The Barbed Wire - June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020
RCRC Rural Rundown of the Initial 2020-21 State Budget Package
Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 1431 (Glazer) – Property Taxation Reassessment: Disaster Relief
Loans for Water Infrastructure Projects
Congress Poised to Approve Land and Water Conservation Fund
Rural Digital Opportunity Fund
Water Board Proposed NPDES General Permit for Suction Dredge Mining
Governor Newsom Signs Universal Vote By Mail Bill for the November 2020 General Election
RCRC and Others Urge the California Public Utilities Commission to Evaluate the Reasonableness of Last Year’s PSPS Events
Infrastructure and Highway Bill Reauthorization
CalPERS Investment Strategy Update

RCRC Rural Rundown of the Initial 2020-21 State Budget Package

On Monday, June 15, 2020, both houses of the Legislature approved the main 2020-21 State Budget and two budget trailer bills that assist in implementing the 2020-21 State Budget Package. RCRC’s governmental affairs team reviewed the 2020-21 State Budget Package, and developed The Rural Rundown, a summary of the initial 2020-21 State Budget Package, its implications for member counties, details of RCRC’s advocacy efforts on specific issue items and an insider perspective into the reasoning and rationale behind elements of the Package.

Key Issues/Changes for RCRC Member Counties:

  • Continues to provide $644,000 for the State’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program for 2020-21;
  • Provides for the release of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act monies to counties and cities;
  • Delays action on Cap-and-Trade revenues for various greenhouse gas reduction programs, including SB 901 forest health and wildfire prevention activities and the FARMER Program;
  • Fails to provide a $3.6 million increase, along with an additional 10 percent reduction, from the current baseline for the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
  • Defers to a later discussion a $1 billion backfill to Realignment programs to account for the loss of sales tax monies that support the Realignment structure; and,
  • Provides $50 million to the California Office of Emergency Services for community power resiliency projects to help local governments, special districts, and fairgrounds undertake actions to mitigate the impacts of future public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events, and provides increased funding for the California Public Utilities Commission to review utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans and PSPS reports.

It should be noted that the State Budget Package remains incomplete – the vast majority of the budget trailer bills still await action, including measures pertaining to criminal justice and corrections, resources, housing and homelessness, broadband, reform of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and expenditures from the state’s Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds, along with a supplemental budget bill to address outstanding issues with the current fiscal year which ends on June 30th. Over the next several days and weeks, it is expected these remaining issues will be considered and adopted. It should be noted that the Legislature and the Governor do not have an agreement on the State Budget Package, which leaves some uncertainty as to the Governor’s position on the proposed spending plan.

The Rural Rundown can be accessed here.

Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 1431 (Glazer) – Property Taxation Reassessment: Disaster Relief

RCRC and a coalition of county stakeholders officially opposed Senate Bill 1431, authored by Steven Glazer (D-Orinda), relating to the reassessment of property damaged or destroyed in an area subsequently declared to be in a state of disaster (i.e. coronavirus).  

SB 1431 would have required counties to remit property tax refund checks to certain types of property owners to compensate them for the indirect effects of state and local tenant protections.  Instead of basing property tax assessments on the underlying value of the land and improvements, SB 1431 would have required County Assessors to base property tax assessments on a property’s temporary ability to produce income for the property owner.

Counties believe requiring counties to compensate private businesses for the indirect effects of government regulations would set a bad precedent.  SB 1431 would have negative, long-term impacts on the most important funding source for counties, special districts, cities, and schools, as well as put a significant administrative burden on county assessors.  

Fortunately, SB 1431 failed passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.  The coalition letter can be accessed here.  For more information, please contact Paul A. Smith, RCRC Senior Governmental Affairs Vice President, at (916) 447-4806 or

Loans for Water Infrastructure Projects

This week, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted planning and funding documents for both the clean water and drinking water state revolving fund programs for the coming year. The total potential is approximately $1.2 billion in new funding. Adopted annually, these expenditure plans (known as the “intended use plan”) provide low interest loans as well as principal forgiveness loans to communities across the state. Projects must be directly related to protecting or improving public health, water quality or both. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund intended use plan adds up to $910 million in new projects in fiscal year 20-2021. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund intended use plan has potential funding in excess of $308 million for new projects in fiscal year 20-2021.

