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Priority Bills of Interest in the Final Weeks of Legislative Session

July 22, 2020
The Senate and Assembly will return to Sacramento on Monday, July 27 to enter the final stretch of this year’s legislative session which ends Aug. 31. 
Both houses were originally scheduled to return from summer recess on July 13; but their return date was moved to July 27 after two Assembly Members tested positive for COVID-19. These final weeks are the last opportunity for cities to weigh in on legislation for this year.
Following the end of session, Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Sept. 30 to either sign or veto legislation. The League is closely monitoring and engaging on a number of priority bills to ensure the voices of cities are being heard in the Capitol. 
The League has compiled the below list of priority bills remaining in the Legislature with important impacts to cities, and the League's position on them.
Resources for Cities League Priority Legislation
Environmental Quality
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
AB 3279 (Friedman) California Environmental Quality Act. Administrative and Judicial Procedures.
This measure would revise CEQA litigation procedures by:
  • Reducing the deadline for a court to commence hearings from one year to 270 days;
  • Provide that a lead agency may decide whether a plaintiff prepares the administrative record; and
  • Authorizes a court to issue an interlocutory remand, if certain findings are made.
League Position: Pending
SB 55 (Jackson) California Environmental Quality Act. Housing and Land Use.
This measure would make a number of substantial changes to CEQA. Some of the changes include:
  • Removes local agencies ability to adopt an initiative petition CEQA project by a vote of the city council;
  • Modifies the current CEQA exemptions for both supportive housing and emergency shelters;
  • Modifies the process for the public to submit comments into the record on a CEQA project to try to limit “document dumping;”
  • Modifies the ability for a lead agency to prepare the administrative record; and
  • Similar to a previous bill this session - SB 950 (Jackson).
League Position: Pending
Emergency/Disaster Preparedness and Response
AB 2178 (Levine) Emergency Services.
This measure would amend the California Emergency Services Act to additionally include “deenergization,” defined as a planned public safety power shutoff, within those conditions constituting a state of emergency and a local emergency. Similar to SB 862 (Dodd).
League Position: Support
SB 862 (Dodd) Planned Power Outage. Public Safety.
This measure would amend the California Emergency Services Act to additionally include a deenergization event within a sudden and severe energy shortage constituting a state of emergency and a local emergency.
This measure would also require electrical corporations to:
  • Include protocols that deal specifically with access and functional need individuals;
  • Coordinate with local governments to establish community resource centers; and
  • Perform any necessary electrical upgrades to ensure that a mobile backup generator can be located at a community resource center during a deenergization event.
League Position: Support
SB 1099 (Dodd) Emergency Backup Generators. Critical Facilities. Order for Abatement. Stipulations.
This measure would require air districts to develop stipulations for an order of abatement that would allow permitted facilities to use backup generators exceeding hour limits, if facilities choose to enter into a stipulated order of abatement (SOA) with the local air district. This measure would dictate some terms of that SOA, including reporting of use, and a schedule for replacing older polluting generators with the cleanest, feasible, applicable technology that is economically feasible.
League Position: Pending
Energy and Utilities
SB 1312 (McGuire) Electrical Corporations. Deenergization.
This measure would propose a number of requirements related to reducing wildfire risks and proactive power shutoffs by electric investor-owned utilities (IOUs). Including:
  • Requiring a revision to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Rule 20 tariff to underground overhead electric lines in high fire threat areas; and
  • Directing the CPUC to oversee the IOU’s efforts on new requirements including specified reporting, ability to assess fines and penalties, notification requirements, and requiring specified fire risk mitigation capital expenditures by the electric IOUs by certain dates.
League Position: Support
Solid Waste and Recycling
AB 1672 (Bloom) Solid Waste. Nonwoven Disposable Products.
This measure would require labels indicating a product should not be flushed on specified nonwoven disposable products.
League position: Support
SB 54 (Allen)/AB 1080 (Gonzalez) Solid Waste. Packaging and Products.
These identical measures would direct the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to establish a comprehensive framework to address plastic pollution and waste by:
  • Adopting regulations by Jan. 1, 2024 that require producers, which includes the people who manufacture single-use packaging or priority single use products, to achieve a 75 percent reduction of waste generated from single‐use packaging and priority single‐use plastic products in the California market by 2030;
  • Requiring producers to source reduce single-use packaging and priority single-use products to the maximum extent feasible;
  • Requiring producers to make single-use packaging and priority single-use products recyclable or compostable by 2030; and
  • Developing criteria, via an implementation plan with stakeholder input, to determine which packaging materials qualify to be labeled as recyclable or compostable. This implementation plan will also include the development of incentives and policies to encourage in-state manufacturing using recycled material generated in California as a way to shift towards a more circular economy.
