Friday, September 1, 2023, marked the last day for fiscal committees to meet and either pass or hold fiscal bills which had been placed on the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees’ Suspense Files this legislative year.  Several hundred bills were placed on the respective Suspense Files and dispatched; either to proceed forward or held. The following are of particular interest to RCRC: 


Bills Held in Appropriations Committees 

Assembly Bill 388 (Connolly) would have enabled the departments under the California Natural Resources Agency to directly award regional block grants to eligible regional entities, forest collaboratives, and partnerships to implement regional plans, strategies, agreements, and initiatives, and would have established guidance for the framework for such regional plans. (Policy Lead: Staci Heaton) 

Assembly Bill 998 (Connolly) would have required the state to prepare a report on utility-scale biomass combustion facilities, including the capacity of those facilities to process forest biomass, the role they play in achieving the state’s forest health and wildfire risk reduction objectives, and ways to maximize the environmental benefits of those facilities.  RCRC supported the measure. (Policy Lead: John Kennedy) 

Assembly Bill 1713 (Gipson) AB 1713 would require local agencies that receive federal funds subject to an expiration date to submit a written report to its legislative body no later than one year after the funding expiration date with an enumeration of the amount of funds returned, a summary of the reasons the funds were returned, and an analysis of policy or operational changes required to ensure that relevant funds are spent timely in the future. RCRC is in opposition of this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 310 (Dodd) would have expanded exemptions granted for prescribed burns conducted by federally recognized tribes. 

Senate Bill 367 (Seyarto) would have expanded the state’s Farm and Ranch cleanup program to fund the cleanup and abatement of illegally dumped solid waste on lands owned by the state or federal government.  RCRC supported the measure. (Policy Lead: John Kennedy) 

Senate Bill 508 (Laird) which streamlines the State’s review and approval of cannabis licenses when a local jurisdiction completes certain types of environmental review. RCRC is in support of this measure (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 


Bills Passed in Appropriations Committees 

Assembly Bill 50 (Wood) makes several interrelated changes to expedite the timely delivery of service by electrical utilities, including improving utility planning and information sharing to facilitate systematic reductions in the time it takes to meet requests for new or increased levels of service from customers.  RCRC supports the measure. (Policy Lead: John Kennedy) 

Assembly Bill 297 (Fong) would extend the ability of CAL FIRE to make advance payments on grants for fire prevention and home hardening education activities through its local assistance grant program through January 1, 2034. The bill was recently amended to harmonize with prescribed grazing provisions in Senate Bill 675 (Limón). RCRC is in support of this measure. (Policy Lead: Staci Heaton) 

Assembly Bill 338 (Aguiar-Curry) would expand the definition of “public works” to include fuel reduction work done on contract and paid for in whole or part by public funds, thereby requiring prevailing wage be paid for community fuels treatment and forest resilience projects.  The bill includes a 1-year implementation delay (2 years for nonprofits) and a full exemption on tribal lands. This bill passed the Legislature in 2022 as Assembly Bill 1717 but was vetoed by Governor Newsom. RCRC is in opposition to this measure. (Policy Lead: Staci Heaton) 

Assembly Bill 504 (Reyes) makes sympathy striking and honoring a strike line a human right for public employees. Extending the right to sympathy strike to all public sector employees would upend the bargaining process and undermine the ability of government agencies to provide certain services during a strike.  RCRC is in opposition of this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett)  

Assembly Bill 505 (Ting) seeks to take necessary authority and integral funding away from county probation departments. Amendments taken in Senate Appropriations on 9/1/23 fail to address the significant concerns raised by counties and county partners, and to the contrary, give rise to even further ambiguity regarding the delinking of authority and funding from the county entities who continue to bear responsibility for the important and necessary work associated with carrying out DJJ realignment. RCRC is in opposition of this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Assembly Bill 557 (Hart) makes changes related to emergency remote meeting procedures under the Ralph M. Brown Act established in Assembly Bill 361 (R. Rivas, 2021). AB 557 would eliminate the sunset on the emergency remote meeting procedures added to California Government Code section 54953. Additionally, AB 557 would adjust the timeframe for the resolutions passed to renew an agency’s temporary transition to emergency remote meetings to 45 days, up from the previous number of 30 days. RCRC is in support of this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Assembly Bill 764 (Bryan) would make a number of changes to California’s FAIR MAPS Act which impact county responsibilities during redistricting. Amendments were taken in the Appropriations Committee to address county concerns. RCRC has removed opposition to this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Assembly Bill 1115 (Papan) extends operation of the state’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Cleanup Fund until January 1, 2036. This program pays for removal and remediation of leaking underground storage tanks, including those owned by local governments, businesses, and private property owners. RCRC is supporting the measure. (Policy Lead: John Kennedy) 

