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Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > May > League Provides Update on Priority Bills in Legislature
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League Provides Update on Priority Bills in Legislature

May 27, 2020
Legislative policy committees are in full swing in the Capitol, as the deadlines for fiscal committees to hear and report bills to the floor are just a few weeks away. 
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.
Below is a list of bills in the Legislature with important impacts to cities, and the League's position on them. 
(As of May 22, 2020)

Environmental Quality

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
SB 950 (Jackson) California Environmental Quality Act. Housing and Land Use.
This measure would make numerous changes to CEQA, including changes to tolling agreements, the CEQA initiative process, and what information is included in the “administrative record.” 
League Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Climate Change
AB 3256 (E. Garcia) Climate Risks. Bond Measure.

This measure is the vehicle for the Assembly’s climate resiliency bond measure, and would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Climate Resilience, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020. If approved by the voters, the bill authorizes a $6.980 billion bond for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, climate resilience, drought preparation, and flood protection program. The Legislature has until June 25 to place this bond measure on the November 2020 ballot.
League Position: Watch
SB 45 (Allen) Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.
This measure is the vehicle for the Senate’s climate resiliency bond measure, and would authorize the issuance of $5.51 billion in bonds for wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation, and flood protection programs. The Legislature has until June 25 to place this bond measure on the November 2020 ballot.
League Position: Watch
Emergency/Disaster Preparedness and Response
AB 2178 (Levine) Emergency Services.

This measure would amend the California Emergency Services Act to additionally include de-energization, defined as a planned utility-initiated power shutoff, within those conditions constituting a state of emergency and a local emergency. Similar to SB 862 (Dodd).
League Position: Pending
SB 378 (Wiener) Electrical Corporations. De-energization Events. Procedures. Allocation of Costs. Reports.
This measure requires electrical corporations, such as Pacific Gas and Electric; Southern California Edison; and San Diego Gas and Electric; to collect more data on their electrical corporation equipment and ensure that costs accrued by local governments and customers during a utility-initiated power shutoff are recovered in a timely manner. This measure also establishes a civil penalty imposed on electrical corporations during a de-energization event as determined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Electrical corporations must also notify cities and counties as early as possible of any utility-initiated power shutoff, and provide all specific local information.
League Position: Support
SB 862 (Dodd) Planned Power Outage. Public Safety.
This measure would do the following:
  • Amend the California Emergency Services Act to additionally include a de-energization event within a sudden and severe energy shortage constituting a state of emergency and a local emergency;
  • Require an electrical corporation, as a part of its wildfire mitigation plan, to include protocols that deal specifically with access and functional need individuals, including those individuals who are enrolled in the California Alternative Rates for Energy program;
  • Require an electrical corporation to coordinate with local governments in its service territory to identify sites within those jurisdictions where community resource centers can be established and operated during a de-energization event and the level of services that will be available at those centers;
  • Require the electrical corporation to perform additional duties in coordination with local governments, including performing any necessary electrical upgrades to ensure that a mobile backup generator can be located at, and provide the necessary electricity for, the community resource center during a de-energization event; and is similar to AB 2178 (Levine).
League Position: Pending
Energy and Utilities
SB 1215 (Stern) Mircogrids.

This measure would make a number of changes to who can build and operate a mircogrid. Additionally, this bill would direct the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to develop a database of critical infrastructure to determine if they are in high fire threat areas.
League Position: Watch
SB 1312 (McGuire) Electrical Corporations. De-energization.
This measure would create a framework to shorten and decrease utility-initiated power shutoff events and to ultimately reduce their use. This measure also requires Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) to take both short- and long-term steps to harden their infrastructure and reduce the impacts of utility-initiated power shutoff events on Californians. In doing so, it requires IOUs to prioritize public health and safety as well as uphold the belief that Californians today should have the right to reliable electrical service.
League Position: Support
Community Services
Disaster Preparedness and Community Resiliency
AB 2064 (Patterson) Emergency Preparedness. Access and Functional Needs.

This measure would amend the California Emergency Services Act to require Cal OES to include best practices, including needs for access and function needs populations, in the next update of the existing State Emergency Plan.
League Position: Pending
AB 2213 (Limon) Office of Emergency Services: Model Guidelines.  
This measure requires 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: Watch
Tobacco, E-Cigarettes, and Vaping
SB 793 (Hill) Flavored Tobacco Products.

