorities
Resolves implementation issues regarding the recently enacted AB 1598 (Chapter 764, Statutes of 2017), the Affordable Housing Authority Law, to improve the usefulness of this law to produce affordable housing. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2123 (Cervantes) District-Based Elections
Provides up to an additional 90 days to convert to district-based elections through the ordinance process upon mutual agreement between a prospective plaintiff and a city. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2164 (Cooley) Fines and Penalties: Cannabis
Allows local agencies to adopt an ordinance that provides for the immediate imposition of administrative fines or penalties for the violation of building, plumbing, electrical, or other similar structural, health and safety, or zoning requirements if the violation exists as a result of, or to facilitate, the illegal cultivation of cannabis. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2256 (Santiago) Law Enforcement Agencies: Opioid Antagonist
Authorizes a pharmacy, wholesaler or manufacturer to furnish naloxone hydrochloride, name brand “Narcan,” or other opioid antagonists to a law enforcement agency. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2258 (Caballero) Local Agency Formation Commissions: Grant Program
Requires the Strategic Growth Council to establish and administer a Local Agency Formation Commission grant program to pay for costs associated with dissolving inactive special districts, as well as service studies and other actions by public agencies in disadvantaged communities. (Vetoed by Governor)
AB 2363 (Friedman) Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force
Requires the Secretary of Transportation to create a task force inclusive of local government representatives to produce a study of how to best reduce traffic fatalities and injury to zero.
(Signed by Governor)
AB 2415 (Calderon) CalPERS: Officers and Directors: Appointment and Compensation
Adds the positions of a chief operating officer and a chief health director to the list of existing positions for which the CalPERS Board of Administration has compensation-setting authority. Helps ensure CalPERS is competitive when it comes to the recruiting, hiring, and retaining the highest quality personnel.   (Signed by Governor)
AB 2538 (Rubio) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems: Financial Capability Analysis
Requires the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt guidelines for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permittees that consider the costs to local jurisdictions. (Vetoed by Governor)
AB 2598 (Quirk) Enforcement of Local Building and Safety Codes
Updates for inflation the existing statutory fine caps for violations of local building and safety codes, adds a hardship appeal process for repeat violators, and establishes a higher maximum fine for commercial property owners who fail repeatedly to maintain their properties. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2880 (Harper) Political Reform Act of 1974: Local Enforcement
Authorizes local governments to contract with the Fair Political Practices Commission for the administration and enforcement of local campaign finance and government ethics laws.
(Signed by Governor)
AB 3162 (Friedman) Alcoholism or Drug Abuse Treatment Facilities
Improves existing laws regarding residential alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities licensed by the Department of Health Care Services, including making initial licenses provisional for one year and increasing civil penalties for the violation of licensing law. (Signed by Governor)
AB 3178 (Rubio) Integrated Waste Management Plans: Recycled Materials
Requires CalRecycle, when evaluating a jurisdiction's good faith effort to implement its source reduction and recycling element (SRRE), to consider (1) the jurisdiction's efforts to reduce contamination and improve the quality of recycled materials and (2) whether the lack of an available market has prevented the jurisdiction from fully implementing its SRRE. (Vetoed by Governor)
SB 25 (Portantino) Elections: Alternate Ballot Order: Los Angeles County Pilot Program
Creates a pilot program that moves local offices and local measures to the beginning of the ballot in LA County. (Signed by Governor)
SB 212 (Jackson) Pharmaceutical and Sharps Disposal
Establishes a statewide take-back system for pharmaceutical waste and sharps operated and funded by manufacturers or distributors and overseen by CalRecycle. (Signed by Governor)
SB 819 (Hill) Electrical and Gas Corporation Rates
Prohibits the California Public Utilities Commission from allowing an electrical or gas corporation to recover fines or penalties in rates. Also prohibits an electrical or gas corporation to pass through costs or expenses that (1) result from unreasonable construction, maintenance, management, control, or operation of a plan and (2) the unreasonable act or omission increased risk of causing damages. (Vetoed by Governor)
SB 822 (Wiener) Communications: Broadband Internet Access Service
Restores net neutrality principles in California, which will help ensure a free and open internet and protect cities or the services they provide and/or receive from anti-competitive internet practices. (Signed by Governor)
SB 824 (Lara) Insurers: Declared Disaster: Homeowners’ Insurance Policies
Prohibits an insurer from canceling or refusing to renew residential property insurance for one year following a “state of emergency” declaration based solely on the location within which a wildfire has occurred. (Signed by Governor)
SB 833 (McGuire) Emergencies: Alert and Warning Systems
Requires CalOES to collaborate with the League, California State Association of Counties, and other stakeholders in developing uniform guidelines for mass notification during major emergencies. (Signed by Governor)
SB 834 (Jackson) State Lands: Oil and Gas Leasing
Prohibits the State Lands Commission or a local trustee from approving new leases for new construction of oil and gas-related infrastructure within state offshore waters. Requires the State Lands Commission or a local trustee to follow a new process and consider at least several specified factors. (Signed by Governor)
