The Barbed Wire - January 29, 2021

January 29, 2021
Federal and State Government Take Action to Address Vaccine Distribution Challenges
Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 252 (Wiener) – Bears: Take Prohibition
RCRC Letter Calling for Direct Funding for Local Governments
Board of Forestry Proposed Fire Safe Regulations - Update
ICYMI: Hometown California Interviews Bob Stern, An Influencer of California Politics
State Takes Early Action on Distributing Emergency Rental Assistance Funding, Extending Eviction Moratorium
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Definition Change Proposal
Property Tax Postponement Deadline Approaching, February 10
Assembly Member Weber Confirmed As California’s Secretary of State
GO-Biz Announces Permit Streamlining “Olympics” for Electric Vehicle Charging
New Release: 2020-21 California County Scorecard of Children’s Wellbeing Available- Join the Webinar February 3

Federal and State Government Take Action to Address Vaccine Distribution Challenges

On January 18, 2021, RCRC and County partners sent a letter to Governor Newsom which outlined the challenges local health jurisdictions are facing in the administration of vaccines. The federal and state government are beginning to address some of the key items outlined in the letter around timely and accurate reporting, data transparency, and dependable vaccine allocation. This week the federal and state government made several announcements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution, including:

  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) lifts the Regional Stay at Home Order for all regions statewide, due to the four-week ICU capacity projections for all regions being above 15%.
  • 33 RCRC counties are in the purple tier, 3 are in the red tier and 1 is in the orange tier. CDPH will provide county tier updates on Tuesdays. 
  • To increase available vaccine supply based on existing in-state vaccines, CDPH announced a process that will allow for the reallocation of vaccines from providers who have not used at least 65 percent of their available supply on hand for a week.
  • Following Phase 1B, Tier 1 of the vaccine distribution plan the state will transition to an age-based eligibility system.
  • State launched My Turn system to standardize information and data. Individuals can sign up for a notification when they are eligible to make an appointment and the system will also allow vaccine administers to report vaccination information into the state data system. The system will launch first in Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
  • The state is creating a new Third Party Administration (TPA) network to speed the delivery of current supply of vaccines to eligible Californians.
  • The Newsom Administration announced negotiations with Blue Shield of California to be the Third Party Administrator (TPA,) which would be responsible for distributing vaccines statewide to identified providers (i.e., pharmacies, healthcare networks, hospitals, vaccination site, etc.). Kaiser Permanente will collaborate with Blue Shield to help deliver vaccines quickly across the state.
  • President Biden’s COVID-19 Task Force provided its first briefing.
  • The federal COVID-19 Task force announced states should expect a 16% increase in vaccines (8.6 million does to 10 million doses per week) over the next three weeks. 
  • The federal government is planning to secure 200 million more does of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The Biden administration committed to provide states a three-week advance notice on how much vaccine they will be allocated, allowing more time for states, local governments, and healthcare providers to plan for vaccine distribution.

RCRC staff will continue to monitor the situation and work with our county partners to advocate for local vaccine needs. For more information, contact Sarah Dukett, Legislative Advocate at (916) 447-4806 or

Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 252 (Wiener) – Bears: Take Prohibition

RCRC has officially opposed Senate Bill 252 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).  SB 252 would ban the hunting of black bears for sport in California.  

RCRC believes there is no scientific basis or practical necessity for SB 252, particularly since black bear hunting is already regulated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).  In fact, CDFW data demonstrates that the black bear in California is flourishing, while rural communities struggle to control black bear populations to ensure the safety of their residents.  

If SB 252 were to become law, RCRC member counties would be deprived of their only recourse for continual public safety through seasonal population control.  In addition, RCRC member counties would have to navigate an often inefficient bureaucracy for obtaining depredation permits, and relying on insufficient actions by state and federal agencies to do the work that hunters have done capably in rural areas for centuries.   

RCRC’s opposition letter can be accessed here.  For more information, contact Sidd Nag, RCRC Legislative Advocate, at (916) 447-4806 or

RCRC Letter Calling for Direct Funding for Local Governments

On Wednesday, RCRC sent letters to its Congressional delegation urging the inclusion of direct financial assistance for local governments in any subsequent coronavirus relief package.  In particular, the letters request that any future state and local funding be sent directly to counties of all sizes from the U.S. Treasury, rather than through the State of California.  President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal includes $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, however details on the exact distribution formula for the funds has yet to be released.  On Monday, President Biden stated that that he is open to negotiations on his proposal but insisted that "time is of the essence" in moving the package forward.  A copy of RCRC’s letter can be accessed here.

