End of Session Wrapup: Governor Signs Bills Impacting Local Government
This is the introduction to a full update including dozens of individually tracked bills. To see the complete update in PDF, please click here.
The October 13 deadline for Governor Newsom to sign bills has come and gone. Of the 1,042 bills sent to the Governor for review, the Administration has said the Governor signed 870 bills into law.
Governor Newsom grabbed national headlines in recent weeks, signing bills that put California at the forefront of a number of key issues including rent control, dramatic reforms to independent contracting, a bill allowing college athletes to receive compensation, more than 15 bills related to gun control, banning smoking on public beaches, making California the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products, and a ban on most animals from making circus performances.
In an analysis by CalMatters, Newsom is found to have vetoed bills at higher rate than Governor Brown over the preceding 8 years, denying 16.5% of bills to Brown’s 13.5%. Newsom vetoed at a similar rate to Governors Davis and Wilson.
Newsom did sign a number of bills on topics previously vetoed by Governor Brown, including allowing childcare workers to form unions and extending the timeframe for which victims of child sex abuse can sue.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT IMPACTS
From a local government perspective, some of the biggest impacts will be felt in housing, where Newsom signed roughly 20 bills designed to boost housing production and/or develop Accessory Dwelling Units.
Headlining these, Newsom signed SB 330, which temporarily bans cities from imposing a moratorium on new housing construction, prohibits “downzoning” (changing zoning law to outlaw denser housing like apartment buildings), and prevents cities from raising fees during the development approval process.
Newsom vetoed SB 5, which had been called “Redevelopment 2.0,” and would have allowed local governments to set aside a portion of property taxes that would otherwise go to public schools and use to fund affordable housing, transit-oriented development and infill projects. Newsom cited cost as the factor, the bill had a $2 billion price tag.
Beyond housing issues, perhaps the most notable move was the Governor’s veto of SB 531, which would have barred a local agency from entering into any agreement that results in a rebate of Bradley-Burns local tax revenues to a retailer in exchange for that retailer locating within that agency’s jurisdiction. The League of California Cities supported this bill, along with labor interests, but the Governor vetoed it, calling the agreements “an important local tool,” particularly in rural and inland California.
In a win for more than 100 local agencies who participate in the AB 1717 (2014) UUT collection program, the Governor signed SB 344 providing a one-year sunset extension for AB 1717 (2014) which set up a mechanism to capture UUT from prepaid wireless will be done via legislation. MuniServices was a lead stakeholder on the bill and will be developing next steps to ensure these revenues are protected long-term.
Cities and Counties are reminded to review the new laws related business licenses.
In other notable bills, AB 857 authorizes local agencies to create and operate publicly owned banks, and AB 116 which authorizes a public financing authority to issue bonds under specified circumstances without submitting a proposal to the voters. AB 1819 will allow a requestor certian public records to use their own equipment for the purposes of inspecting them.