The Board’s approved intended use plans follow state and federal funding guidelines:

  • The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund finances infrastructure improvements to reduce drinking water risks and support the human right to water. It provides funding for drinking water projects such as well rehabilitation and replacement, tank/reservoir replacement, transmission and distribution pipeline replacement, drinking water treatment for primary contaminants and water meters. There are also a few projects on source development/desalination.
  • The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) includes recycled water and stormwater projects and addresses wastewater discharge violations or enforcement orders issued by the regional water boards. Specifically, wastewater projects include the rehabilitation of existing facilities that treat wastewater, new wastewater treatment facilities, pump station rehabilitation and replacement and sewer pipeline rehabilitation and replacement. Recycled water projects consist of recycled water treatment facilities, pump stations, distribution systems and storage facilities. Storm water projects include projects that prevent, abate, reduce, transport, separate, store, treat, recycle, or dispose of pollutants arising or flowing in storm drainage that is transported in pipes, culverts, tunnels, ditches, wells, channels, conduits, from urban or rural areas to surface or groundwaters of the state and the reuse or disposal of storm water determined acceptable for reuse or disposal.

Congress Poised to Approve Land and Water Conservation Fund

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 73-25 to pass the Great American Outdoors Act (S.3422), bipartisan legislation (co-sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Kamala Harris) to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address priority repair needs in U.S. National Parks and other land management agencies.

Over more than 50 years in existence, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has helped preserve public land in the United States. When enacted, The LWCF was intended to provide up to $900 million a year to preserve natural sites, meet demand for outdoor recreation, and provide access to the resources needed “for individual enjoyment and to assume the physical, cultural, and spiritual benefits of outdoor recreation”. The LWCF was permanently reauthorized in 2019, but has been woefully underfunded throughout the years.

The Great American Outdoors Act passed by the Senate would make two significant changes:

  • Establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration fund to support deferred maintenance projects, providing up to $9.5 billion over the course of the first five years.
  • Guarantee $900 million a year to the LWCF in perpetuity.

The Great American Outdoors Act now heads to the House of Representatives where it is expected to be taken-up before the July 4th Recess. And, the legislation recently secured the backing of President Trump who, in March, called on Congress to send this legislation to his desk to be signed into law.

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Closing the “digital divide” has long been a key initiative of RCRC as many rural communities regularly contend with unreliable or non-existent broadband access. In recent months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has further revealed the depth of the disparities when, in the words of RCRC Chief Economic Development Officer, Barbara Hayes, “the digital divide became the digital chasm”. Signaling that lawmakers may be increasingly attuned to the urgency of the situation, during a Tuesday reconfirmation hearing for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Mike O’Rielly, Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) revealed he is focused on how to speed up the disbursement of rural broadband subsidies from the FCC’s October Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction of $16 billion. Although he previously had expressed interest in speeding up when that auction begins, Senator Wicker says he has turned his attention to how to fast-track getting the broadband subsidy money out the door to telecom providers after the first phase of that auction happens. “I may have a proposal,” Wicker told Commissioner O’Rielly. “Once phase 1 auction occurs, I think we can help you with some extra funds and some incentive from the administration, on a bipartisan basis, to move this ahead.”

Water Board Proposed NPDES General Permit for Suction Dredge Mining

The State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) has recently released the proposed NPDES Suction Dredge Mining General Permit (General Permit) for public comments.  A virtual public workshop was held on May 28, 2020 with a virtual Public Hearing originally scheduled for June 17th.  The public hearing has now been rescheduled to August 5th with comments due by August 24th.  No action will be taken at this public hearing.  The State Water Board will schedule a meeting subsequent to the public hearing to consider adoption of the General Permit.  The proposed General Permit is available here.

