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Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > August > Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees Decide Fate of Key Measures; Prepare for Final Floor V
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Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees Decide Fate of Key Measures; Prepare for Final Floor Votes on Bills of Interest to Cities

Legislature has until Aug. 31 to send bills to Governor’s desk

August 21, 2020
The Appropriations Committees of both houses met on Thursday, Aug. 20 to decide the fate of hundreds of bills, albeit significantly fewer than usual due to the truncated session schedule impacted by COVID-19 and the health crisis. 
 
Following these committee hearings, the stage is now set for the final days of the legislative session, as the Legislature faces a quickly approaching Aug. 31 deadline to send bills to the Governor. 

Below is a complete list of bills on which the League has a position that were pending on the Senate or Assembly Appropriations Committees suspense file. Those that passed, including some with amendments, are listed as “Pass,” and those that failed to move are listed as “Held.” The held measures were tabled and are ineligible for further action this session.
 
Key Results
 
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the primary focus of the Legislature to the public health response and economic recovery. Nonetheless, several substantive housing measures persisted, some aimed at providing aid for the current emergency, and others focused on the longer looming housing crisis. The Appropriations Committees of both houses narrowed the number of housing-related measures moving forward, while bills that were championed by leadership moved forward, such as SB 1120 (Atkins), which would require a local government to ministerially approve a housing development containing two residential units (duplex) in single-family residential zones.
 
Cities, of course, need additional, sustainable funding to address and prevent homelessness and spur the construction of affordable housing. Unfortunately, League-sponsored legislation to create such a funding source, SB 795 (Beall), was held by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The issue remains a key priority for the League in tackling statewide housing supply and affordability challenges.
 
Over the next two weeks, the Legislature will be particularly focused on preventing an impending “eviction wave” of California renters as evictions may legally resume on Sept. 2, absent further action by lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
 
In response to the growing transmission of COVID-19 and the proximity of public safety and other frontline workers to the virus, several lawmakers have pushed expanded presumptive eligibility for workers compensation that pose significant fiscal risks to public and private employers. While the safety and well-being of public employees is a priority for local governments, measures such as AB 664 (Cooper) and SB 1159 (Hill) currently violate reasonable standards of fairness under the workers compensation system. Both of these measures were approved and await floor votes.
 
As COVID-19 public health orders disrupt workplaces and private lives, lawmakers have sought to expand unpaid family leave. While the effort is notable, the construction of the current effort in SB 1383 (Jackson), which was approved by the committee, raises significant costs and liabilities for employers by requiring any employer with five or more employees to provide 12 weeks of protected leave each year with no relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
 
On issues related to taxation, the Assembly Appropriations Committee gave the green light to SB 1441 (McGuire), which is a critical measure that will allow the continued collection of the utility users tax from retail sales of prepaid wireless telecommunication products.
 
Several measures were introduced late in the session in response to the heightened attention on policing. While the Appropriations Committees largely decided to stall measures until at least next session, a handful were approved, including the League-supported AB 1506 (McCarty), which would require the California Department of Justice to, upon request, conduct independent investigations into officer-involved incidents of deadly force. Meanwhile, SB 776 (Skinner) was also approved, which would unjustifiably expand current law by providing for the disclosure of police personnel records for every incident involving use of force, regardless of whether the officer was exonerated or if a complaint was not sustained.
 
To access bill language, the League’s position letters and sample letters, go to www.cacities.org/billsearch and type in the bill number into the search function.
 
Senate Appropriations
 
Oppose
  • AB 196 (Gonzalez) Workers’ Compensation. COVID-19. Essential Occupations and Industries – Pass  
  • AB 664 (Cooper) Workers’ Compensation. Injury. Communicable Disease – Pass  
  • AB 685 (Reyes) Occupational Safety. COVID-19 Exposure. Notification – Pass  
Oppose unless amended
  • AB 2345 (Gonzalez) Planning and Zoning. Density Bonuses. Annual Report. Affordable Housing – Pass  
  • AB 3269 (Chiu) State and Local Agencies. Homelessness Plan – Held  
Support
Assembly Appropriations
 
Oppose
  • SB 899 (Wiener) Planning and Zoning. Housing Development. Higher Education Institutions and Religious Institutions – Held (by Author)  
  • SB 776 (Skinner) Peace Officers. Release Of Records – Pass  
  • SB 1159 (Hill) Workers’ Compensation. COVID-19. Critical Workers – Pass  
  • SB 1173 (Durazo) Public Employment. Labor Relations. Employee Information – Pass  
  • SB 1383 (Jackson) Unlawful Employment Practice. Family Leave – Pass  
Support
  • SB 795 (Beall) Economic Development. Housing. Workforce Development. Climate Change Infrastructure – Held  
  • SB 865 (Hill) Excavations. Subsurface Installations – Pass  
  • SB 1044 (Allen) Firefighting Equipment And Foam. PFAS Chemicals – Pass  
  • SB 1130 (Gonzalez, Lena) Telecommunications. California Advanced Services Fund – Pass  
  • SB 1299 (Portantino) Housing Development. Incentives. Rezoning of Idle Retail – Pass  
  • SB 1441 (McGuire) Local Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Collection Act – Pass  
Support if amended Upcoming League Sign/Veto Webinar
 
The League is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 2 for a review of the top priority bills for cities to advocate for a signature or veto by the Governor. The legislative session ends on Monday, Aug. 31 and the Governor has a Sept. 30 deadline to sign or veto measures approved by the Legislature. This period will be the final opportunity for city officials to voice their support or opposition to the Governor on key bills. Register online.


 
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