Board of Forestry Proposed Fire Safe Regulations - Update

This week the California Board of Forestry (BOF) held a public workshop to discuss proposed changes to Articles 4 and 5 of the State Fire Safe regulations. Several BOF members in attendance expressed concern about the expedited pace of the revision process and requested that the staff take a more iterative approach to crafting the new regulations.
BOF staff indicated that it will continue with the current workshop process in hopes that a final draft proposal can be presented to the board for approval at the March 2nd and 3rd meetings.  In advance of the next regulatory workshop scheduled for February 9th, a revised draft proposal incorporating changes based on public comment will be released for discussion. All public comment received by the BOF since the first workshop in November is now available for viewing on the BOF website, and will be updated weekly.

The State Fire Safe regulations set forth basic wildfire protection standards for development in the State Responsibility Area and, beginning July 1, 2021, the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones of the Local Responsibility Area. The changes made in the draft rulemaking, will have extraordinary impacts on housing production, not only in rural areas of the state, but also in more urbanized regions of California.  For instance, the draft regulations would prohibit any future building construction on property served by a road that has not been upgraded, or that cannot be upgraded to meet current standards, such as dead-end roads.  These upgrade requirements include road widening, re-surfacing, leveling grades and curves, and bridge improvements, from the property line to the nearest fire station, and apply to the building of a single residential unit or any business increasing its "service capacity."  All required upgrades would be at the expense of the property owner.

RCRC staff has been in discussions with the BOF since April, 2020 on proposed revisions to the State Fire Safe regulations and have offered both written and oral comments on the preceding emergency rulemaking that ultimately made more minor changes to the regulations.

For updates from the BOF on the Fire Safe Regulations and other activities of the BOF Resource Protection Committee, subscribe to email updates here. For more information, please contact Tracy Rhine at

ICYMI: Hometown California Interviews Bob Stern, An Influencer of California Politics

In the latest episode of Hometown California, RCRC’s Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs, Paul A. Smith, holds a conversation about political reform, the state of California politics, and influential ballot measures in an interview with Bob Stern, J.D., a man with a long history of influence in California politics.

Bob Stern made his mark on California politics In the 1970's, as the co-author of California's Political Reform Act (1974). And, his influence does not stop there. When former Governor Jerry Brown was Secretary of State, Stern served as his Elections Counsel. He served as the first General Counsel of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, and was the former President of the Center for Governmental Studies (a non-profit research organization). He has been a mover-and-shaker of California politics for many decades. Listen in as Paul and Bob discuss the impact of political reform in California, what's working, and what could be better. Hear Bob's insights about influential ballot measures of the past as well as the present. And, listen as Bob shares his thoughts about the impact COVID-19 is having on the state, and about the political divisions-- both in the state and the nation-- that have become prominent in recent years. Listen now.

State Takes Early Action on Distributing Emergency Rental Assistance Funding, Extending Eviction Moratorium

In late December 2020, the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was approved and, among its many provisions, created a $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance program for low-income and distressed renters experiencing housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the U.S. Treasury entitled local jurisdictions with populations over 200,000 with direct payments to assist low-income tenants with rent and utilities, lower population cities and counties were again reliant upon the state to provide these dollars to non-qualifying jurisdictions.

In the Governor’s 2021-22 proposed Budget, California estimated it would receive $2.6 billion total in funding, of which $1.1 billion would be directly allocated from the Federal government to larger jurisdictions. RCRC responded to the proposed Budget to urge the state to address the inequity between distressed households in rural areas versus urban ones by providing funding directly to smaller jurisdictions.  A recent state audit, published that same day, acknowledged the funding formula devised by the Newsom Administration disadvantaged smaller counties out of receiving their fair share of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds. In fact, rural and suburban counties received nearly half the funds of their urban counterparts to equally respond to public health and safety issues generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Governor Newsom announced a deal with Legislative Leaders on extending the state Eviction Moratorium that was set to expire on January 31, 2021, as well as 1) create a $1.5 billion State Rental Assistance Program through the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide larger jurisdictions additional block grant funding, and 2) set aside $150 million for tenant relief in the remaining thirty smaller counties.  Smaller counties, and mid-size localities (cities and counties with populations between 200,000 to 499,999) that do not receive block grants from the state, would have their funding allocations administered by a third party contracted by the state Department and would not be managed directly by these local governments.

