Upcoming Legislative Hearings

Bill of Interest to Cities, August 26

August 26 will be a busy day for the Legislature, as Thursday is both the last time that bills can be heard in the appropriations committees and the day for suspense file hearings. A decades-old means of promoting fiscal responsibility, the lightning-fast suspense file process determines which bills will move to the floor for debate, which may come as soon as August 30 for some measures, including AB 1401 (Friedman) and AB 14 (Aguiar-Curry).

The last day for the Legislature to vote on bills is September 10; then, the Governor has until October 10 to sign or veto any legislation that reaches his desk. Following the suspense hearing, stay tuned for an update on the outcome of the top bills impacting cities. A summary of several priority bills is below this list.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Assembly Appropriations, Chair Upon adjournment of Session, Room 4202

  • SB 4 (Gonzalez) Communications: California Advanced Services Fund: deaf and disabled telecommunications program: surcharges |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 341 (McGuire) Telecommunications service: outages |Cal Cities position: Support

Senate Appropriations, 9 a.m., Room 4203

  • AB 215 (Chiu) Housing element: regional housing need: relative progress determination |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • AB 816 (Chiu) Homelessness: Housing Trust Fund: housing projects |Cal Cities position: Oppose unless amended
  • AB 989 (Gabriel) Housing Accountability Act: appeals: Office of Housing Appeals |Cal Cities position: Oppose  

Assembly Appropriations Suspense, Chair Upon adjournment of Session, Room 4202

  • SB 1 (Atkins) Coastal resources: sea level rise |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 2 (Bradford) Peace officers: certification: civil rights |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • SB 16 (Skinner) Peace officers: release of records |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • SB 28 (Caballero) Rural Broadband and Digital Infrastructure Video Competition Reform Act of 2021 |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 50 (Limón) Early learning and care |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 61 (Gabriel) Business pandemic relief |Cal Cities position: Support pending amendments
  • SB 99 (Dodd) Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021 |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 109 (Dodd) Office of Emergency Services: Office of Emergency Technology Research and Development |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 270 (Durazo) Public employment: labor relations: employee information |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • SB 278 (Leyva) Public Employees’ Retirement System: disallowed compensation: benefit adjustments |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • SB 284 (Stern) Workers’ compensation: firefighters and peace officers: post-traumatic stress |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • SB 314 (Wiener) Alcoholic beverages |Cal Cities position: Support pending amendments
  • SB 344 (Hertzberg) Homeless shelters grants: pets and veterinary services |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 418 (Laird) Sea level rise planning: database |Cal Cities position: Support
  • SB 555 (McGuire) Local agencies: transient occupancy taxes: short-term rental facilitator: collection |Cal Cities position: Oppose Unless Amend
  • SB 619 (Laird) Organic waste: reduction regulations. |Cal Cities position: Support

Senate Appropriations Suspense, Chair Upon adjournment of Session, Room 4203

  • AB 14 (Aguiar-Curry) Communications: broadband services: California Advanced Services Fund |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 33 (Ting) Energy Conservation Assistance Act of 1979: energy storage systems and electric vehicle charging infrastructure: Native American tribes |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 46 (Rivas, Luz) California Youth Empowerment Act |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 48 (Gonzalez, Lorena) Law enforcement: kinetic energy projectiles and chemical agents |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • AB 89 (Jones-Sawyer) Peace officers: minimum qualifications |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 500 (Ward) Local planning: coastal development: affordable housing |Cal Cities position: Oppose
  • AB 536 (Rodriguez) Office of Emergency Services: mutual aid gap analysis |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 585 (Rivas, Luz) Climate change: Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 602 (Grayson) Development fees: impact fee nexus study |Cal Cities position: Oppose Unless Amend                
  • AB 718 (Cunningham) Peace officers: investigations of misconduct |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 838 (Friedman) State Housing Law: enforcement response to complaints |Cal Cities position: Oppose Unless Amend  
  • AB 897 (Mullin) Office of Planning and Research: regional climate networks: regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 1071 (Rodriguez) Office of Emergency Services: tabletop exercises |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 1311 (Wood) Recycling: beverage containers |Cal Cities position: Support
  • AB 1401 (Friedman) Residential and commercial development: remodeling, renovations, and additions: parking requirements |Cal Cities position: Oppose


    Priority Bill Summaries

    Two housing-related priority bills for Cal Cities will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday morning. The first, AB 215 (Chiu), was amended to remove the proposed mid-cycle regional housing needs progress determination process. However, the author also added language that would greatly expand the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s enforcement-related actions.