League Position: Support
Water Quality
SB 1044 (Allen) Firefighting Equipment and Foam. PFAS Chemicals.
This measure would prohibit the use of firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals, except where federally required, and would require notification of the presence of PFAS in the protective equipment of firefighters.
League Position: Support
Community Services
Disaster Preparedness and Community Resiliency
AB 2213 (Limón) Office of Emergency Services: Model Guidelines.  
This measure would require the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to develop model guidelines for local governments and other local entities active in disasters to identify, type, and track community resources that could assist in responding to or recovering from disasters.
League Position: Support
Parks and Recreation
SB 217 (Portantino) Recreational and Organizational Camps.
This measure would make significant changes to how organized and recreational camps operate. Specifically, this measure would:
  • Require an organized camp and a recreational camp to obtain a license from the local agency of the jurisdiction where the camp is located before operating a camp;
  • Establish a procedure for a camp to submit an application to a local agency for a license and would authorize a local agency to charge an application fee in a specified amount;
  • Require the local agency to inspect a camp for compliance with these provisions before issuing a license to operate;
  • Impose specified requirements on specific camp activities including, among others, riflery, archery, horseback riding, climbing, swimming, and scuba diving;
  • Require each camp to obtain specified certifications before offering high-risk activities; and
  • Authorize a local agency to levy a civil penalty on each camp that fails to comply with the requirements of the bill, in an amount not to exceed $200 per day until the local agency finds the camp is in compliance.
League Position: Pending
Public Safety
AB 66 (Gonzalez) Police. Use of Force.
This measure would establish clear standards on the use of rubber bullets and other “less lethal” weapons by law enforcement for crowd control and would also ban the use of tear gas by all California law enforcement agencies.
League Position: Pending
AB 1196 (Gipson) Peace Officer. Use of Force.
This measure would prohibit law enforcement agencies in California from authorizing the use of the carotid artery restraint or a chokehold.
League Position: Pending

AB 1314 (McCarty) Law Enforcement Use of Force Settlements and Judgements. Reporting.
This measure would require municipalities to annually post on their internet websites specified information relating to use of force settlements and judgements, including amounts paid, broken down by individual settlement and judgment, premiums paid for insurance against use of force settlements or judgements, and information on bonds used to finance such payments.
League Position: Pending
AB 1472 (Stone) Personal Rights. False Reports to Law Enforcement.
This measure would make false reports to police, including 911 calls, a violation of the Ralph Civil Rights Act when made falsely or in reckless disregard of the truth. This bill would also allow for civil action against persons who make false police reports or claims, regardless of discriminatory motive.
League Position: Pending
AB 1506 (McCarty) Police Use of Force.
This measure would allow local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys to more regularly request the Attorney General to launch a formal review of situations where an officer used force that resulted in death or harm. Under the measure, the Department of Justice would have to review the incident and, upon its conclusion, could pursue prosecution should that force be found unwarranted.
League Position: Pending
AB 1550 (Bonta) Discriminatory Emergency Calls.
This measure would authorize a person to bring civil action against any responsible party, who, motivated by a person’s protected status, knowingly causes a peace officer to encounter the person with the intent to infringe upon the person’s rights or cause the person to feel harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed. The measure outlines the various types of damages a prevailing plaintiff may recover from a responsible party. Additionally, it would make a false report that is deemed a hate crime punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony.
League Position: Pending
AB 2122 (Rubio, Blanca) Unlawful Cannabis Activity. Enforcement.
This measure would allow local government agencies to impose a civil penalty on persons aiding and abetting unlicensed commercial cannabis activity of up to $30,000 for each violation.
League Position: Support
AB 2532 (Irwin) Firearms. Gun Violence Restraining Orders.
This bill would add both a district attorney and city attorney to the list of persons authorized to request the issuance or renewal of a gun violence restraining order.
League Position: Pending
AB 2617 (Gabriel) Firearms. Prohibited Persons.
This measure would specify that any person who owns or possesses a firearm, and is subject to an out-of-state issued gun violence restraining order (GVRO), is prohibited from having custody or control of, or attempting to purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition for a five-year period, commencing upon the expiration of the existing GVRO.
League Position: Support
AB 3330 (O’Donnell) Cannabis. Advertising and Marketing. Penalties.
This measure would prohibit a person from collecting a fee or any other form of compensation for advertising or marketing the sale or provision of unlicensed cannabis products.