During committee deliberations, Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Sonoma), was particularly interested in providing equity to smaller counties and ensuring rural areas do not get shortchanged on a per capita basis.  According to testimony by the Department of Finance, the $150 million set aside for rental relief in smaller counties is double the amount that would have been otherwise available with a population-based formula. Assembly Member Wood expressed a healthy dose of skepticism and argued for the Administration to be held accountable for its ability to reach low-income residents in smaller counties, which often have the added burdens of insufficient broadband and wireless coverage to access assistance.

On Thursday, both the Senate and Assembly passed this State Rental Assistance Program measure (Senate Bill 91), which included an extension to the state Eviction Moratorium, and was subsequently signed into law by the Governor.  These dollars must be spent quickly according to the state program and in accordance with federal law timelines.  If deadlines are not met, not only would unspent funds be re-allocated to other areas of the state, but both entitlement counties and the state’s program risk having to return these dollars to the U.S. Treasury by the end of the 2021 calendar year.

No later than March 15th, state contractors must open applications for landlords and tenants in smaller jurisdictions.  More information on this topic should be released here.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Definition Change Proposal

The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is requesting public comment on proposed changes to its metropolitan and micropolitan area definition.  

OMB’s most critical proposed change would increase the minimum Urbanized Area population threshold used to establish a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from 50,000 to 100,000 people.  The criteria for micropolitan areas will change to an Urbanized Area population threshold of 10,000 to 99,999 people.  In California, the threshold change will move a number of counties from the MSA to the micropolitan statistical area designation.   They are: Butte (Chico), Kings (Hanford-Corcoran), Madera (Madera), Napa (Napa), and San Luis Obispo Counties (San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles).   

The Federal Register notice and supporting documents can be accessed here.  Comments are due Friday, March 19, 2021.
For further information, please contact James D. Fitzsimmons, Chair, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee at

Property Tax Postponement Deadline Approaching, February 10

Last week, State Controller Betty T. Yee reminded California homeowners the deadline to apply for California’s Property Tax Postponement (PTP) program for the 2020-21 tax year is February 10.  Funding for PTP is limited, and applications are processed in the order they are received. Participants must reapply each year and demonstrate they continue to meet eligibility requirements.
Homeowners in the following counties affected by wildfire have been granted an extension to file until June 1, 2021: Butte, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sierra, Siskyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.

Applications and additional program details can be found online or by calling (800) 952-5661.

Assembly Member Weber Confirmed As California’s Secretary of State

On Thursday, the California Legislature officially confirmed Governor Newsom’s nomination of Assembly Member Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) as the next Secretary of State.  First announced in December, Governor Newsom’s official nomination of Dr. Weber was submitted following Alex Padilla’s resignation from the position, as the Governor nominated him to the U.S. Senate. 

During the confirmation process this week, the Assembly Special Committee on the Office of the Secretary of State (Committee) met to consider the nomination of Assembly Member Weber.  The Committee, co-chaired by Assembly Members Marc Berman (D- Palo Alto) and Evan Low (D- San Jose), addressed a variety of issues including minimum voting age, flexibility and convenience for voters, countering misinformation, and accuracy of the voter rolls.  In addressing these issues, Dr. Weber spoke of the important relationship between counties and the state in providing voters with access and confidence in the voting process.  With bipartisan support, the Committee unanimously recommended her confirmation. The following day, her nomination was approved by the Assembly and the Senate Rules Committee voted to recommend to the Senate that her nomination be confirmed. The Senate, in a vote on Thursday, made the confirmation official. Following the swearing in, Dr. Shirley N. Weber will become the fourth woman and first African American in California’s history to serve as Secretary of State. 

GO-Biz Announces Permit Streamlining “Olympics” for Electric Vehicle Charging

By April 22, 2021—Earth Day—the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) seeks to recognize jurisdictions that have complied with Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station permit streamlining by awarding Gold, Silver, and Bronze recognition “medals.” Assembly Bill 1236 (Chiu, 2015) required all jurisdictions to streamline permitting necessary to install EV charging infrastructure.  