Suction dredge mining has been statutorily prohibited in California since 2009.  While the Department adopted a comprehensive update of its suction dredge regulations in 2012 and suction dredge mining definition in 2014, with the 2015 passage of Senate Bill 637 (Allen), the California Fish and Game Code and Water Code were amended, expanding the definition of suction dredge mining and requiring miners to obtain a Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) permit and any water quality permit or other authorization required by the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) to suction dredge mine in California.

The federal Clean Water Act section 402 requires that discharges of any pollutant or combination of pollutants from point sources to waters of the United States be regulated by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  The Department of Fish and Wildlife permit requires miners to obtain a Water Board permit or letter stating no such permit is required as part of the application. This has had the effect of continuing the moratorium until the Water Board takes one or more of the following actions provided by SB 637:

  • the adoption of waste discharge requirements or a waiver of such requirements; or
  • specifying certain conditions or areas where the discharge of waste or other adverse impacts on beneficial uses of the waters of the state from the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment is prohibited; or
  • prohibit any particular use of, or methods of using, vacuum or suction dredge equipment, or any portion thereof, to extract minerals based on a determination generally that doing so will cause or contribute to an exceedance of applicable water quality objectives or unreasonably impact beneficial uses.

The proposed General Permit includes application package requirements, including a fee of $2,572 for the duration of the General Permit, implementation of best management practices that covers operations and site management, and discharge specifications and effluent limitations.

The proposed General Permit also prohibits suction dredge mining in watersheds within the Department’s regulation year-round prohibitions, any Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303d listed for mercury or metals, mercury concentrations above Objectives, and any areas subject to historic gold mining operations.  This in effect, limits suction dredge mining to areas not known to contain gold.  See Attachment G1 and G2 for maps of watersheds prohibited and permitted or suction dredge mining.

And although the statutory definition of suction dredge mining includes a wide variety of activities, the proposed statewide NPDES General Permit only provides the required regulatory coverage for mechanized and/or motorized dredge activities that take place in a waterbody, utilize a single intake suction nozzle, and directly discharge to a surface water of the United States.

RCRC is soliciting comments from our member counties regarding the proposed General Permit.  Please forward any comments or questions to Mary Pitto at or phone (209) 674-8001.

Governor Newsom Signs Universal Vote By Mail Bill for the November 2020 General Election

This November, every Californian will have the option to vote by mail. Assembly Bill 860, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D- Menlo Park), was signed into law by Governor Newsom on Thursday evening, just hours after being approved by the Legislature. AB 860 received bi-partisan support as legislators united to work through issues and concerns raised by counties and other constituents.

For the November 3, 2020 statewide general election, AB 860 makes the following adjustments:

  • Every active California voter will be sent a vote by mail ballot and may cast a ballot using vote by mail.
  • Voters will have the ability to track their vote by mail ballot as it moves through the mail and processing systems.
  • Counties may use either their own ballot tracking system, or the tracking system provided by the Secretary of State.
  • Counties may begin processing vote by mail ballots on the 29th day before the election.
  • The deadline for county election officials to receive ballots is extended to the 17th day after election day.
  • Costs mandated by the State, as determined by the Commission on State Mandates, will be reimbursed.

Meanwhile, legislators are continuing to work together on another bill focused on the November 2020 general election. Senate Bill 423, authored by Senator Tom Umberg (D- Santa Ana), would ensure voters have access to in-person voting opportunities and can choose how to exercise the right to vote in November 2020, while providing flexibility to counties in recognition of the challenges the coronavirus pandemic poses to election administration.

RCRC and Others Urge the California Public Utilities Commission to Evaluate the Reasonableness of Last Year’s PSPS Events

On June 15, RCRC joined CSAC, the Counties of Kern, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma, the Cities of San Jose and Santa Rosa, several communications providers, and disability rights advocates in submitting a Motion to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) urging the Commission to determine whether utility decisions to initiate last year’s PSPS events were reasonable. The motion also urges the CPUC to evaluate the reasonableness of implementation of those PSPS events.

