Bills of Interest
March 25, 2016
AB 2162 (Chu) – Request for Comments
As Introduced February 17, 2016
AB 2162, by Assembly Member Chu, would create the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, which would prohibit a person from removing from an oak woodland, specified oak trees, unless an oak removal plan and oak removal permit application for the tree removal has been submitted to and approved by the Director of Fish and Wildlife. This bill would require the Fish and Game Commission to adopt regulations to implement the act and also establish an oak removal permit application fee, which would go towards paying the total costs incurred by the department in administering and enforcing the act. This bill has been referred to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
Public Utilities Commission
SB 512 (Leno) – Request for Comments
As Amended January 4, 2016
SB 512, by Senator Leno, would propose a suite of reforms of the operations and governance of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), including requiring the CPUC to hold no less than six sessions per year in Sacramento, expand the information required of the CPUC in its annual report and workplan to the Legislature and Governor, require specific information on its website, apply the Code of Ethics from the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to administrative law judges (ALJs), and others. According to supporters of the bill, SB 512 would improve the agency’s efforts on public engagement by requiring specified information on the website and requiring the agency to seek out those who are likely affected by potential proceedings and actions. This bill also requires all public versions of documents related to proceedings are included in the docket card, which lists all documents for a given proceeding. This bill is currently being held at the Assembly Desk awaiting committee assignment.
Payment in Lieu of Taxes
SB 1188 (McGuire) – Support
As Introduced February 18, 2016
SB 1188, by Senator McGuire, would reverse a change in the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) statue that was made by the Department of Finance last year making the program permissive rather than required. As you may know, The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) operates wildlife management areas throughout the state. Existing law (Fish and Game Code §1504) requires DFW to compensate counties for loss property taxes and assessments as a result of the establishment of a wildlife management area. These “payments in-lieu of taxes” are equal to the county taxes levied upon the property at the time the state acquired the property plus any assessments levied upon the property by any irrigation, drainage, or reclamation district. Last year was the first year counties have received PILT payments in twelve years. The state still owes approximately $9million in back PILT payments to counties.