Housing, Land Use and Transportation
AB 779 (Garcia) – Support
As amended on April 14, 2015
Assembly Bill 779, by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, would provide that any guidelines issued to implement the provisions of SB 743 (Steinberg, 2013), which required the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to develop amendments to the CEQA guidelines to replace Level of Service (LOS) with a different metric for analyzing transportation-related impacts of projects shall not be effective until July 1, 2017.
CSAC has expressed concerns with OPR’s discussion draft proposal, which would replace LOS with a vehicle miles travelled (VMT) metric for projects completed anywhere in the state. While, CSAC understands and supports the policy basis for transitioning from LOS to VMT in dense, urban areas with many transportation alternatives, we remain concerned with the feasibility and potential unintended consequences of requiring VMT analysis for projects with transportation impacts anywhere in the state. AB 779 would allow additional time to fully vet this proposed change.
AB 779 will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 27.
AB 1236 (Chiu) – Request for Comment
As amended on April 20, 2015
Assembly Bill 1236, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would require a city or county to approve the installation of electric vehicle charging stations unless the city or county can make findings based upon substantial evidence in the record that the proposed installation would have adverse impacts on public health or safety and there is no feasible method to mitigate or avoid these impacts.
Assembly Bill 1236 will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee on April 27.
AB 323 (Olsen) – Support
As amended on April 6, 2015
Assembly Bill 323, by Assembly Minority Leader Olsen, would extend until January 1, 2020 the provisions of AB 890 (Olsen, 2012) which allow a city or county with less than 100,000 population to exempt from CEQA review a project to repair, maintain, or make minor alterations to an existing roadway for public safety purposes. CSAC supported AB 890, and supports the extension of the current sunset date.
AB 323 is on the Assembly Consent Calendar.
AB 604 (Olsen) – Request for Comment
As amended on April 20, 2015
Assembly Bill 604, by Assembly Minority Leader Olsen, would define an electrically motorized skateboard and provide that local agencies may adopt rules or regulations, by ordinance or resolution, prohibiting persons from using electrically motorized skateboards on highways, sidewalks or roadways.
An “electrically motorized skateboard” would be defined any four-wheeled device that has a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding that is not greater than 60 inches deep and 18 inches wide, is designed to transport only one person, and has an electric propulsion system averaging less than 1000 watts, the maximum speed of which, when powered solely by a propulsion system on a paved level surface, is no more than 20 miles per hour. The device may be designed to also be powered by human propulsion.
The bill also imposes a blanket ban on the use of motorized skateboards—explicitly excluding electrically motorized skateboards from that definition—from being operated on any sidewalk, roadway, or any other part of a highway or on any bikeway, bicycle path or trail, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail.
CSAC would appreciate any feedback counties may have on this proposal. AB 604 will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee on April 27.
ACA 4 (Frazier) – Support
As introduced on February 27, 2105
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4, by Assembly Member Jim Frazier, would provide that the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a local government for local transportation projects requires the approval of fifty-five percent of the voters. While twenty counties, which comprise over eighty percent of the state’s population, have already adopted local transportation revenue measures, many other counties aspire to raise additional revenue to fund priority transportation projects. Initial estimates show that if voters in each of these additional counties approved a quarter-cent sales tax measure, they would generate approximately $300 million in new local transportation revenues. CSAC supports this measure, because in addition to helping counties institute new “self-help” measures, it would also facilitate the extension of expiring transportation funding measures, while still maintaining the high bar of super-majority voter approval.
ACA 4 will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee on April 27.
