CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation

Transportation

AB 1096 (Chiu) – Request for Comments
As amended on May 11, 2015

AB 1096, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would create new definitions for electric bicycles and would also allow the operation of electric on bicycle or pedestrian facilities, unless prohibited by a local ordinance. Specifically, an electric motorcycle would be defined as a bicycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. Electric bicycles (eBikes) would be further divided into three classes based on how much assistance the electric bicycle motor provides the rider. The bill would apply existing rule of the road for the operation of bicycles to eBikes, including provisions that allow local authorities, by ordinance, to regulating the registration of bicycles and the parking and operation of bicycles on pedestrian or bicycle facilities.


CSAC has reviewed the measure and feels that it is an improvement from legislation related to electric bicycles that was introduced by a different author in the last legislative session. We encourage counties to review the bill and provide comments.

AB 1096 is on the Assembly floor.

SB 321 (Beall) – Support
As amended on April 23, 2015

Senate Bill 321, by Senator Jim Beall, would make a technical adjustment to the gas tax swap to reduce revenue volatility. The Board of Equalization is charged with setting the rate of the gasoline excise tax to ensure that it generates the same amount of revenue of the former sales tax. The current process for setting the rate is susceptible to rapid changes due to fluctuations in the price of gasoline. CSAC supports SB 321 because it will incorporate historical prices during the rate-setting process, which will smooth out revenues while maintaining revenue neutrality with the former sales tax. The bill would also allow a mid-year adjustment if prices differ drastically from prior estimates. Finally, SB 321 would reduce the anticipated $885 million cut to transportation funding in 2015-16 by $270 million dollars.

SB 321 is on the Senate Third Reading file. We urge counties to reach out to their legislative delegations to impart the importance to your local transportation budgets of passing this revenue-neutral, technical fix to the gas tax swap.

SB 747 (McGuire) – Request for Comments 
as amended on May 6, 2015

Senate Bill 747, by Senator Mike McGuire, would change California law to comply with federal requirements that tax revenues on aviation fuels be allocated to airport purposes and aviation programs. Specifically, the bill would allocate 4.1875% of the statewide 7.5% sales tax rate to the aeronautics account to fund aviation programs. Forty percent of the funds would be divided between large, medium and small hub airports, twelve percent would go to qualifying general aviation airports, and twenty-seven percent would be available in the form of grants to non-hub commercial airports to attract, establish and expand commercial air services. The remaining funding would be allocated to other aviation programs, including education, and administrative costs.

CSAC is interested in feedback from counties on the implications of this measure. SB 747 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 18.

Housing

AB 35 (Chiu) – Support 
As amended on April 16, 2015

Assembly Bill 35, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would increase the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million. The LIHTC program is used for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing units across the state. The increase in the state investment would leverage an additional $600 million in federal tax credits and federal tax-exempt bonds.

AB 35 is on Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee’s suspense file, which will be taken up on May 18.

AB 1335 (Atkins) – Support if Amended
As amended on April 30, 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.

Most of CSAC’s requested were addressed by amendments that ensured local government representatives on the advisory board charged with developing the five-year investment plan and required consideration of geographic equity in the distribution of fee revenue to affordable housing projects. The final amendment requested by CSAC is an amendment to address the County Clerk Recorders Association’s technical concerns, thereby ensuring that the bill’s requirements are workable and uniformly enforced.

AB 1335 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 20.

Public Works Administration

AB 1119 (Rendon) – Support
As amended on May 11, 2015

Assembly Bill 1119, by Assembly Member Anthony Rendon, would provide counties with the same rights as cities when it comes to the ability to challenge a utility project by another public entity in or over a street or highway located in the unincorporated territory.

Counties need this parity in law so that the interests of local public entities to build utility projects using streets and highways, including those located within other jurisdictions, are balanced with the interest of residents and business that may be impacted by projects initiated by other jurisdiction with elected officials that do not represent them.

AB 1119 is on the Assembly floor.

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. CSAC and our local government partners remain opposed the measure as it 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.

However, CSAC has had very positive conversations with the author and sponsor over the past two weeks and are hopeful that we can reach a compromise solution that retains a public entity’s ability to review and respond to claims of varying size and scope while also providing contractors access to neutral third party mediation before filing a lawsuit.

CSAC staff will update the HLT Policy Committee, legislative coordinators and public works directors and staff should we reach an agreement and we remove our opposition.

AB 1347 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 20.

SB 762 (Wolk) – Support
As amended on April 28, 2015

Senate Bill 762, by Senator Lois Wolk, would create a pilot program allowing counties to select the lowest responsible bidder on the basis of best value, defined as the best combination of price and qualifications, for construction projects in excess of $1,000,000 until January 1, 2020. Participating counties would establish a procedure to prequalify bidders, include criteria used to evaluate bids in the solicitation, and divide bid price by bidders qualifications score to develop an objective measure of best value. Further, counties could not make an award to the lowest responsible bidder on the basis of best value unless the county holds a public meeting and makes written findings that doing so would meet one of more of the following objectives: reducing project costs, expediting the completion of the project, or providing features not achievable through awarding the contract on the basis of the lowest bid price. Participating counties would be required to report to submit a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2020, including descriptions of projects awarded using the best value approach, contract award amounts, bid criteria, project outcomes and other information.

CSAC supports SB 762 because it gives counties an opportunity to try an additional tool for completing high quality public works projects while protecting the public’s investment in infrastructure.

SB 762 is on the Senate floor.

Land Use

AB 1236 (Chiu) – Oppose 
As amended on April 20, 2015

AB 1236, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would mandate all 58 counties and 482 cities adopt an ordinance to create a new expedited permitting and inspection process for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Specifically, this bill would require every city and county to adopt an ordinance by September 30, 2016 that creates an expedited and streamlined permitting process for EV charging stations that also includes a checklist of all requirements with which EV charging stations shall comply to be eligible for expedited review. Further, AB 1236 would require every city and county to approve the installation of EV charging stations unless the city or county makes written findings, based on substantial evidence in the record, that the proposed installation would have an adverse impact upon the public health or safety and that those impacts cannot be mitigated.

CSAC opposes this overly-broad and prescriptive measure, which would require the costly and time-consuming adoption of a local ordinance. We are concerned that the approach will not allow for consideration of unique local circumstances, nor applications that may be more complicated than the installation of a single charging station, for instance a station with multiple charging outlets that qualifies as a public accommodation may have accessibility issues and implications related to parking standards or other local ordinances.

AB 1236 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 20.

SB 313 (Galgiani) – Support 
As amended on May 12, 2015

Senate Bill 313, by Senator Cathleen Galgiani, would expand the requirements a school district governing board must meet in order to declare a local zoning ordinance inapplicable to a proposed school facility. Specifically, in addition to current consultation requirements, the bill would require school districts to comply with Education Code Provisions governing the acquisition of agricultural lands, and only take a vote after providing the city or county 30 days written notice of the reasons for declaring a zoning ordinance inapplicable based on writing findings in the record. CSAC believes that this bill will improve coordination between school siting decision and local land use planning.

SB 313 is on the Senate floor.

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