The state has set ambitious climate change and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) readiness goals. GO-Biz continues to offer assistance to local government agencies on AB 1236 compliance, including best practices and streamlining templates. Contact for more information or direct assistance.

New Release: 2020-21 California County Scorecard of Children’s Wellbeing Available- Join the Webinar February 3

This week, Children Now released the 2020-21 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being, an interactive tool that delivers data on how kids are doing in each of California’s 58 counties, and tracks 39 key indicators of children’s well-being – over time, by race/ethnicity and relative to other counties – from prenatal to the transition to adulthood. The focus, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been largely on adults – addressing issues related to the retail and entertainment economy and to seniors. Children Now has found that the outlook for California kids is troubling, as they are struggling disproportionately. Increasingly experiencing stress, social isolation, disconnectedness and serious mental health issues, the learning loss and lack of preventive health care because of the pandemic threatens this entire generation.
To learn more about the Scorecard, and how to use it to improve outcomes for kids in your community, join this free webinar:

Date: Wednesday, February 3
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Register Today!

Children Now Presenters:
Ted Lempert, President
Kelly Hardy, Senior Managing Director, Health & Research 
Lishaun Francis, Associate Director, Health Collaborations 

To ask questions or set up a time for an individual technical assistance session, email Children Now at


Announcements regarding key staffing changes of importance to California's rural counties.


Nicholas Avdis, 46, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Avdis has been Of Counsel at the Thomas Law Group since 2013. He was a Partner at the Law Offices of Lo Duca & Avdis LLP from 2008 to 2013, an Associate at the Law Offices of Sandberg & LoDuca LLP from 2004 to 2008 and Corporate Counsel at KT Development Corporation from 2003 to 2004. Avdis is a member of the Capitol Area Development Authority, Reclamation District 1000 and Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Avdis is a Democrat.

Sean Yang, 42, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Yang has been a Medical Imaging Specialist Engineer at Kaiser Permanente since 2016. He was a Medical Liaison at Open Advantage MRI in 2017, Medical Imaging Engineer at BC Technical from 2014 to 2016 and a Computerized Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Engineer at Consensys Imaging Service Inc. from 2011 to 2014. Yang was Manager and Owner of Weiberts Meats from 2005 to 2011 and Magnetic Resonance Engineer at Hitachi Medical Systems America from 2001 to 2011. Yang is a member of the board of the Elk Grove Unified School District and a member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Yang is a Democrat.


Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.


CARB Announces Annual Reporting for Off-Road Diesel Fleets

As of January 1, 2021 annual reporting begins for the In-Use Off-Road Diesel-Fueled Fleets—also called the Off-Road Regulation. This Off-Road Regulation requires fleets to report their off-road diesel equipment to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) by March 1, 2021. Annual reports must also include up to date contact information and engine hour meter readings for low-use vehicles. General information about the Off-Road Regulation is available here.  For guidance on how to submit an annual report, see here or contact the DOORS hotline for more information, 1-877-593-6677 or  

GO-Biz Announces Cannabis Equity Grants Available for Local Jurisdictions

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has announced $15 million is available in Fiscal Year 2020-21 for cities and counties to promote equity and eliminate barriers to populations and communities that were disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition.  Local Jurisdictions may be awarded up to $75,000 for assistance on cannabis equity program development, or up to $5 million in assistance for cannabis equity program applicants and licensees to gain entry to the state’s regulated cannabis marketplace.  Grant applications must be submitted by February 1, 2021. Grants will be awarded no later than May 14, 2021. For more information on this grant and how to apply, see here.


Resource pages, deadline extensions, and available programs to assist communities impacted by COVID-19.


DWR Provides Tips for Holding Online Meetings to Address Groundwater Sustainability Plans

As Groundwater Sustainability Plans are being developed to meet the January 2022 deadline, several counties (and water agencies) have asked for advice for engaging stakeholders and interested parties through online resources.  In response to community interest, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Sustainable Groundwater Management Office has put together examples, tips, and tactics to consider. The DWR tips are available here.


Coronavirus Relief Available from the Small Business Administration

The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several coronavirus relief options to help alleviate the financial hardships resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19). The programs have received an overwhelming number of applications from businesses, so be sure to check the SBA website for the latest updates on the status of these programs.