League Position: Support
SB 629 (McGuire) Public Peace. Media Access.
This measure would ensure access to closed off areas by members of the media during a demonstration, march, protest or rally, and would establish misdemeanor liability for an officer who assaults a journalist or obstructs their ability to gather or process news.
League Position: Pending
SB 731 (Bradford) Public Employment
This measure would establish a decertification process for peace officers through a specified commission within the Department of Justice, who would be tasked with determining whether an officer’s certification should be denied or revoked.  It would also remove qualified immunity for a peace officer that is deemed to have engaged in misconduct, as outlined in the bill.
League Position: Pending
SB 776 (Skinner) Peace Officers: Release of Records
This measure would make the following records subject to disclosure:
  • Every incident involving use of force;
  • Unsustained findings from complaints relating to sexual assault or dishonesty
  • Sustained findings of wrongful arrests and wrongful searches
  • Records relating to an incident involving prejudice or discrimination on the basis of specified protected classes.
  • Records relating to an incident in which an officer resigned before an investigation is completed
The measure would also:
  • Require the retention of all complaints currently in the possession of a department or agency;
  • Prohibit assertion of the attorney-client privilege to limit the disclosure of factual information provided by the public entity to its attorney, factual information discovered by any investigation done by the public entity’s attorney, or billing records related to the work done by the attorney; and
  • Impose a $1,000 civil fine per day for each day beyond 30 days that records subject to disclosure are not disclosed.
League Position: Pending
Revenue & Taxation
SB 1441 (McGuire) Local Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Collection Act.
This measure would remove the sunset on local governments’ ability to collect Utility User Taxes from retail sales of prepaid wireless telecommunication products and services and would assist the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration with administration of the program.
League Position: Support
Transportation, Communications, Public Works
AB 570 (Aguiar-Curry) Communications. Broadband Services. California Advanced Services Fund.
This measure would make various changes to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Notably, AB 570 would authorize the California Public Utilities Commission to continue to collect the surcharges that fund the CASF beyond the 2022 sunset. The bill would also establish the State Agency Direct Allocation Account in the CASF to connect fairgrounds and anchor institutions, connect tribal lands and people, and upgrade networks in low-income census blocks to enable distance learning and telehealth and telemedicine.
League Position: Watch
AB 1286 (Muratsuchi) Shared Mobility Devices. Agreements.
This measure would prohibit shared mobility device providers (such as Lime and Bird) from waiving the legal rights and remedies of their users, require them to maintain general liability insurance coverage, and have prior authorization from the jurisdictions where they wish to operate.
League Position: Support/Co-Sponsor
AB 2421 (Quirk) Land Use. Permitting. Wireless Communications. Emergency Standby Generators.
This measure would, until 2024, require local agencies to make the installation of an emergency standby generator within the physical footprint of a macro cell tower site subject only to local agency administrative review. The bill would specify procedures for the processing of permit applications by a local agency and would authorize a local agency to impose a fee to cover costs associated with administering the bill’s provisions.
League Position: Neutral
SB 431 (McGuire) Mobile Telephony Service Base Transceiver Station Towers. Communications Infrastructure. Performance Reliability Standards.
This measure would require CPUC and Cal OES to develop and implement performance reliability standards for “cell towers” and other infrastructure for providing mobile telephony service located within a commission-designated Tier 2 or Tier 3 High Fire Threat District.
League Position: Support
SB 794 (Jackson) Emergency Services. Telecommunications.
This measure would authorize cities to enter into agreements with their own social services departments and/or public utility or to utilize its own records to automatically enroll their residents into the city- or county-operated public emergency warning system. The measure would require local governments exercising this authority to provide an opt-out for residents that do not wish to be enrolled in the system.
League Position: Support
SB 865 (Hill) Excavations. Subsurface Installations.
This measure would strengthen safe excavation practices by increasing collaboration between excavators and operators, requiring data sharing amongst key stakeholders, and moving the Dig Safe Board to the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety. Entities that violate the requirements of SB 865 would face civil penalties.
League Position: Support
SB 1130 (Gonzalez) Telecommunications. California Advanced Services Fund.
This measure would require the CPUC to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund program to encourage deployment of 21st century-ready communications. The bill would provide that the goal of the program is to approve funding for infrastructure projects that will provide high-capacity, future-proof infrastructure to unserved areas or unserved high-poverty areas.
League Position: Support
SB 1351 (Beall) Transportation Improvement Fee. Revenue Bonds.