    The second, AB 989 (Gabriel), would create an Office of Housing Appeals within the California Department of Housing and Community Development, which would have the power to review allegations of violations of the Housing Accountability Act for specified housing developments projects. AB 989 allows an appeals panel, not a court, to overturn a local land use decision. Cal Cities opposes both AB 989 and AB 215.

    Cal Cities strongly supports two similarly worded broadband measures: SB 4 (Gonzalez) and AB 14 (Aguiar-Curry). SB 4 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee; AB 14 is scheduled for suspense file in the Senate and will likely be voted on during the same day. Both measures would prioritize the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities throughout California through the ongoing collection of the California Advanced Services Fund surcharge. They would also expand the definition of "unserved” to include areas with speeds slightly faster than dial-up, which is obsolete in an internet-driven economy.

    Multiple public safety bills are on suspense file in the Senate and Assembly, including SB 2 (Bradford) and SB 16 (Skinner). The former undercuts the federally held doctrine of qualified immunity and outlines a largely unworkable peace officer decertification process. The latter, SB 16, would make every incident involving unreasonable or excessive force and any sustained finding that an officer failed to intervene against another officer using unreasonable or excessive force subject to disclosure. Cal Cities opposes both measures.

    AB 48 (Gonzalez, Lorena) would severely limit the tools at an officer’s disposal to protect public safety. The bill’s broad restrictions do not consider the dynamic and sometimes unruly nature of public demonstrations. Peace officers need non-lethal options for atypical situations that involve violence or significant risk to infrastructure. As such, Cal Cities opposes the measure.

    Cal Cities supports AB 89 (Jones-Sawyer), which lays out a comprehensive approach to creating minimum qualifications for future peace officers. The bill was significantly amended and now takes a more nuanced, collaborative, and thoughtful approach to the law enforcement officer certification process.  

    Three other bills, SB 278 (Leyva), SB 555 (McGuire), and SB 619 (Laird) are scheduled for suspense file in the Assembly. SB 278 (Leyva) would require public agencies and schools to directly pay retirees and/or their beneficiaries disallowed retirement benefits using general fund and Proposition 98 dollars. The bill would give CalPERS no incentive to properly calculate benefit payments, create compliance and implementation issues, and potentially result in costly legal battles for cities. Consequently, Cal Cities opposes the measure.

    Cal Cities also opposes SB 555 (McGuire). As drafted, the measure would result in less effective and less transparent Transient Occupancy Taxes collection. The measure also lacks requirements for short-term rental platforms to report with their tax collections the location of the rentals, the duration of stay, and the rate applied. Without this information, collection audits will be inaccurate and undeterminable. While the program remains optional for cities, Cal Cities, along with labor and hotel partners, believes the measure should strive for more proper and accountable tax collection.

    SB 619 (Laird) would give local governments additional time and flexibility to implement SB 1383 (Lara, 2016), organic waste regulations. Cal Cities supports the measure, as additional time and flexibility would prevent an increase in waste rates for residents, some of whom are facing significant, pandemic-related financial difficulties.

    Two other priority bills are on suspense file in the Senate: AB 718 (Cunningham) and AB 1401 (Friedman). Cal Cities supports AB 718 (Cunningham), as it would close a loophole within SB 1421 (Skinner, 2018), which established parameters for the release of officer records. This would ensure that “sustained findings” of use of force resulting in death or great bodily injury, sexual assault, and other forms of misconduct warrant a thorough investigation and subsequent disclosure of findings. 

    Cal Cities also opposes AB 1401 (Friedman), since its definition of “public transit” would give developers and transit agencies — who are unaccountable to local voters — the power to determine parking requirements. Additionally, the bill could negatively impact the State’s Density Bonus Law by providing developers parking concessions without also requiring them to include affordable housing units in the project.

    Curious why Cal Cities supports or opposes certain bills or measures? Advocacy efforts are determined by Annual Conference Resolutions or the Existing Policy and Guiding Principles.

    Legal Advocacy

    Laws affecting cities are made in the courts, as well as in the Legislature. Consequently, Cal Cities advocacy efforts extend to the appellate courts. The organization weighs in on legal issues where its participation is likely to help advance the legal interests of all California cities. Learn more about our Legal Advocacy efforts.

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