SB 894 (Dodd) Property Insurance
Addresses numerous issues related to property insurance after a natural disaster, such as a wildfire, and creates various protections for property owners’ insurance policies. (Signed by Governor)
SB 901 (Dodd) Wildfires
Addresses numerous issues concerning wildfire prevention, response and recovery, including funding for fuel reduction and forest management, streamlining forest management rules, new wildfire mitigation plans by electric utilities, expanding the use of mutual aid funding for pre-positioning equipment and personnel, guidance to the California Public Utilities Commission, and tools to ensure electric corporations remain fiscally healthy. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1012 (Delgado) Homeless Multidisciplinary Personnel Team
Allows a city to participate in a county-established homeless adult and family multidisciplinary personnel team. Expedites identification, assessment, and linkage of homeless individuals to housing and supportive services, and allows provider agencies to share confidential information for the purpose of coordinating housing and supportive services to ensure continuity of care. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1145 (Leyva) Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts
Protects local economic development investments by allowing Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) to finance ongoing maintenance costs for public projects financed by the EIFD.
(Signed by Governor)
SB 1293 (Lara) California State Auditor: High-Risk Local Government Agency Audit Program
Authorizes the California State Auditor, after first notifying the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, to conduct initial assessments when determining if an entity is high risk under the Auditor’s high risk local government agency audit program. Facilitates the High-Risk Local Government Agency Audit Program to continue to function as it was designed and agreed to following the passage of AB 187 (Lara, Statutes of 2011). (Signed by Governor)
SB 1343 (Mitchell) Employers: Sexual Harassment Training. Requirements
Requires the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to provide online training and information on sexual harassment prevention, how to recognize harassment, and who to contact if they believe they are a sexual harassment victim. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1413 (Nielsen) Public Employees’ Retirement: Pension Prefunding
Provides CalPERS the authority to establish a Pension Prefunding Trust Program. Gives cities the ability to reflect dollars set aside in a trust in their federal Government Accounting Standards Board reporting requirements. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1416 (McGuire) Code Enforcement: Nuisance Abatement
Allows cities and counties to recover fines related to nuisance abatement through liens and special assessments. Restricts the use of funds to code enforcement efforts and facilitate compliance with local building and fire codes. (Vetoed by Governor)
SB 1459 (Cannella) Cannabis: Provisional License
Allows state licensing agencies, such as the Bureau of Cannabis Control, to issue provisional commercial cannabis licenses to businesses that are currently in the process of becoming licensed at both the state and local level. Preserves local control by requiring local authorization as a condition to obtain a provisional license. (Signed by Governor)
Request for Veto
AB 553 (Daly) Workers’ Compensation: Return-to-Work Program
Requires the Department of Industrial Relations to distribute $120 million annually to injured workers from the Return to Work Program — a public and private employer funded program. Places an additional administrative and cost burden on cities by requiring employers to contribute annually to the fund and shifts the responsibility to administer the program funds away from the state to both public and private employers as well as their insurers. (Vetoed by Governor)
AB 748 (Ting) Peace Officers: Video and Audio Recordings: Disclosure
Establishes a standard for the release of body-worn camera footage that removes local authority over the determination to release footage to the public. Supplants existing, well-reasoned exemptions from disclosure under the Public Records Act and expressly undermines public interest. Opens up cities to Public Record Act lawsuits and would increase costs. (Signed by Governor)
AB 1597 (Nazarian) Public Employee Retirement Systems: Prohibited Investments: Turkey
Prohibits CalPERS and CalSTRS from investing in the government of Turkey and certain financial instruments of the sovereign state, if the federal government of the United States sanctions Turkey for failing to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. (Vetoed by Governor)
AB 1771 (Bloom) Regional Housing Needs Assessment
Makes a number of changes to the RHNA methodology and allocation process. Limits flexibility for two local governments to agree to an alternative distribution of appealed housing allocations. Allows a Council of Government (COG) to identify significant barriers to affirmatively furthering fair housing at the regional level and recommend strategies or actions to overcome those barriers. This would allow a COG to second-guess city land use decisions. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2495 (Mayes) Code Enforcement
Makes it unlawful for a local city or county government to charge a person for the costs of investigation, prosecution, or appeal in code enforcement actions that the city or county sustains in a criminal case. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2544 (Lackey) Parking Penalties
Retroactively requires cities to verify the indigent status of persons with unpaid parking violations over the last five years. Creates an undue burden on local governments and their ability to enforce basic local laws. (Signed by Governor)
AB 2681 (Nazarian) Seismic Safety: Potentially Vulnerable Buildings
Creates an unfunded mandate requiring cities and counties to compile inventories of potentially vulnerable buildings and other prescriptive requirements without any funding secured for the program.
