GFA Bill Round-Up: June 2, 2022
Last Friday, May 27 marked the final day for the Legislature to pass bills introduced in their house of origin. As policy committees pick back up and the June 15 budget deadline approaches, the CSAC Government Finance and Administration team would like to provide you with an update on some of the key pieces of legislation that moved last week.
AB 1951 (Grayson): Manufacturing Sales and Use Tax Exemption
This bill would expand, for five years, the current partial sales and use tax (SUT) exemption for manufacturing and research and development equipment to include local SUT, including Bradley-Burns, Prop. 172, both realignments, transportation, and local add-ons. Current law applies this exemption only to the statewide 3.9375% SUT rate. AB 1951 passed out of the Assembly last week and is now pending committee referral in the Senate. CSAC opposes AB 1951 due to the substantial impact it will have on county revenue.
AB 1944 (Lee): Teleconferencing During Open Meetings
This bill would authorize members of legislative bodies to teleconference from a remote location without making the address of that location public, so long as the legislative body provides a video stream for members of the public and allows the public to provide public comment via telephone or videoconference. Prior to its narrow passage off the Assembly Floor last week, AB 1944 was amended to additionally require for those meetings at least a quorum of the legislative body to participate from a single, public location. CSAC supports AB 1944.
AB 2449 (Rubio): Teleconferencing During Open Meetings
This bill also authorizes members of legislative bodies to teleconference from a remote location without making the address of that location without making the address of that location public, but with different requirements to do so. In addition to requiring a quorum of members participating in person and open to the public, the original version of the bill also required members to participate in both audio and video formats and provide members of the public with the ability to participate remotely. Prior to its approval by the Assembly last week, AB 2449 was amended to require a brief description of the reasoning for a members remote participation on the meeting agenda, limits member teleconferencing to no more than three consecutive months, and sunsets at the beginning of 2028.
AB 2677 (Gabriel): Information Practices Act of 1977
As discussed in a recent bulletin article, CSAC strongly opposed the original version of AB 2677, which would have applied the state statutes that govern the information practices of state agencies to local agencies beginning January 1, 2024. However, amendments taken in Assembly Appropriations Committee removed the bills applicability to local agencies and inserted language stating the intent of the legislature to address local information practices in the future. CSAC therefore removed its opposition to AB 2677, which was approved by the Legislature last week, and is committed to working with the Legislature to design an incentive-based system with adequate resources.
AB 2748 (Holden): Digital Equity in Video Franchising Act of 2022
This bill would significantly strengthen DIVCA, the state law that replaced local franchises with a state franchise system for digital video services. The companies that provide digital video services also provide broadband in those same service areas. Previously, counties and cities could negotiate franchises locally with cable and telecom companies to ensure they could not cherry-pick which neighborhoods they wanted to serve. CSAC supports AB 2748, which was approved by the Assembly last week.
SB 1173 (Gonzalez): Fossil Fuels Divestment
SB 1173 would prohibit CalPERS and CalSTRS from renewing or making new investments in the top 200 largest fossil fuel companies beginning in 2023. The bill would also require the two boards to divest from these fossil fuel companies by July 1, 2030. CSAC joins a coalition of local agencies opposed to SB 1173 due to the financial strain and negative impact the divestment of CalPERS assets would have on California’s largest public retirement funds, both of which also oppose the bill. The bill narrowing passed out of the Senate last week.
SB 1328 (McGuire): Russia and Belarus Divestments and Prohibited Contracts
This measure, which was significantly amended as it was passed out of Senate Appropriations Committee, prohibits all public pension systems from investing in companies that are located in Russia or Belarus or complicit in the invasion of Ukraine. Unlike SB 1173, this measure also applies to 37 Act county pension systems. The measure also prohibits state agencies from contracting with Russia and Belarus. The previous version of the bill would have imposed much broader restrictions on pension investments and would have required pension funds to survey portfolio companies for compliance. The bill was approved by the Senate last week.
Labor and Employment:
SB 1127 (Atkins): Workers Compensation and presumptions
This bill reduces the timeframe for employers to investigate workers compensation claims, increases penalties on employers for “unreasonably” denying claims, and significantly increases the duration of temporary disability for cancer presumption claims. CSAC, along with a large coalition of public and private employers is opposed to SB 1127 due to the financial burden and liability it would place on counties. SB 1127 was approved by the Senate last week.
SB 1313 (Hertzberg): Los Angeles County Health Benefits
This bill would prohibit the County of Los Angeles from providing an employee represented by an employee organization a health benefit plan that provides fewer benefits than health plans offered to employees not represented by an employee organization. CSAC has concerns with the bill, as this intends to supersede the local bargaining process and could set an extremely problematic precedent in all counties. SB 1313 was approved by the Senate last week.