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. After initial funding was quickly depleted, the program received an infusion of an additional $310 billion, allowing the SBA to resume the program on April 27, 2020. Be sure to check the SBA website for the most recent information on the application process and availability of funds.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance provides up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans can be used to bridge the gap for businesses while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan; small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief provides a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in programs for other disasters, the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance portal is available here.


Economic Development Resources for Communities and Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus

The California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) has assembled resources for communities and business impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The page will be continually evolving as new resources become available. To go directly to the CALED resources, click here.


Use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for Infectious Disease Response

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds may be used for a range of eligible activities that prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Check out the Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities to Support Infectious Disease Response for guidance and additional information.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) County Resource Page Available

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), RCRC’s local government partner, continues to provide excellent up-to-date state and federal information to counties on this ever-changing pandemic event.  We encourage visiting CSAC’s COVID-19 resource page, which contains vital links to all CSAC COVID-19 advocacy letters and resources.  CSAC’s staff continues to work around the clock to update activities so that all of California’s counties can remain properly informed.


Information related to the current status of legislation and regulations impacting California’s rural counties.

ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry): Local Government Financing: Affordable Housing. ACA 1 would lower the vote threshold to 55 percent for approval of local bonded-indebtedness and specially dedicated taxes imposed for specified uses. Status: ACA 1 has been recently introduced and awaits consideration from the Assembly.  RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1 (C. Garcia): Hazardous Waste: Assembly Bill 1 Establishes several new governance, policy, and fiscal reforms to improve the Department of Toxic Substances Control, including significantly increasing several fees and repealing several important fee exemptions. Status: AB 1 is awaiting consideration by the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Assembly Bill 14 (Aguiar-Curry): Communications: broadband services: California Advanced Services Fund: Assembly Bill 14 establishes the State Department of Education in state government and vests the department with specified powers and duties relating to the state’s public-school system. This bill would authorize local educational agencies to report to the department their pupils’ estimated needs for computing devices and internet connectivity adequate for at-home learning. Status: AB 14 awaits referral to a policy committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Assembly Bill 33 (Ting): Natural Gas: Prohibits new public buildings from having natural gas connections and utilities from subsidizing natural gas line connections. Status: AB 33 is awaiting consideration in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.  RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 318 (Legine): Hazardous waste: Assembly Bill 318 excludes from classification as hazardous waste green waste that has not been contaminated by a hazardous or toxic chemical during production, harvest, or processing.  Allows those green wastes to be disposed in a permitted solid or hazardous waste landfill or composting operation.  Status:  AB 318 awaits referral to a policy committee in the Assembly.  RCRC Status:  Pending

Assembly Bill 322 (Salas): Energy: Electric Program Investment Charge program: Assembly Bill 322 requires the Energy Commission to allocate at least 20% of all funds appropriated for the Electric Program Investment Charge program (roughly $25 million annually) to bioenergy projects for biomass conversion. Status: AB 322 has been recently introduced.  RCRC Status: Pending 

Assembly Bill 332 (ESTM): Hazardous waste: treated wood waste: Assembly Bill 332 seeks to reestablish a statutory pathway for the alternative management and disposal of treated wood waste in a landfill.  STATUS:  AB 332 awaits referral to a policy committee in the Assembly.  RCRC Status:  Support.

Senate Bill 4 (Gonzalez): Communications: California Advanced Services Fund. Senate Bill 4 would modernize and increase the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) by exploring ways to facilitate streamlining of local land use approvals and construction permit processes for projects related to broadband infrastructure deployment and connectivity. Status: SB 4 awaits consideration from the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 7 (Atkins): Jobs and Economic Improvement Environmental Leadership. Senate Bill 7 requires a lead agency to prepare a master environmental impact report (EIR) for a general plan, plan amendment, plan element, or specific plan for housing projects where the state has provided funding for the preparation of the master EIR. Allows for limited review of proposed subsequent housing projects that are described in the master EIR if the use of the master EIR is consistent with specified provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act. Status: SB 7 awaits consideration by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Senate Bill 12 (McGuire): Local government: planning and zoning: wildfires: Senate Bill 12 requires that the Office of Planning and Research, among other things, coordinate with appropriate entities, including state, regional, or local agencies, to establish a clearinghouse for climate adaptation information for use by state, regional, and local entities, as provided. This bill would require the safety element, upon the next revision of the housing element or the hazard mitigation plan, on or after July 1, 2024, whichever occurs first. Status: SB 12 awaits consideration by the Governance and Finance and Natural Resources Committee.  RCRC Status: Pending

