Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
AB 45 (Mullin) – Pending
As Introduced December 2, 2014
AB 45, by Assembly Member Mullin, is currently a spot bill that has intent language that would express the Legislature’s intent to enact legislation that would establish curbside household hazardous waste collection programs. CSAC staff has met with the author’s office to discuss our policy on extended producer responsibility (EPR) and issues that we might have with a mandatory curbside household hazardous waste collection program. Staff has informed us that they do not have language and that they will engage a broad stakeholder group to work on the bill. They also voiced their support of EPR, in general.
The Governor’s January budget included $10m in funding for the network of California Fairs, including approximately $3m in General Fund monies to assist with Fair operations and $7m for deferred maintenance at California Fairs. CSAC has obtained additional details regarding this allocation. The $3.1 m will go to fund two positions ($265,000), a training program ($200,000) and program support for 64 of the 78 small to medium sized fairs ($2.6). CSAC is working to get information on which fairs will be included.
Secure Rural Schools
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday that more than $50 million will be paid to 41 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to support local schools and roads under the Twenty-Five Percent Fund Act of 1908. The 1908 Act requiring 25-percent payments is permanent law and will guide 2014 distribution of payments, as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act authority expired on September 30, 2014.
The Administration supported a 5-year reauthorization of the program to transition payments to counties in the fiscal year (FY) 2015 President’s Budget. However, it has not been reauthorized and in the absence of SRS, payments to states revert to pre-existing law under the 1908 Act that mandates 25-percent payments to the states from receipts from national forests in each state. Seven-year rolling averages of receipts from national forests located in each state are required to calculate the 25-percent payments for the benefit of public schools and public roads. Unlike SRS, these payments do not allow states an election to allocate funds for work similar to Title II (conservation work on national forests) or Title III (county projects for Firewise programs, emergency services or community wildfire protection plans) authorized in the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. However, Members of Congress continue to work on reauthorization and are looking to attach a short-term extension onto any moving legislative vehicle at this point.