SB 16 (Beall) – Support
As amended on April 15, 2015
Senate Bill 16, by Senator Jim Beall, would raise between $2.8 and $3.6 billion per year over a five-year period with the vast majority of the funding dedicated for maintenance and rehabilitation of state highways and local streets and roads. Specifically, SB 16 would:
- Repay existing transportation loans in equal installments over three fiscal years beginning in 2016;
- Return truck weight fees back to transportation in increasing amounts over five years, i.e. first year 20-percent returned, second year 40 percent returned, etc. (approximately $1 billion is currently funding transportation related bond debt service);
- Increase the vehicle license fee by 0.07 percent each year for five years to backfill the general fund for transportation related bond debt service;
- Increase the gasoline excise tax by 10 cents
- Increase the diesel excise tax by 12 cents (2 cents of which is dedicated to Trade Corridors Improvement Fund)
- Levy an additional $35 fee on annual vehicle registrations; and
- Levy an additional $100 fee on annual vehicle registrations for zero-emission vehicles
The revenues from the gas tax increase, 10 cents of the diesel tax increase, and both registration fees would be deposited into a new maintenance and rehabilitation fund. From this account, Senator Beall’s plan would dedicate 5 percent of total revenues generated to a State-Local Partnership Program to incentivize additional local sales tax measures passed after July 1, 2015. The remaining 95 percent of revenues would be shared equally between the state and local governments, with a fifty-fifty split between cities and counties. CSAC estimates that counties would receive approximately $3.5 billion in additional revenue over the five year program. The bill has a phased-in approach that is expected to raise $665 million for counties in the first year and $855 million in the fifth year of the program
Pursuant to longstanding CSAC policy and reaffirmation by the CSAC Executive Committee and Board of Directors, CSAC has offered our strong support to Senator Beall’s proposal. CSAC appreciates his comprehensive efforts to address short-term transportation funding needs. SB 16 meets all of CSAC’s criteria for new sources of transportation revenue: it is a statewide approach; funding would be distributed equitably between the state and locals and amongst counties; funds would be for maintenance and preservation of the existing roadway system; and all users of the system, including zero emissions vehicles that do not currently pay gas taxes at the pump, would contribute.
We urge counties to reach out to their legislative delegation and express support for this important proposal. SB 16 will be heard in Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 28.
SB 564 (Cannella) – Support
As introduced on February 26, 2015
Senate Bill 564, by Senator Anthony Cannella, would impose an additional $35 dollar fine on specific specified traffic violations within a posted school zone when children are present. The revenues would be returned to local governments in the form of grants for safe routes to school projects under the auspices of the Active Transportation Program.
SB 564 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 27.
AB 1335 (Atkins) – Support if Amended
As amended on April 20, 2015
Assembly Bill 1335, by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, would create a permanent funding source for the development, acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of rental housing affordable to extremely low to moderate-income households, as well as to program for affordable homeownership activities, by imposing a recorded document fee of $75 per each single transaction per each single parcel of real property, not to exceed $225.
The fee is estimated to raise approximately $700 million for affordable housing each year. Counties with housing trust funds could have direct access to revenues. An advisory board led by the Department of Housing and Community Development would create a five-year investment plan for the revenues.
CSAC’s Executive Committee recently voted to support the bill if it was amended to ensure that CSAC has a representative on the advisory board charged with developing the five-year investment plan, to address the County Clerk Recorders Association’s technical concerns to ensure the bill’s requirements are workable, and to include language ensuring that funds are spent in a geographically equitable manner.
AB 1335 will be heard in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on April 29.
Public Works Administration
AB 1347 (Chiu) – Oppose
As amended on April 21, 2015
Assembly Bill 1347, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would establish a new “claim resolution process” for public entity contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2016. While the bill was recently amended to remove some of the most egregious provisions, including exempting claims made pursuant to the bill from the False Claims Act, AB 1347 still includes an inflexible 30-day timeline to review and respond to claims, fails to distinguish between claims of varying amounts or complexity, “deems approved” any claim where the agency fails to respond in 30 days, and applies a punitive and excessive 10% per annum interest rate on unpaid undisputed amounts. Finally, counties and other public agencies remain concerned that the bill is redundant of the existing dispute resolution and claims processes.
CSAC and a coalition of public agencies submitted an opposition letter on April 23. While the recent amendments are a step in the right direction, CSAC will continue to work with the author’s office to address local government concerns in hopes of reforming existing processes to the extent necessary rather than creating an entirely new section of law.
AB 1347 will be heard in the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee on April 29.