Government Finance and Operations 04/04/2013
AB 2273 (Ridley- Thomas) – Support
As Introduced on February 21, 2014
AB 2273, by Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, would require reimbursement for counties’ costs to administer special elections taking place after January 1, 2013.
A similar statute was in effect for many years up through the end of 2007. Since then, counties have spent tens of millions of dollars to fill well over 20 legislative and congressional vacancies. These elections are costly and come to counties unexpectedly, after budgets have been approved, placing a significant fiscal burden on county elections departments and other county general funds.
CSAC is very interested in a more efficacious approach to filling vacancies in the Legislature and Congress that will result in lower costs to counties and improved voter participation. In the meantime, however, expenses for past special election costs have been borne by counties and have imposed significant fiscal strain.
The Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee passed AB 2273 on its consent calendar at its April 1 hearing.
SB 942 (Vidak) – Support
As Introduced on February 4, 2014
SB 942, by Senator Andy Vidak, would require reimbursement for counties’ costs to administer special elections that occurred between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2014.
CSAC strongly supports SB 963 for all the same reasons as AB 2273.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider SB 942 at its hearing next Monday, April 7.
SB 963 (Torres) – Support
As Introduced on February 6, 2014
SB 963, by Senator Norma Torres, would require reimbursement for counties’ costs to administer special elections taking place after January 1, 2013.
CSAC strongly supports SB 963 for all the same reasons as AB 2273 and SB 942.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider SB 963 at its hearing next Monday, April 7.
SB 1455 (DeSaulnier) – Support
As Amended on March 26, 2014
SB 1455, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, would give voters the choice of enacting a new library construction and renovation bond.
As the internet age began, many predicted the slow death of libraries. Much to our delight, exactly the opposite has occurred and there is a greater demand for libraries per capita than there has been in decades. Through a combination of forward thinking and circumstance, libraries have become a hub of community activity.
Libraries today serve as some residents’ only access to the high-speed internet connections that have become so critical to today’s students, entrepreneurs, artists, researchers, and job seekers. They serve as a critical “third space” for groups of like-minded and open-minded residents to gather and learn. They also still let people read books for free, which is an important service that sometimes gets taken for granted.
Given the statewide benefits libraries serve, we believe it is appropriate for voters statewide to consider a general obligation bond.
The Senate Education Committee, which has nine members, voted 5-0 to pass the bill. It now moves to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee for their recommendation.
Qualifications for Office
AB 1948 (Mullin) – Concerns
As introduced February 21, 2014
Assembly Member Kevin Mullin has introduced AB 1948, a measure that would impose minimum training/education requirements for those elected or appointed to the office of County Treasurer/Tax Collector. Under current law, county Board of Supervisors can adopt minimum standards for the position of County Treasurer/Tax Collector, both appointed and elected. Many Boards of Supervisors have exercised this authority while some have not.
CSAC joins RCRC in expressing our concerns that establishing the qualifications for the office of County Treasurer/Tax Collector is a matter best left to the discretion of the board of supervisors.
The Assembly Local Government Committee passed AB 1948 at their hearing on April 2. The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 2109 (Daly) – Concerns
As amended March 24, 2014
AB 2109, by Assembly Member Tom Daly, would require the Board of Equalization to annually report information related to locally-assessed parcel taxes, including the type and rate of tax, the number of parcels subject to and exempt from tax, the sunset date of the tax, and the revenue generated from the tax. This information would be provided to the Board of Equalization by the county auditor.
CSAC has communicated its fiscal concerns about AB 2109 to the author, who has committed to working with us to minimize costs.
The Assembly Local Government Committee passed AB 2109 on April 2. It now moves to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.
AB 2170 (Mullin) – Support
As introduced February 20, 2014
CSAC supports AB 2170, by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, which would clarify that joint powers authorities may exercise any power common to the contracting parties, including levying fees and taxes. Joint powers authorities are an important part of California governance, and clarifying the law in an appropriate means to ensure a common understanding of joint powers authorities’ powers to levy fees or taxes.
The Assembly Local Government Committee passed AB 2170 on April 2. The bill can now be heard on the Assembly floor.