Last year, utilities conducted dozens of PSPS events that impacted well over two million Californians. In some cases, the loss of electricity was paired with gas shutoffs and resulted in widespread communications outages that jeopardized public safety and emergency response. On June 8, the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Decision (SED) issued a public report on last year’s PSPS events. While that report outlined a number of serious problems associated with utility actions in those events, it stopped well short of determining whether the utilities acted reasonably in either determining to shut off power or in the actual implementation of those events. The SED noted that such an undertaking would require much more information than was readily available in the utility post-event reports, gleaned through stakeholder feedback, and received from the utilities.

While the SED Report is helpful to highlight much-needed utility improvements, a more thorough evaluation of the reasonableness of utility actions is vital to provide guidance to utilities in when and how they conduct future PSPS events.

Infrastructure and Highway Bill Reauthorization

President Trump’s push for a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill is facing strong opposition from Senate Republicans. GOP senators are warning that President Trump’s expected proposal is too “rich” and would be a “heavy lift” in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) more pressing priority is to move the Senate’s version of the five-year reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund. This effort is estimated to cost $287 billion, well below the $1 trillion plan the President is currently considering. The markup for the House of Representatives’ version of the reauthorization - introduced in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (INVEST in America) Act began on Wednesday morning, ran until 10 p.m. that evening, and has continued into Thursday with over 200 amendments remaining. The markup has faced significant technical difficulties as one of Congress’ first-ever major bill markups done by video conference. Despite the lengthy markup process and immense quantity of amendments, the bill will likely pass the House along party lines, putting it at a disadvantage in conference against the Senate's surface reauthorization that was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last summer. The Senate still needs to hold a floor vote on that bill. Of prime importance to either effort is how to pay for the cost of a reauthorization. That remains unclear at this time.

CalPERS Investment Strategy Update

On Monday, Ben Meng, Chief Investment Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), spoke to the CalPERS Investment Committee about the new investment strategy needed to meet obligations and secure benefits for future generations. In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Meng spoke of the plans, noting that the new investment strategy is not without risk, but stating that CalPERS has “implemented a comprehensive, forward-looking plan for mitigating risk”. CalPERS has posted a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) discussing the target return rate and how CalPERS plans to achieve the goal. The FAQs are accessible here.


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

CNRA Speaker Series- “Preserving Conservation: Revitalizing Fishing and Hunting in California

The California Natural Resources Agency is holding the next Secretary Speaker Series event on Tuesday, June 23 at 12:30 PM titled “Preserving Conservation: Revitalizing Fishing and Hunting in California. This event will be livestreamed on the Natural Resources Agency YouTube page.


2020 Sustainable Groundwater Management Watershed Coordinator (SGMA) Grant Program

A new 2020 Sustainable Groundwater Management Watershed Coordinator (SGMA) Grant Program is being launched at the Department of Conservation. Grants are being offered for watershed coordinators in parts of the state impacted by implementation of SGMA. Information about the program can be found here. A solicitation and application has been posted here.

Please contact Department of Conservation watershed program staff with questions or comments via email at or phone at (916) 324-0850.


Tehama County Job Opening- Director of Public Works

Tehama County is inviting applications for the position of Director of Public Works. The application deadline is July 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. To apply or for more information, see the job bulletin here.


Colusa County Seeks Assistant Director of Public Work/Road Commissioner

The county of Colusa is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Director of Public Work/Road Commissioner. The position is open until filled. Details are available here.


Butte County Seeks Chief Administrative Officer

Butte County is recruiting for the position of Chief Administrative Officer. The filing deadline is July 20, 2020. To apply or for more information, see the announcement here.


Career Opportunity- SRTA Chief Fiscal Officer

Shasta Regional Transportation Agency (SRTA) is seeking a Chief Fiscal Officer. Position details are available here. The position is open until filled. See the SRTA website for updates and submission information.


