State Legislation

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Bills for 2014

At the end of last year, and typical for the end of the first of a two-year legislative session, TransForm continued to support a number of bills that had been held by their authors or in one committee or another.  A number of those bills are officially dead, but a few are still in play and in need of our continued support. 

In addition to those remaining bills, a few new bills have been added to TransForm’s list to support this legislative session.  These are the bills that TransForm currently supports:

 

 

SB 391 (Desaulnier): the California Homes and Jobs Act

Our allies at Housing California are sponsoring Senator DeSaulnier’s bill, which would create thousands of jobs building affordable housing. The bill would add a $75 recording fee to non-residential real estate transactions, raising $500 million annually for state investment in affordable home production and leveraging an additional $2.78 billion in federal, local, and bank investment in homes and jobs for Californians. Check out their informative website here. TransForm supports this great bill (click here for bill language).

This bill will remain on the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s calendar while work is done to strengthen the bill and move it forward early in the new year.

AB 1330 (Speaker Pérez): Environmental Justice

This bill would address the disproportionate impacts from pollution on low income communities and communities of color in a number of ways, among them: require time for translation services not be counted as total time in public hearings; require the California EPA (Cal/EPA) to identify a list of environmental justice communities; require that fines for pollution in these areas are doubled; require that enforcement actions within these communities be prioritized; require that Cal/EPA maintain a public database of complaints and enforcement cases for each of its boards, departments and agencies.  Click herefor bill language and information.

AB 1330 was held by its author and is now a two-year bill.  Read TransForm's letterof support for AB 1330.

SB 1 (Steinberg): Resurrecting redevelopment agencies

Based in large part on last year’s SB 1156, this bill is Senator Steinberg’s proposal to remake some of the powers of Redevelopment Agencies, but to streamline the process, foster cooperation between cities and counties, protect school funding, support affordable homes and refocus investment in transit-oriented areas. (Click here for bill language and information).

SB 1 was held by Senator Steinberg.

AB 1193 (Ting): Bike design flexibility

Current law requires local governments to adhere to the Highway Design Manual for bicycle design on roads. This bill would allow local governments to use bicycle designs that meet specified safety standards through means beyond those specified by the Highway Design Manual (click here for bill text).

This bill is currently in the Assembly Local Government Committee.

AB 229 (Speaker Pérez): Funding local infrastructure

This bill authorizes “Infrastructure and revitalization finance districts” for purposes of raising funds for public infrastructure such as transportation, sewage, watersheds, libraries, child care facilities, parks, and others (click here for bill text).

The bill author has held this bill and intends to pursue it as a two-year bill.

You can look up the latest bill information here.

SB 628 (Beall): Infrastructure Financing for Transit Priority Projects

This bill would eliminate the voter requirement for the creation of infrastructure financing districts for transit priority projects, and it would require that at least 25% of the revenues raised be used for, "increasing, improving and preserving" low- and moderate-income housing availability. 

This bill was held in the Assembly.

 AB 1179 (Bocanegra):  Adding the Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Strategic Growth Council

This bill would add the Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Strategic Growth Council.

This bill is currently in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

SCA 4, SCA 8, SCA 11: Empowering democracy by lowering the voter threshold

Our current system for approving local tax measures effectively gives each “no” vote the same power as two “yes” votes by requiring a two-thirds threshold (66.67%) for approval. Last November in Los Angeles, over 1.9 million voters said yes to more transportation choices but lost to the 970,000 that said no. In Alameda County the margin was even closer – over 66.5% said yes – but the measure still lost.

Many legislators recognize that, though a new, local tax measure should be popular, today’s draconian requirement simply runs counter to our democratic form of government. No fewer than seven bills currently propose lowering the voter threshold for local projects - and three of them, SCA 4(Liu), SCA 8(Corbett), and SCA 11(Hancock), would do so for transportation.

TransForm supports these efforts to empower the overwhelming majority of Californians through the democratic process.

These pieces of legislation have a longer two-year time-frame for passing and will continue to be considered going forward.

They have passed out of Assembly Local Government and have become two-year bills.

SB 1151:  School zones and child safety

This bill, authored by Senator Cannella (R – Madera) increases fines for school zone driving infractions, and sends the money to the Active Transportation Program with the intention of improving kids’ safety when getting to and from schools.  (click here for bill language.) 

This bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee, and will be heard on April 22nd.

SB 1275:  Charge Ahead California

Senator de León’s (D – Los Angeles) bill creates a program for improving rebates and credits for electric vehicles, removing gross polluting vehicles, and – most importantly for TransForm – allowing substantial rebates (up to $6500) to be used for transit passes and car share memberships.

This bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee and will be heard on April 2nd.  (click here for bill language.)

SB 1204:  California Clean Truck and Bus Program

Senator Lara (D – Los Angeles) has authored this bill that would provide funds to help convert fleets of buses and freight haulers to zero and near-zero emissions vehicles.

The bill in in the Senate Transportation Committee and will be heard April 2nd.  (click here for bill language.)

Lastly, these are the bills that did not make it, after being held in committees:

  • AB 431 (Assemblymember Mullin): Funding Sustainable Communities
  • AB 1051 (Assemblymember Bocanegra) : Directing cap-and-trade funds to transportation choices and affordable homes
  • AB 1002 (Bloom): Funding Sustainable Communities

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