Assembly Bill 1248 (Bryan) which would require counties with populations of 300,000 or above to create an independent redistricting commission for the 2030 redistricting process. AB 1248 does not provide the necessary resources for counties to execute a successful independent redistricting commission process. RCRC is in opposed unless amended to this measure (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Assembly Bill 1448 (Wallis) incentivizes local jurisdictions to use the statutory penalties for unlicensed cannabis activities by revising Business and Professions Code 26038 to allow a 50/50 state-local split of the statutory penalties recovered in actions brought by local jurisdictions, as originally enacted by the Legislature in the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA). RCRC is the SPONSOR of this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Assembly Bill 1484 (Zbur) inflexibly mandates that temporary employees must be included within the same bargaining unit as permanent employees. AB 1484 includes requirements that will be difficult, if not impossible, for public employers to fulfill, including provisions that conflict with existing law for permanent employees. RCRC is in opposition to this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Assembly Bill 1548 (Hart) expands CalRecycle’s existing solid and organic waste recycling grant program to help local governments get recycled material into the marketplace, find new homes for useful consumer goods, and expand local edible food recovery programs.  RCRC is sponsoring the measure. (Policy Lead: John Kennedy) 

Assembly Bill 1637 (Irwin) would require cities and counties to secure and migrate to a new .gov or domain along with all corresponding email addresses.  AB 1637 will impose significant costs to local agencies, particularly during a period of economic decline—creating pressures against existing programs and activities. RCRC is in opposition to this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 43 (Eggman) which expands the definition of "gravely disabled" under the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act and modifies hearsay evidentiary standards for conservatorship hearings. RCRC has a position of concern. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 75 (Roth) would authorize 26 new superior court judgeships, subject to appropriation.  If funded in the budget, any new judgeships would be allocated to counties in the state in accordance with the Judicial Council's Judicial Needs Assessment. RCRC is in support of this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 326 (Eggman) which reflects the Governor’s revised proposal to significantly reform the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and makes additional changes beyond the MHSA to the behavioral health system more broadly. Counties have significant concerns that will impact counties ability to implement this measure. RCRC has a position of concern. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 525 (Durazo) would require implementation to begin next year, raising wages by $5.50/hour from the current minimum wage of $15.50/hour, and then increasing by $9.50/hour on June 1, 2025. SB 525 would also require the salaries of full-time/exempt employees to be no less than 150% of the health care worker minimum wage for full-time employment, effectively creating a new salary base of approximately $78,000 per year. RCRC is in opposition to this measure (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 623 (Laird) which is a substantial expansion of California’s current workers’ compensation presumption for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to public safety dispatchers and communications workers. There is no evidence that normal operation of our workers’ compensation system is failing to provide benefits or that setting aside employer protections in favor of a presumption is warranted. RCRC is in opposition to this measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett) 

Senate Bill 675 (Limón): SB 675 requires the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force to develop a strategic action plan to expand the use of prescribed grazing, as well as requires the Range Management Advisory Committee to develop guidance for local and regional prescribed grazing plans. RCRC is in support of this measure. (Policy Lead: Staci Heaton) 

Senate Bill 751 (Padilla) prohibits any franchise contracts, licenses, or permits for solid waste handling services entered into or substantially amended by a local agency on or after January 1, 2024 from excusing the service provider from performance in the event of a labor dispute. RCRC is neutral on the measure but helped refine its contents to protect local authority. (Policy Lead: John Kennedy) 

Senate Bill 799 (Portantino) allows striking workers to draw employer-funded unemployment benefits after two weeks of strike action. California’s UI Fund was exhausted during the COVID-19 pandemic and has a deficit of $18.6 billion owed to the Federal government. If SB 799 were to become law, we anticipate longer lengths of impasse, higher costs associated with protracted Public Employee Relations Broad (PERB) proceedings, and a decline in the quality of public services. RCRC is in opposition to the measure. (Policy Lead: Sarah Dukett)  

Please contact the RCRC Government Affairs staff at (916) 447-4806 with any questions.