Public Forums Announced for Southern California Edison’s Proposed Rate Increase on Electric Customers

Public Forums to discuss Southern California Edison’s 20.5% rate increase request with the California Public Utilities Commission has been scheduled to occur on Tuesday, June 30th and Wednesday, July 1st at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. each day. To participate and make public comments at that time, call 1-800-857-1917, passcode 1673482, or you may view the public meeting here. For the full public notice, see here.


CARB to Host an Air Regulatory Overview Webinar for Public Agencies in California

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will be hosting an Air Regulatory Overview webinar for public agencies on June 29, 2020.

This course is an overview of air regulations that public agencies in California have compliance requirements including:

  • Idling Limitations;
  • On-Road Public Fleet Regulation;
  • In-Use Off-Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation
  • Periodic Smoke Inspection Program; and
  • Portable Equipment Registration Program (PERP).

DATE:     June 29, 2020
TIME:     1:00 p.m.
WEBINAR:  Register


Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Holds Weekly Webinars to Answer Questions on New CEQA Process

Senate Bill 743 (Steinberg; 2013) requires a new process to analyze transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to vehicle miles traveled (VMT); more information can be found here. In order to answer questions that may arise as implementation nears for this new CEQA metric, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is holding weekly “Office Hours” on a variety of topics from May 20th to June 24th. To view past events, including the discussion focusing on rural implementation, see OPR’s YouTube page here. Register for upcoming events here.

June 24, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon
Office Hours


COVID-Related Extensions Possible on CDBG Annual Performance Reports

On Monday, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced that the State Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) for non-entitlement jurisdictions requires all CDBG Recipients to submit Annual Performance Reports (APRs) documenting any activity that occurred during fiscal year 2019/2020. The reporting period covers July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. APR documents must be completed and submitted via email to by Friday, July 31, 2020. If the deadline can’t be met due to circumstances caused by COVID-19, please email Francisco Arnaiz outlining the reasons for requesting an extension and the date you expect to submit the report. Additional details are available in the HCD announcement here.


PG&E Announces Weekly Public Webinars on Wildfire Safety and PSPS Mitigation Efforts

PG&E announced a schedule of public webinars at which it will provide information on local Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) and wildfire safety efforts, including how it will make PSPS events smaller in size and shorter in duration, efforts to install new grid technology and harden electrical infrastructure, and enhanced vegetation management activities.

Webinars will take place on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Webinars have taken place for Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. Upcoming webinars are scheduled as follows:

  • June 24 – Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties (join webinar here)
  • July 1 – Humboldt, Trinity, and Siskiyou Counties (join webinar here)
  • July 8 – Glenn, Tehama, and Shasta Counties (join webinar here)
  • July 15 – Alpine, Tuolumne, and Mariposa Counties
  • July 22 – Merced, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus Counties
  • July 29 – San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Kern Counties
  • August 5 – Tulare, Madera, and Fresno Counties

See a full schedule, find information to join a webinar by phone, or view past presentations here. Check back for links to future webinars.


RCRC Annual Meeting in Napa County Cancelled

The RCRC Annual Meeting 2020 has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This meeting was scheduled to occur in Napa County this September. Several factors led to this difficult decision, most notably, current and future state and local government guidelines. Planning is underway to hold a future Annual Meeting in Napa – most likely in 2022 – in order to enjoy the beauty of the County as well as contribute to its economic recovery. More information on the return to Napa will be forthcoming after consideration and action by the RCRC Board of Directors.



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.

