Weekly Legislative Review

 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Last week the Friday Review included a preliminary installment of many of the bills introduced just prior to the February 24 deadline for introducing legislation for this year. We also indicated we would include a second installment of recently introduced legislation for this year and here they are:

 

Pest Prevention and Invasive Species:

AB 1540 (Joan Buchanan, D-San Ramon) would designate the Department of Boating and Waterways as the lead agency to work in cooperation with other agencies in controlling the South American Sponge plant, an aggressive invasive plant that has been found in the delta. Current law gives the department authority to treat only water hyacinth and Egeria Densa, two invasive plants that have impacted the health of the delta water system.

 

Labor:

AB 2039 (Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland) will significantly expand the number of employees who qualify for family leave under California law and the situations under which they can qualify for leave. AB 2039 would revise definitions of the types of family member an employee could claim leave to care for, adding adult children, in-laws, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren or domestic partners. Swanson introduced a similar bill in 2010.

 

SB 1234 (Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles) would create the Golden State Retirement Savings Trust, a government-run pension fund for private employees who do not have access to employer-provided pensions. AB 1234 would require employers with five or more employees to enroll them into a “personal pension program” to be run by a state board, similar to pension systems for state workers and school teachers. De Leon has previously offered unsuccessful legislation to allow CalPERS to be used by private-sector employers.

 

Natural Resources:

SB 1249 (Lois Wolk, D-Davis) authorizes the Department of Fish and Game to contract with nonprofit conservation groups to manage and operate department-managed lands. It would also allow the imposition of fees on non-consumptive users of these lands.

 

SB 1480 (Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro) would change the requirements for trapping and obtaining trapping licenses.

 

SB 1541 (Doug La Malfa, R-Butte) is a spot bill dealing with timber harvesting plans.

 

SB 1249 (Lois Wolk, D-Davis) would authorize the Department of Fish and Game to contract with nonprofit conservation groups to manage and operate department-managed lands. It would also allow the imposition of fees on non-consumptive users of these lands.

 

AB 2424 (Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena) would require changing the state’s policy encouraging prudent and responsible forest resource management. The new policy would require that the state give equal consideration to the public’s need for timber and other forest products and watershed protection, fisheries and wildlife, sequestration of carbon dioxide, and recreational opportunities.

 

AB 2170 (Wesley Chesbro, D-Eureka) is a spot bill dealing with nonindustrial timber management plans.

 

AB 2179 (Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa) expands the Department of Fish and Game’s authority to issue penalties against individuals believed to be in violation of the Fish and Game Code.

 

AB 2283 (Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena) would change the name of the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Rural Crime Prevention:


SB 1387 (Bill Emmerson, R-Riverside) prohibits junk dealers and recyclers from possessing a public fire hydrant, fire department connection, a public manhole cover or lid, or a public backflow device unless the junk dealer or recycler had written certification on the letterhead of a public agency or utility that the agency or utility is offering the material for sale.

 

AB 1508 (Wilmer Carter, D-Rialto) eliminates the loopholes reducing recyclers’ record keeping requirements and allowing immediate payment for frequent junk metal sellers and sellers of metal worth less than $20.

 

Water:

SB 1495 (Lois Wolk, D-Davis) is a spot bill titled the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009, that would exclude from the definition of "covered action" specified leases approved by specified special districts and dredging activities and projects to improve interstate and international commerce through the navigable waters of the United States.

 

Energy:

SB 971 (Anthony Canella, R-Ceres) addresses hydroelectric facilities as renewable generation. The bill would revise the state’s mandate for electric utilities to procure 1/3 of their electricity sales from renewable resources by changing the basis of electricity sales. Instead of basing the 1/3 on all sales, the 1/3 would be based on net program retail sales, which effectively subtracts out the power from hydroelectric facilities over 30 MW which currently do not qualify as renewable generation.

 

Animal Welfare:

SB 1500 (Ted Lieu, D-Torrance) would allow animal control agencies, in cases where an animal has been seized, to petition a court requesting forfeiture of an animal prior to a conviction against the animal’s owner.

 

SB 1145 (Bill Emmerson, R-Riverside) would increase the penalties for animal fighting from $5,000 to $10,000.

 

AB 2194 (Beth Gaines, R-Roseville) would require the Department of Justice to obtain a federal summary of the criminal history of a person applying to be designated as a state humane officer. Current law only requires DOJ to obtain criminal history for violations of state crimes.

 

Nutrition:

AB 2322 (Mike Gatto, D-Burbank) would define farmers participating in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program as authorized food vendors under California’s Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

 

Marketing:

AB 1915 (Luis Alejo, D-Salinas) would define cottage food operations and allow sales of food made in a home kitchen that is not potentially hazardous to be sold to the public. The bill allows the Department of Public Health to inspect cottage food, but does not allow inspection of a cottage food facility and does not allow registration of facilities.

 

AB 1616 (Mike Gatto, D-Burbank) would define cottage food operations and allow sales of food made in a home kitchen that is not potentially hazardous to be sold to the public. The bill allows the Department of Public Health to inspect facilities and require registration of cottage food operations.