(Vetoed by Governor)
AB 2923 (Chiu) Bay Area Rapid Transit District. Land Use Authority
Provides the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) land use authority over their property within one half mile of a BART station. Applies only to BART, but it sets a dangerous precedent for all other special districts in the state wanting the same authority. (Signed by Governor)
AB 3081 (Gonzales-Fletcher) Employment: Sexual Harassment
Exposes cities to increased false workplace retaliation claims and places a significant burden on them to prove their actions were legitimate and valid. Provides a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation by an employer.  (Vetoed by Governor)
AB 3131 (Gloria) Military Equipment: Funding, Acquisition, and Use
Imposes a rigorous, detailed, and annual local mandate associated with acquisition, deployment, and use of a specified list of military equipment. Appears to contemplate litigation by outside parties over such policies by requiring them to be “legally enforceable.” (Vetoed by Governor)
SB 828 (Wiener) Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)
Modifies existing codified intent language that recognizes that cities may not meet their RHNA and implies that RHNA is a production mandate. Makes numerous changes to the methodology to account for overcrowding, jobs/housing imbalance, and “cost burdened.” (Signed by Governor)
SB 946 (Lara) Sidewalk Vending
Prohibits a local authority from adopting rules or regulations that regulate or prohibit sidewalk vendors unless it first adopts a sidewalk vending licensing program that requires a sidewalk vendor to obtain a license from the local authority before selling food or merchandise. Prohibits restricting the location of a licensed sidewalk vendor unless the restriction is directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns. (Signed by Governor)
SB 998 (Dodd) Residential Water Discontinuation of Service
Makes changes regarding residential water shutoffs for nonpayment customers in urban and community water systems that have more than 200 service connections and specifies a procedure for implementation. Creates a new one-size-fits-all statewide program that will change the way water districts conduct water shutoffs. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1215 (Hertzberg) Provision of Sewer Service: Disadvantaged Communities
Grants new authority to the Regional Water Quality Control Boards to order local governments to extend sewer service to certain septic users in disadvantaged communities. Mandates a “standby charge” for residents who opt out of the service extension, even when there is no actual residential connection to the sewer system. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1300 (Jackson) Unlawful Employment Practices: Discrimination and Harassment
Specifies that an employer may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees with respect to other harassment activity. Imposes personal liability onto individual supervisors and overturns a California Supreme Court’s decision. Likely to lead to a significant increase litigation against California cities.
(Signed by Governor)
SB 1333 (Wieckowski) Planning and Zoning: Charter Cities
Applies nearly all of the planning and zoning laws to charter cities. (Signed by Governor)
SB 1421 (Skinner) Peace officers: Release of Records
Exposes peace officers to the risk of having their identity revealed for non-sustained or exonerated incidents. Does not take into account officer safety, litigation against public agencies, or the cost to comply. Bifurcates disclosure requirements allowing unsubstantiated use of force claims against officers to be released. Invites increased California Public Records Act challenges. (Signed by Governor)      

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