This measure would prohibit a tobacco retailer from selling a flavored tobacco product and make a violation of this prohibition an infraction punishable by a fine of $250 for each violation. This measure would also state the intent of the Legislature that these provisions not be construed to preempt or prohibit the adoption and implementation of local ordinances related to the prohibition on the sale of flavored tobacco products.
League Position: Watch

Public Safety

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 2481 (Lackey) Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence. Testing.
This bill would require law enforcement agencies, for any sexual assault forensic evidence received by the law enforcement agency prior to Jan. 1, 2016, to submit that evidence to the crime lab on or before Jan. 20, 2021. The bill would additionally require the crime labs, for any sexual assault forensic evidence received by the lab prior to Jan. 1, 2016, to process that evidence no later than May 20, 2021.
League Position: Watch
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: Watch
AB 2617 (Gabriel) Firearms. Prohibited Persons.
This bill specifies 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: Watch
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. The measure would allow a city attorney or city prosecutor to bring an action for a violation of these provisions, subjecting violators of these provisions to a criminal penalty and a civil penalty of up to $30,000.
League Position: Support

Revenue & Taxation

SB 1049 (Glazer) Local Ordinances. Short-term Rentals. 
This measure would authorize a city to impose a fine of up to $5,000 for a violation of a short-term rental ordinance. This measure would also define “short-term rental” for these purposes as a residential property that is rented to a visitor for fewer than 30 days through a centralized online platform where the rental is advertised and payments for the rental are securely processed.
League Position: Watch
SB 1431 (Glazer) Property Taxation. Reassessment. Disaster Relief.
This measure would require county assessors to reassess certain types of properties based on their ability to generate income from renters during the COVID-19 emergency. This measure would be retroactive to April 5, 2020.
League Position: Oppose
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 (UUTs) from retail sales of prepaid wireless telecommunication products and services and would assist the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) with administration of the program.
League Position: Support

Transportation, Communications, Public Works  

AB 2421 (Quirk) Land Use. Permitting. Wireless Communications.
This measure would require local agencies to adopt completed permit applications to install an emergency standby generators within the physical footprint of a macro cell tower site within 60 days of submittal of the application. If a local agency has not approved or denied such permit applications within 60 days, the permit will be deemed approved.
League Position: Concerns
AB 3116 (Irwin) Mobility Devices. Personal Information.
This measure limits the type of data local agencies receive from mobility service providers, operating in their jurisdictions, to aggregated deidentified data. The bill would authorize a public agency to share anonymized trip data with a contractor, agent, or other public agency only if specified conditions are met. AB 3116 is not limited to data for micromobility, but also future modes of transit.
  • “Aggregated” – Data reflects average information, including trip length, trip duration, approximate trip, and location of no less than five separate trips by no less than five separate users.
  • “Deidentified” – Information that cannot reasonably identify, relate to, describe, be capable of being associated with, or be linked, directly or indirectly, to a particular user or trip.
League Position: Oppose
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 requires local governments that exercise 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 will face civil penalties. The funds collected through these penalties will be deposited into the Safe Energy Infrastructure and Excavation Fund to fund public education and outreach programs designed to promote excavation safety around subsurface installations.
League Position: Support
SB 1058 (Hueso) Communications. Moore Universal Telephone Service Act and Internet Service Providers.
This measure would require the CPUC to evaluate the extent to which federal reductions in lifeline telephone service subsidies and the lack of access to reliable, affordable broadband voice service would result in rates limiting access to basic voice service. This bill would also require the commission to direct every internet service provider, to file an annual emergency operations plan.
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
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 coronavirus disease 2019 (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 2473 (Cooper) Public Investment Funds.
This measure would exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records specified records 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 (CFRA), 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 work weeks 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 work weeks 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 coronavirus disease 2019 (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: 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

Housing, Community and Economic Development

Planning and Zoning
AB 725 (Wicks) Housing Element. Moderate-income and Above Moderate-income Housing.