Assembly Bill 1080 (Gonzalez)/Senate Bill 54 (Allen): Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction. Assembly Bill 1080/SB 54 requires the state to reduce the waste associated with single use packaging and products 75 percent by 2030, requires the state to set standards for what is considered recyclable and compostable, and promotes the development of in-state manufacturing that uses recycled materials. Status: AB 1080 and SB 54 awaits consideration in the Senate and Assembly; respectively (Inactive File). RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2076 (Bigelow): Public Lands: Wildfire Prevention Strategy: Assembly Bill 2076 requires the Director of Parks and Recreation to develop and implement a wildfire prevention strategy for all property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation that is located within a high or a very high fire hazard severity zone. Requires the wildfire prevention strategy to outline the department's fire prevention goals. Status: AB 2076 awaits consideration in the Assembly. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2178 (Levine): Emergency Services: Assembly Bill 2178 clarifies authority to declare a state or local emergency for a public safety power shutoff by adding deenergization events to the list of triggering events under the California Emergency Services Act. Status: AB 2178 passed in the Assembly awaits consideration in the Senate. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2323 (Friedman): California Environmental Quality Act: Exemption: Assembly Bill 2323 makes several changes to improve the utility of various CEQA exemptions while maintaining adequate environmental protections. Among other things, AB 2323 allows CEQA exemptions to be used on infill, low-income, and agricultural housing projects proposed within the boundaries of a state conservancy. Status: AB 2323 passed the Assembly and awaits referral in the Senate. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2421 (Quirk): Emergency Standby Generators: Assembly Bill 2421 requires local agencies to make the installation of an emergency standby generator within the physical footprint of a macro cell tower site that meets specified requirements a permitted use subject only to local agency administrative review. Status: AB 2421 awaits consideration in the Assembly. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2459 (Bigelow): Alcoholic Beverage Licenses: County of Mariposa: Assembly Bill 2459 would authorize the Alcoholic Beverage Control to issue up to 10 additional new original on‑sale alcoholic beverage licenses to bona fide public eating places in Mariposa County that have a seating capacity for 50 or more persons.  Status: AB 2459 gained passage in the Assembly and now awaits consideration in the State Senate.  RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2539 (Bigelow): Electrical Corporations: Deenergization Events: Assembly Bill 2539 requires electrical corporations to work with local elections officials and mitigate the impact pf Public Safety Power Shutoff events on elections. Status: AB 2539 was pulled before being considered in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee; however, the author urged the California Public Utilities Commission to administratively ensure that elections are not impacted by PSPS events. RCRC Status: Support/Sponsor

Assembly Bill 2612 (Maienschein): Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Recycling: Appropriation Assembly Bill 2612 sought to annually appropriate $200 million to fund in-state solid and organic waste recycling programs to reach the state’s environmental goals. Status: AB 2612 was pulled before being considered in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support/Sponsor

Assembly Bill 3012 (Wood): Residential Property Insurance: Assembly Bill 3012 requires, for a total loss of a furnished residence related to a declared state of emergency, a residential property insurer to provide a payment for contents of no less than a certain percent of the policy limit without requiring an itemized claim. Requires a notice of nonrenewal for a policy to be accompanied by certain information, including information about the Home Insurance Finder and FAIR plan policies. Status: AB 3012 has passed in the Assembly awaits consideration in the Senate.  RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 3074 (Friedman): Fire Prevention: Wildfire Risk: Defensible Space: Assembly Bill 3074 Relates to defensible space. Requires more intense fuel reductions between 5 and 30 feet around the structure, and to create an ember-resistant zone within 5 feet of the structure, as provided. Status: AB 3074 has passed in the Assembly awaits consideration in the Senate. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 3164 (Friedman): Fire Prevention: Wildland Urban Interface: Assembly Bill 3164 requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to develop a wildland urban interface wildfire risk model to determine the risk for a community or parcel within a local responsibility area or state responsibility the department to establish, and consult with, an advisory workgroup, with specified members, to develop the model. Requires the department to update the model and guidelines when fire hazard severity zones are revised. Status: AB 3164 has passed in the Assembly awaits consideration in the Senate. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 182 (Beth Jackson): Local Government: Planning and Zoning: Wildfires: SB 182 creates a structure of increased fire risk strategies to be used by local governments to plan and permit for housing development in a VHFRA, defined as state, local and locally designated Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ). This bill adds reducing development pressure in VHFRA as an objective of the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) plan through considering allocating a lower portion of housing to a jurisdiction, if appropriate, due to the risk to life and safety to catastrophic wildfire. Status: SB 182 has passed out of the Senate and awaits consideration in the Assembly. RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 350 (Hill):  The Golden State Energy Act:  Senate Bill 350 authorizes the creation of a non-profit public benefit corporation to acquire Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Corporation in the event of certain future conditions.   Status:  SB 350 passed the Assembly and awaits referral in Senate Rules Committee. RCRC Status:  Watch.