This measure would authorize the issuance of revenue bonds for state highway improvement projects. This measure would create the Transportation Improvement Fee subaccount, and use these funds to pay for the bonds and debt service. As currently drafted, this measure would divert funds away from the local streets and roads fund.
League Position: Pending
Governance, Transparency, and Labor Relations
AB 664 (Cooper) Workers’ Compensation. Injury. Communicable Disease.
This measure would define “injury,” for certain state and local firefighting personnel, peace officers, certain hospital employees, and certain fire and rescue services coordinators who work for Cal OES to include being exposed to or contracting, on or after Jan. 1, 2020, a communicable disease, including COVID-19, that is the subject of a state or local declaration of a state of emergency that is issued on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The bill would create a conclusive presumption, as specified, that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. The bill would apply to injuries that occurred prior to the declaration of the state of emergency. The bill would also exempt these provisions from the apportionment requirements.
League Position: Watch
AB 685 (Reyes) Occupational Safety. COVID-19 Exposure. Notification.
This measure would subject employers to unworkably vague standards and criminal liability when they fail to comply with those standards. AB 685 attempts to create a “notice” to employees and authorities upon “exposure.” However, its definition of “exposure” is broad and vague, resulting in triggering “exposures” in nonsensical scenarios. In addition, its notice provisions will not help workplace safety and ignore already existing notification mechanisms functioning for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
League Position: Oppose
AB 2473 (Cooper) Public Investment Funds.
This measure would exempt specified records from disclosure under the California Public Records Act regarding an internally managed private loan made directly by a public investment fund, including quarterly and annual financial statements of the borrower or its constituent owners, unless the information has already been publicly released by the keeper of the information.
League Position: Support
AB 2999 (Low) Employees. Bereavement Leave.
This measure would enact the Bereavement Leave Act of 2020. The bill would require an employer to grant an employee up to 10 business days of unpaid bereavement leave upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or domestic partner, in accordance with certain procedures, and subject to certain exclusions. The bill would prohibit an employer from interfering with or restraining the exercise or attempt to exercise the employee’s right to take this leave. This bill would authorize an employee who has been discharged, disciplined, or discriminated against for exercising their right to bereavement leave to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or bring a civil action against their employer for reinstatement, specified damages, and attorney’s fees.
League Position: Oppose
AB 3216 (Kalra) Employee Leave. Authorization.
This measure would revise and recast provisions under the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act, or California Family Rights Act, to make it an unlawful employment practice for any employer to refuse grant a request by an employee, with qualified employment service, to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period for family care and medical leave, including birth of the employee’s child or adoption, to care for the employee’s own medical condition, or for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner, as specified. The bill would also make it an unlawful business practice for an employer to refuse to grant an employee up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for emergency leave, as defined.
League Position: Oppose
SB 1159 (Hill) Workers’ Compensation. COVID-19. Critical Workers.
This measure would, until an unspecified date, define “injury” for a critical worker, as specified, to include illness or death that results from exposure to COVID-19 under specified circumstances. The bill would create a disputable presumption, as specified, that an injury that develops or manifests itself while a critical worker is employed arose out of and in the course of the employment.
League Position: Note Concerns
SB 1173 (Durazo) Public Employment. Labor Relations. Employee Information.
This measure would generally authorize an exclusive representative to file a charge of an unfair labor practice with the Public Employment Relations Board, as specified, alleging a violation of the requirements to provide employee information. Current law requires public employers to provide certain labor representatives with the names and home addresses of newly hired employees, as well as their job titles, departments, work locations, telephone numbers, and personal email addresses, within 30 days of hire or by the first pay period of the month following hire. Current law also requires the public employers to provide this information for all employees in a bargaining unit at least every 120 days, except as specified.
League Position: Oppose
SB 1383 (Jackson) Unlawful Employment Practice. Family Leave.
This measure would place a significant burden on employers at a time when they can least afford it by making it an unlawful employment practice for any employer to refuse to grant a request by an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner. The bill would also require an employer who employees’ both parents of a child to grant leave to each employee.
League Position: Oppose
Housing, Community and Economic Development
Planning and Zoning
AB 1279 (Bloom) Housing Developments. High-resource Areas.
This measure would require the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to designate areas in this state as high-resource areas by Jan. 1, 2021, and every five years thereafter. In any area designated as a high-resource area, this measure would require cities, at the request of a developer, to allow up to fourplexes in single-family zones and up to 100 units per acre in commercial zones. These projects shall receive ministerial approval (use by-right).
League Position: Oppose Unless Amended
AB 2345 (Gonzalez) Planning and Zoning. Density Bonus.
