CSAC Bulletin Article

Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources New Law Update

November 9, 2017

Governor Brown concluded legislative business by the October 15 deadline, ultimately signing 859 bills into law. CSAC is publishing a series of updates on new laws from each policy area. This week, the report from the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources policy unit provides information on the following legislation that has been enacted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Other policy area reports on new laws can be found at these links:

Budget Bills

AB 109 (Ting) and AB 134 (Committee on Budget) together enacted $1.5 billion in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Expenditures include $40 million for organic waste diversion and $345.8 million for Forestry and Natural Resources projects including funds for urban greening and forest fire prevention efforts.

AB 133 (Committee on Budget) makes clean up changes to SB 94 which enacted major policy changes in cannabis law in June of 2017.

Stormwater Financing

SB 231 (Hertzberg) clarifies the constitutional and statutory authority of counties, cities, and local water agencies to finance stormwater projects by the same process used for other similar water infrastructure fees and charges as enacted by California voters under Proposition 218.

Parks, Water and Wildlife Conservation Bond

SB 5 (DeLeon) places a $4 billion bond on the Primary Election Ballot in June 2018 and if approved by voters could provide significant funding for parks, water, and wildlife conservation in areas across the State.

PACE Legislation

AB 1284 (Dababneh) will provide improved oversight of the PACE program by creating a new licensing requirement for Program Administrators through the Department of Business Oversight, training requirements for employees, and a requirement that Program Administrators assess a homeowner’s ability to pay back an assessment, among other measures.

SB 242 (Skinner) improves the PACE program for both consumers and program administrators through disclosure requirements.

Improved Mattress Recycling Legislation

AB 1158 (Chu) will help divert carpet from landfills by implementing a reasonable target recycle rate of 24% for post-consumer used carpet and makes important changes to the carpet stewardship program.

Climate Resiliency

AB 184 (Berman) helps ensure that California can continue its important work on preparing and planning for sea level rise. Existing law requires agencies to produce and update a Planning for Sea Level Rise Database online. That law was set to expire on January 1st, 2018, but the passage of this bill extends the law’s sunset date to January 1st, 2023.

Groundwater

SB 252 (Dodd) requires applicants for a new well permit in a city or county in critically overdrafted basins to take specific actions as part of an application for a well permit. CSAC removed our opposition to this bill after amendments were taken that addressed our concerns.

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