This measure would require incorporated areas within a metropolitan jurisdiction, at least 25 percent of the jurisdiction's share of the regional housing need for both the moderate-income and above moderate-income housing categories must be allocated to sites with zoning that allows at least two units of housing, but no more than 35 units of housing per acre.
League Position: Pending
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: Pending
AB 1851 (Wicks) Faith-based Organizations. Housing Developments. Parking Requirements.
This measure would, upon the request of a developer of a housing development project, require a local agency to ministerially approve a request to that local agency to reduce or eliminate any parking requirements that would otherwise be imposed by that local agency on the development if the housing development project qualifies as a faith-based organization affiliated housing development project. This measure would prohibit a local agency from requiring the replacement of religious-use parking spaces proposed to be eliminated by a faith-based organization’s housing project or from requiring the curing of any preexisting deficit of religious-use parking as a condition of approval of a faith-based organization affiliated housing development project.
League Position: Pending
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: Pending
AB 2580 (Eggman) Conversion of Motels and Hotels. Streamlining.
This measure would authorize a development proponent to submit an application for a development for the conversion of a motel, hotel, or commercial use into multi-family housing units to be subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process, provided that development proponent reserves at least 20 percent of the proposed housing units for persons and families of low or moderate income. The measure would require a local government to notify the development proponent in writing if the local government determines that the development conflicts with any of those objective standards within 30 days of the application being submitted; otherwise, the development would be deemed to comply with those standards.
League Position: Pending
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.
AB 3107 (Bloom) Planning and Zoning. Housing Developments.
This measure would require, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of a city’s or county’s general plan, specific plan, zoning ordinance, or regulation, a housing development in which at least 20 percent of the units have an affordable housing cost or affordable rent for lower income households shall be an allowable use on a site designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses.
League Position: Pending
SB 899 (Wiener) Housing Development. Nonprofit Hospitals or Religious Institutions.
This measure would require that a housing development project be a use by right upon the request of a nonprofit hospital, nonprofit diagnostic or treatment center, nonprofit rehabilitation facility, nonprofit nursing home, or religious institution that partners with a qualified developer on any land owned in fee simple by the applicant if the development satisfies specified criteria.
League Position: Pending
SB 902 (Wiener) Neighborhood Multifamily Project. Use By Right.
This measure would also allow a local government to pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on adopting zoning ordinances enacted by the jurisdiction, including restrictions enacted by a local voter initiative, that limit the legislative body’s ability to adopt zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density per parcel, at a height specified by the local government in the ordinance, and not be subject to CEQA.
League Position: Watch
SB 1085 (Skinner) Density Bonus Law. Housing for Lower-income Students.
This measure would require a city or county to grant one incentive or concession for a project that will contain a specified percentage of units for lower income students in a student housing development.
League Position: Pending
SB 1120 (Atkins) Subdivisions. Tentative Maps.
This measure would build off state Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) law that allows 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: Watch  
SB 1138 (Wiener) Housing Element. Emergency Shelters. Zoning of Sites.
This measure would revise the requirements of the housing element, as described above, in connection with identifying zones or zoning designations that allow residential use, including mixed use, where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit. This would also, for the sixth and each subsequent revision of the housing element, require that a local government that fails to adopt a housing element that HCD has found to be in substantial compliance with state law within 120 days of the statutory deadline to complete the rezoning no later than one year (instead of three years under current law) from the statutory deadline for the adoption of the housing element.
League Position: Pending
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
ACA 10 (Bonta) Personal Rights. Right to Housing.

This measure would declare that the fundamental human right to housing exists in this state. The measure would declare that this right is exclusively enforceable by a public right of action. The measure would specify that it is the shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right through progressively implemented measures, consistent with available resources, within an aggressive but reasonable time frame.
League Position: Pending
AB 2405 (Burke) Housing. Homelessness. Children and Families.
This measure would require local jurisdictions to, on or before Jan. 1, 2022, establish and submit to HCD an actionable plan to house their homeless populations based on their latest point-in-time count.
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: Pending
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: Pending
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 five years into the immediate construction of affordable housing units and programs that address and prevent homelessness. Additionally, this measure creates two new programs administered by the Office of Business and Economic Development Office (GoBiz) to help local governments with their economic recovery and natural disaster preparedness.
Of the $2 billion, $1.15 billion would 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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