This measure would greatly expand Density Bonus law and allow developers to receive up to five concessions and incentives from local governments and up to 50 percent more density.
League Position: Oppose Unless Amended
AB 3040 (Chiu) Local Planning. Regional Housing Need.
This measure would create a voluntary program to incentivize local governments to allow four units per parcel, by-right, in exchange for additional credit towards the city or county’s share of the regional housing need allocation for each site identified under these provisions. The measure would prohibit the cumulative credit received by a city or county from exceeding more than 25 percent of the total units needed to meet its regional housing needs allocation.
League Position: Support in Concept
SB 1085 (Skinner) Density Bonus Law. Housing for Lower-income Students.
This measure would require a city or county to grant additional incentives or concessions for a project that contains a specified percentage of units for moderate income rental housing and lower income student housing developments.
League Position: No Position After League Amendments   
SB 899 (Wiener) Planning and Zoning. Housing Development. Higher Education Institutions and Religious Institutions.
This measure would require local jurisdictions to approve, by right, specified housing
developments on land owned by a religious institution or nonprofit college
regardless of the existing locally adopted zoning standards.
League Position: Oppose
SB 1120 (Atkins) Subdivisions. Tentative Maps.
This measure would build off the Accessory Dwelling Unit law allowing for at least three units per parcel to further encourage development in single-family neighborhoods by creating a ministerial approval process for duplexes and lot splits that meet local zoning, environmental and tenant displacement standards.
League Position: Support if Amended 
SB 1299 (Portantino) Housing Development. Incentives. Rezoning of Idle Retail Sites.
This measure would, upon appropriation by the Legislature, require HCD to administer a program to provide incentives in the form of grants allocated as provided to local governments that rezone idle sites used for a big box retailer or a commercial shopping center to instead allow the development of workforce housing.
League Position: Support
SB 1385 (Caballero) Local Planning. Housing in Commercial Zones.
This measure, the Neighborhood Homes Act, would deem a housing development project, as defined, an authorized use on a neighborhood lot that is zoned for office or retail commercial use under a local agency’s zoning code or general plan. The measure would require the density for a housing development under these provisions to meet or exceed the density deemed appropriate to accommodate housing for lower income households according to the type of local jurisdiction, including a density of at least 20 units per acre for a suburban jurisdiction.
League Position: Watch
AB 3269 (Chiu) State and Local Homelessness Plans.
This measure, upon appropriation by the Legislature, would require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to conduct, or contract with an entity to conduct, a statewide needs and gaps analysis to identify, among other things, state programs that provide housing or services to persons experiencing homelessness and funding required to move persons experiencing homelessness into permanent housing. This measure would also state the intent of the Legislature that each state and local agency aim to reduce homelessness within its jurisdiction by 90 percent by Dec. 31, 2028.
League Position: Oppose Unless Amended
AB 3300 (Santiago) Homelessness Grant Funds.
This measure would appropriate, commencing with the 2020–21 fiscal year and every fiscal year thereafter, without regard to fiscal year, $2 billion from the General Fund to HCD for the purpose of providing local jurisdictions and other specified entities with ongoing grant funds to sustain or expand efforts to address their immediate and long-term homelessness challenges. The measure would require $1.1 billion to be distributed to counties and continuums of care, $800 million to be distributed to cities with a population of at least 300,000, and $100 million to nonprofit housing developers for specified purposes relating to the provision of housing. The measure would require the method of allocation to be based on a formula that considers specified data.
League Position: Watch
Mitigation Fees/Development Fees
AB 1484 (Grayson) Mitigation Fee Act.
This measure would prohibit a local agency from imposing a housing impact requirement adopted by the local agency on a housing development project unless specified requirements are satisfied by the local agency, including that the housing impact requirement be roughly proportional in both nature and extent to the impact created by the housing development project.
League Position: Oppose
SB 795 (Beall) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program.
This measure would invest $2 billion annually for 5 years into the immediate construction of affordable housing units and programs that address and prevent homelessness. Additionally, this measure would create two new programs administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to help local governments with their economic recovery and natural disaster preparedness.
Of the $2 billion, $1.15 billion shall be used to construct affordable housing, spur economic development and create jobs through infrastructure and employment programs. Funds will be distributed as follows:
1) Multi-family Housing Program-$500 million (25 percent);
2) Infill Incentive Grant Program-$300 million (15 percent);
3) Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant Program-$200 million (10 percent);
4) Cal Home Program-$75 million (3.75 percent);
5) Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Fund-$75 million (3.75 percent)
League Position: Support

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