Senate Bill 431 (McGuire): Mobile Telephony Service Base Transceiver Station Tower:  Senate Bill 431 requires the commission, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to develop and implement performance reliability standards for all mobile telephony service base transceiver station towers, commonly known as "cell towers," located within a commission-designated Tier 2 or Tier 3 High Fire Threat District. Status: SB 431 awaits consideration in the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 755 (Rubio): Insurance: Residential Property Insurance: Senate Bill 755 requires specified insurers who fail to renew or offer renewal of a policy of residential property insurance to make certain notifications to a policyholder regarding other options the policyholder may have, including information about the FAIR plan. Status: SB 755 awaits consideration from the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 862 (Dodd): Planned Power Outage: Public Safety: Senate Bill 862 clarifies that public safety power shutoffs are included in the California Emergency Services Act and expands the universe of medically sensitive individuals for whom electrical corporations must mitigate public safety power shutoff event impacts and establishes minimum requirements for the locations, hours of operation and services provided by a Community Resource Center. Status: SB 862 on the Senate Floor.RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 872 (Dodd): Residential Property Insurance: State of Emergency: Senate Bill 872 relates to actions taken during a state of emergency. Requires an insurer of residential property to provide extensions to collect the full replacement cost of an insured acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence encounters delays in approval for, or reconstruction of, the property that are beyond the insured's control. Requires coverage for loss of use relating to a state of emergency to be for a specified period, plus an extension, as specified. Status: SB 872 awaits consideration in the Senate. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 952 (Nielsen):  Sales and Use Taxes: Exemption: Backup Electrical Generators: Deenergization Events:  Senate Bill 952 creates a sales tax exemption for the purchase of backup electrical resources by local governments for use during deenergization events.  Status:  SB 952 on the Senate Floor. RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 1120 (Atkins): Subdivisions: Tentative Maps: Senate Bill 1120 amends the Planning and Zoning Law. Requires a proposed housing development containing two residential units to be considered ministerial, without discretionary review or hearing, in zones where allowable uses are limited to single family residential development. Requires ministerial approval of parcel map dividing a lot into two equal lots. Status: SB 1120 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Senate Bill 1130 (Gonzalez): Telecommunications: California Advanced Services Fund: Senate Bill 1130 make changes to the California Advanced Services Fund that would require broad band projects to provide high quality, future proof infrastructure to be eligible for state funding. Status: SB 1130 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 1191 (Dahle): Organic Waste: Reduction Goals: Local Jurisdictions: Senate Bill 1191 provides local governments with flexibility in complying with recently adopted organic waste laws. Status: SB 1191 was pulled before being considered by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Support/Sponsor

Senate Bill 1347 (Galgiani): Veterinary Medicine: Authorized Care: Senate Bill 1347 Expands the types of veterinary care, animal shelter, employees can provide to include first aid, the administration of nonprescription vaccinations to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and other activities pursuant to veterinarian writers protocol. Status: SB 1347 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 1385 (Caballero): Local Planning: Housing: Commercial Zones: Senate Bill 1385 establishes the Neighborhood Home Act which would deem a housing development project an authorized use on a parcel that is zoned for office or retail commercial use under a local agency's zoning code or general plan. Status: SB 1385 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Senate Bill 1431 (Glazer): Property Taxation: Reassessment: Disaster Relief: Senate Bill 1431 expands existing law relating to the reassessment of property damaged or destroyed in an area or region subsequently proclaimed to be in a state of disaster. Specifies that damage includes a diminution in the value of property as a result of any law, order, or rule, or regulation of the state or locality providing tenant protections in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Status: SB 1431 failed passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose