May 2019 – This Month in Sacramento

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Legislative Update
by Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate


New Senate Bills of Interest

SB 4 (McGuire – D) Housing. Would authorize a development proponent of a neighborhood multifamily project or eligible TOD project located on an eligible parcel to submit an application for a streamlined, ministerial approval process that is not subject to a conditional use permit. The bill would define an “eligible TOD project” as a project located in an urban community, as defined, that meets specified height requirements, is located within 1/2 mile of an existing or planned transit station parcel or entrance, and meets other floor area ratio, density, parking, and zoning requirements.

SB 5 (Beall – D) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program. Would establish the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program. The bill would authorize a city, county, city and county, joint powers agency, enhanced infrastructure financing district, affordable housing authority, community revitalization and investment authority, transit village development district, or a combination of those entities, to apply to the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Committee to participate in the program and would authorize the committee to approve or deny plans for projects meeting specific criteria.

SB 6 (Beall – D) Residential development: available land. Would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to furnish the Department of General Services with a list of local lands suitable and available for residential development as identified by a local government as part of the housing element of its general plan.

SB 19 (Dodd – D) Water resources: stream gages. Would require the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board to develop a plan to deploy a network of stream gages that includes a determination of funding needs and opportunities for modernizing and reactivating existing gages and deploying new gages, as specified.  Support

SB 50 (Wiener – D) Planning and zoning: housing development: incentives. Would require a city or county to grant an equitable communities incentive when a development proponent seeks and agrees to construct a residential development that satisfies specified criteria, including, among other things, that the residential development is either a job-rich housing project or a transit-rich housing project, as those terms are defined; the site does not contain, or has not contained, housing occupied by tenants or accommodations withdrawn from rent or lease in accordance with specified law within specified time periods; and the residential development complies with specified additional requirements under existing law.

SB 128 (Beall – D) Enhanced infrastructure financing districts: bonds: issuance. Current law authorizes the legislative body of a city or a county to establish an enhanced infrastructure financing district, with a governing body referred to as a public financing authority, to finance public capital facilities or other specified projects of communitywide significance. This bill would authorize the public financing authority to issue bonds for these purposes without submitting a proposal to the voters.

SB 134 (Hertzberg – D) Water conservation: water loss performance standards: enforcement. Current law authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to issue information orders, written notices, and conservation orders to an urban retail water supplier that does not meet its urban water use objective, and existing law authorizes the board to impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified. Current law requires the board, no earlier than January 1, 2019, and no later than July 1, 2020, to adopt rules requiring urban retail water suppliers to meet performance standards for the volume of water losses. This bill would prohibit the board from imposing liability for a violation of the performance standards for the volume of water losses except as part of the enforcement of an urban water use objective.

SB 137 (Dodd – D) Federal transportation funds: state exchange programs. Current federal law apportions transportation funds to the states under various programs, including the Surface Transportation Program and the Highway Safety Improvement Program, subject to certain conditions on the use of those funds. Current law establishes the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to address deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system, and funds that program from fuel taxes and an annual transportation improvement fee imposed on vehicles. This bill would authorize the Department of Transportation to allow the above-described federal transportation funds that are allocated as local assistance to be exchanged for Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program funds appropriated to the department.

SB 197 (Beall – D) Department of Transportation: retention proceeds. Current law prohibits the Department of Transportation, until January 1, 2020, from withholding retention proceeds when making progress payments for work performed by a contractor. This bill would delete the repeal of this provision, thereby making the prohibition operative indefinitely.

SB 200 (Monning – D) Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury and would provide that moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the State Water Resources Control Board.

SB 204 (Dodd – D) State Water Project: contracts. Would require the Department of Water Resources to provide at least 10 days’ notice to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and relevant policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature before holding public sessions to negotiate any potential amendment of a long-term water supply contract that is of projectwide significance with substantially similar terms intended to be offered to all contractors.

SB 277 (Beall – D) Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program: guidelines. The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 continuously appropriates $200,000,000 annually from the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account for allocation by the California Transportation Commission to local or regional transportation agencies that have sought and received voter approval of taxes or that have imposed certain fees, which taxes or fees are dedicated solely to transportation improvements. Existing law requires the commission, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation, transportation planning agencies, county transportation commissions, and other local agencies, to develop guidelines for the allocation of those moneys, and authorizes the commission to amend the adopted guidelines after conducting at least one public hearing. This bill would require the commission, in cooperation with those same entities, to biennially update the guidelines with final approval of the update occurring on or before January 1 of each even-numbered year.

SB 330 (Skinner – D) Housing Crisis Act of 2019. Would, until January 1, 2030, with respect to land where housing is an allowable use, prohibit the legislative body of a county or city, defined to include the electorate exercising its local initiative or referendum power, in which specified conditions exist, from enacting an amendment to a general plan or specific plan or adopting or amending any zoning ordinance that would have the effect of (A) changing the zoning classification of a parcel or parcels of property to a less intensive use or reducing the intensity of land use within an existing zoning district below what was allowed under the general plan or specific plan land use designation and zoning ordinances of the county or city as in effect on January 1, 2018; (B) imposing a moratorium on housing development within all or a portion of the jurisdiction of the county or city, except as provided; (C) imposing design standards that are more costly than those in effect on January 1, 2019; or (D) establishing or implementing any provision that limits the number of land use approvals or permits necessary for the approval and construction of housing that will be issued or allocated within the county or city.

SB 332 (Hertzberg – D) Wastewater treatment: recycled water. Would declare, except in compliance with the bill’s provisions, that the discharge of treated wastewater from ocean outfalls is a waste and unreasonable use of water. The bill would require each wastewater treatment facility that discharges through an ocean outfall and affiliated water suppliers to reduce the facility’s annual flow as compared to the average annual wastewater discharge baseline volume, as prescribed, by at least 50% on or before January 1, 2030, and by at least 95% on or before January 1, 2040. The bill would subject the owner or operator of a wastewater treatment facility, as well as the affiliated water suppliers, to a civil penalty of $2,000 per acre-foot of water above the required reduction in overall volume discharge for the failure to meet these deadlines. Disfavor

SB 339 (Jones – R) Land surveyors. The Professional Land Surveyors’ Act requires a licensee to report to the board in writing the occurrence of specified events in relation to the licensee within 90 days of the date the licensee has knowledge of the event. Under the act, the failure of a licensee to report to the board in the time and manner required is grounds for disciplinary action. This bill would prohibit a licensee who is retained as a expert from entering into a nondisclosure agreement, or similar agreement, if the agreement prohibits the licensee from reporting the occurrence of any of those specified events.

SB 384 (Morrell – R) Housing. CEQA requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA establishes a procedure by which a person may seek judicial review of the decision of the lead agency made pursuant to CEQA. This bill would establish specified procedures for the administrative and judicial review of the environmental review and approvals granted for housing development projects with 50 or more residential units

SB 414 (Caballero – D) Small System Water Authority Act of 2019. Would create the Small System Water Authority Act of 2019 and state legislative findings and declarations relating to authorizing the creation of small system water authorities that will have powers to absorb, improve, and competently operate noncompliant public water systems. The bill, no later than March 1, 2020, would require the state board to provide written notice to cure to all public agencies, private water companies, or mutual water companies that operate a public water system that has either less than 3,000 service connections or that serves less than 10,000 people, and are not in compliance, for the period from July 1, 2018, through December 31, 2019, with one or more state or federal primary drinking water standard maximum contaminant levels.

SB 474 (Stern – D) Department of Water Resources: appropriations of water. Under existing law, the Department of Water Resources is required to make and file with the State Water Resources Control Board applications for the appropriation of any water that, in the department’s judgment, is or may be required in the development and completion of all or part of a general or coordinated plan for the development, utilization, or conservation of the water resources of the state. Existing law gives those applications priority, as of the date of filing the application, over any subsequent application and exempts certain water rights diligence provisions from generally applying to the applications.This bill would eliminate the exemption from the application of the diligence provisions as of January 1, 2021.

SB 528 (Hueso – D) California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank. Would establish the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Commission and place the I-Bank under the supervision of the commission. The bill would require that the commission be comprised of the Governor, the Treasurer, the Attorney General, and the person who served as Governor immediately preceding the current Governor. The bill would require the commission to oversee the activities of the board of directors and the executive director, and to appoint the members of the board of directors and the executive director subject to confirmation by both houses of the Legislature.

SB 556 (Pan – D) Professional land surveyors. Would include within the practices that subject a person to the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act, with regard to the practice of identifying the alignment or elevation of fixed works, the laying out through the use of mathematics or geometric measurements the alignment or elevation for any of the fixed works embraced within the practice of civil engineering, including any items designed within the practice of electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. The bill would expand the practice of land surveying to include determining the benthic surface below water bodies and the measuring for volumetric calculations of earthwork.

SB 669 (Caballero – D) Water quality: Safe Drinking Water Fund. Would establish the Safe Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury and would provide that moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the State Water Resources Control Board. The bill would require the state board to administer the fund to assist community water systems in disadvantaged communities that are chronically noncompliant relative to the federal and state drinking water standards and do not have the financial capacity to pay for operation and maintenance costs to comply with those standards, as specified.  Watch

SB 690 (Hueso – D) Water quality: Tijuana River. Would require the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego region, to negotiate an interagency agreement with the federal government under which the Department of Water Resources would be responsible for the planning, design, permitting, and construction of the Tijuana River Border Pollution Control Project, as defined. The bill would require the state share of funding for the project to equal the federal share and would require the proposed interagency agreement to make the federal government responsible for the ownership, operation, and maintenance of the project after it has been constructed.

SJR 5 (Beall – D) California transportation infrastructure. Would urge the Congress and the President of the United States to (1) provide all federal resources promised to California and other states expeditiously and without delay, (2) work together to enact the robust bipartisan federal infrastructure legislation necessary to restore California’s and other states’ crumbling road and freight infrastructure, respond to growing traffic congestion, and increase investment in public transportation, most particularly, by expanding paratransit services for the elderly and those with special needs, and (3) address the shortfall in the federal Highway Trust Fund by restoring the lost purchasing power of the federal fuel tax, in order to provide the long-term funding stability necessary for California and other states.


New Reports of Interest

The International Council on Clean Transportation released Quantifying the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Gap across U.S. Markets.  “This report quantifies the gap in charging infrastructure to power more than 3 million expected electric vehicles by 2025. Based on the expected growth across the 100 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas, [the authors] estimate the amount of charging of various types that will be needed to power these vehicles…. The largest charging gaps are in markets where electric vehicle uptake will grow most rapidly, including in many California cities, Boston, New York, Portland, Denver, and Washington, D.C.”

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has released its report, “A Review of the State’s Active Transportation Program,” finds “most projects benefit disadvantaged communities” by supporting construction of sidewalks, bike lanes and crossing signals, etc., but “it is impossible to determine key program outcomes, such as whether the program is resulting in increased walking and biking and improved safety,” recommends requiring California Transportation Commission and Caltrans to “collect more accurate project outcome data.”

Air Resources Board issues report Cap-and-trade spending doubles to $1.4 billion in 2018 which details projects across California’s 58 counties, ranging from “creating more fire-resilient communities and ecosystems to installing water-efficient irrigation systems on farms to building more affordable housing and new public transit lines; notes that since its inception in 2012 the cap-and-trade program has appropriated $9.3 billion.



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