Government Finance and Operations 09/20/2010
AB 155 Returns
On Thursday, August 19, Senator Mark DeSaulnier removed AB 155
from the Senate Inactive File, making it eligible for a vote as
the legislative session approaches its end. AB 155, by Assembly
Member Tony Mendoza, would require a local agency seeking
bankruptcy protection to first gain the approval, possibly with
conditions, of the California Debt and Investment Advisory
CSAC strongly opposes AB 155, and asks all counties to contact their legislators and the Governor and urge their opposition to the measure. AB 155 would make local agencies more vulnerable at the very moment of their greatest need, and is sure to cause fiscal harm both to local governments and the state.
AB 155 will be amended, and as soon as the new language is available CSAC will be sure to share the information with counties. After calling your legislators, keep an eye on CSAC’s blog,The County Voice, to stay up-to-date as this story develops.
AB 1671 (Jeffries) – Support
As Enrolled on August 12, 2010
AB 1671, by Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries, would require the Governor to fill by appointment a supervisorial vacancy within 90 days, at which point the authority would fall to the Board of Supervisors itself.
Current law gives the Governor the power to appoint people to vacant supervisorial positions, and provides no time limit for doing so. In the rare but actual event that a board has a vacant seat and a temporarily incapacitated member, conducting the county’s business becomes quite difficult since every decision must be unanimous. Counties have many responsibilities, and having a situation such as this for any length of time makes governance exceedingly difficult.
Most other local legislative bodies in the state already have the power to appoint people to their vacancies under general laws. One reason this is sensible for most kinds of agencies is that the other board members are among the individuals most likely to know people in the community that are qualified and interested. This power is not necessarily appropriate for all types of agencies, like those where this sort of action might escape notice; for counties, of course, that is not a danger, and seems appropriate whether the county has developed its own charter or not.
AB 1671 passed off the Assembly Floor on Monday, August 9, and now moves to the Governor’s desk.
Vehicle Registration Amnesty
AB 2461 (Emmerson) – Support
As Amended on August 12, 2010
AB 2461, by Senator Bill Emmerson, would extend the current Vehicle License Fee (VLF) amnesty program for kit cars by a year and a half and give the Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) the authority to carry out their related duties.
CSAC was pleased to support the bill by then-Assembly Member Emmerson that implemented a VLF amnesty program for so-called kit cars. This new bill, AB 2461, would give explicit authority to BAR to fulfill their duties under the program, thus making the amnesty program workable. Due to the problems related to implementing the program, it makes sense to extend the sunset date; this will give kit car owners an opportunity to take advantage of the amnesty and come into compliance with the law.
AB 2461 passed off the Senate floor on Wednesday, August 18, and now moves back to the Assembly for concurrence of Senate amendments.
Aircraft Assessment Practices
AB 384 (Ma) – Support
As Amended on May 5, 2010
AB 384, by Assembly Member Fiona Ma, would extend the sunset date for an aircraft assessment method that county assessors have used since 2005.
Under the assessment method, a special subcommittee of county assessors appoints a lead assessor for each commercial air carrier who then has primary responsibility for determining the value of that fleet and transmitting the information to other assessors.
The Governor vetoed a similar bill last year, but noted in his veto message that the assessment method “brought consistency and greater efficiency to the assessment of certificated aircraft.” His objection was to the lack of consensus that the bill enjoyed. This year’s version strengthens protections for assessees and, as a result, the lone opponent to the bill has removed their opposition.
CSAC supports AB 384 because it extends a fair and workable method of assessing aircraft.
AB 384 passed off the Assembly Floor on Tuesday, August 17, and now moves to the Governor’s desk.
Redevelopment Plan Amendments
SB 1374 (Kehoe) – Support
As Enrolled on August 6, 2010
SB 1374, by Senator Christine Kehoe, would require more detailed responses to protests against proposed time extensions of redevelopment project areas.
Extending redevelopment project areas’ effectiveness requires the most careful consideration. Agencies making this decision should have to show interested members of the community and agencies whose revenue they are using why the extension is necessary, and should proceed with the extension only after weighing all objections. That is precisely what SB 1374 would do.
SB 1374 passed off the Assembly floor on Thursday, August 5, and now moves to the Governor’s desk for consideration.
SB 842 & 843 (Senate Local Government Committee) – Support
As Enrolled on August 11, 2010
SB 842 and SB 843, both by the Senate Local Government Committee, are two of the three annual validating acts. The bills will retroactively cure minor errors and omissions that public officials make throughout the year. In turn, this will give investors confidence in public agencies’ securities and therefore lead to lower interest rates for state and local bonds. They do not correct fraud, corruption, or unconstitutional acts.
SB 842 and SB 843 both passed off the Assembly floor on Monday, August 9, and now move to the Governor’s desk.