Senate Bill 29 (Umberg): Elections: Vote by Mail Ballots: Senate Bill 29  Current law required county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter for the November 3, 2020 and also required county elections officials to use a specified Secretary of State vote by mail tracking system or a system that meets the same specifications. SB 29 extends these requirements to all elections conducted prior to January 1, 2022. Status: SB 29 has passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee and awaits consideration from the Assembly. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 30 (Cortese): Building Decarbonization: Senate Bill 30 prohibits state agencies from designing or constructing a state facility that is connected to the natural gas grid and prohibits state agencies from funding projects for the construction of residential and nonresidential buildings that are connected to the natural gas grid. Status: Senate Bill 30 awaits consideration by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Senate Bill 38 (Wieckowski): Beverage Containers: Senate Bill 38 replaces the existing Beverage Container Recycling Program (Bottle Bill) with a new recycling program administered by beverage container manufacturers and increases the CRV from $0.05 to $0.10 per container if the state fails to achieve specified recycling rates. Status: SB 38 awaits consideration by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Pending

 Senate Bill 42 (Wieckowski): Department of Toxic Substances Control:  Senate Bill 42 establishes a new Board of Environmental safety to oversee the Department of Toxic Substances Control, consider permit appeals, and propose regulatory changes and establishes an ombudsperson to make and receive public complaints and suggestions. Status: SB 42 awaits consideration by the Senate Environmental Quality committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Senate Bill 45 (Portantino): Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water Bond Act: Senate Bill 45 enacts the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2022, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in a specified amount pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation, and flood protection program. Status: SB 45 awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Senate Bill 52 (Dodd): State of Emergency: Power Outages. Senate Bill 52 clarifies that deenergization events (also known as PSPS events) qualify as events for which a state of emergency or local emergency can be declared under the California Emergency Services Act. Status: SB 52 awaits consideration in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 55 (Stern): Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone: Development. Senate Bill 55 would prohibit all retail, commercial, industrial, or residential development in specified fire-prone areas of the state. Status: SB 55 has been recently introduced and awaits referral to a policy committee.  RCRC Status: Oppose

Senate Bill 99 (Dodd): Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021: Senate Bill 99 requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans. Sets forth guiding principles for plan development, including equitable access to reliable energy and integration with other existing local planning documents. Status: SB 99 awaits consideration in the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.  RCRC Status: Pending

Senate Bill 207 (Dahle): Photovoltaic Recycling Advisory Group: Senate Bill 207 seeks to spur the recycling and reuse of solar photovoltaic panels by requiring an advisory group to make recommendations to ensure that, to the extent possible, all solar photovoltaic panels in the state are reused or recycled at the end of their lives in a safe and cost-effective manner. Status: SB 207 awaits referral to a policy committee in the Senate. RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 219 (McGuire): Property Tax Payments: Shelter-in-Place Order. Senate Bill 219 codifies a county tax collector’s ability to cancel late payment penalties for taxpayers who have experienced financial hardship due to shelter-in-place orders. Status: SB 219 awaits consideration in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 244 (Archuleta): Lithium-ion batteries: illegal disposal: fire prevention: Senate Bill seeks to prevent lithium-ion battery fires by requiring the state to develop training and best practices for the detection, safe handling, and suppression of fires that originate from discarded lithium-ion batteries in solid waste collection vehicles, transfer and processing stations, and disposal facilities.  Status: SB 244 awaits referral to a policy committee in the Senate.  RCRC Status:  Pending

Senate Bill 252 (Wiener): Bears: take prohibition: Senate Bill 252 Would make it unlawful to hunt, trap, or otherwise take a bear of the genus Euarctos or the species Ursus americanus, except under specified circumstances, including under a depredation permit. The bill would authorize the Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt regulations to implement these provisions. The bill would remove the designation of game mammal for bears, thereby designating a bear as a nongame mammal, and would eliminate bear tags. Status: SB 252 awaits referral to a policy committee. RCRC Status: Oppose