The Barbed Wire - April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018
Humboldt County Hosts April Board of Directors Meeting
RCRC Board of Directors Maintains Support of Transportation Funding
FAA Reauthorization Act
2018 Farm Bill Update
Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 821 (Jackson) – SUPPORT
THE RURAL RUNDOWN PODCAST
BULLETIN BOARD
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Humboldt County Hosts April Board of Directors Meeting

Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) Chair and Humboldt County Supervisor Rex Bohn hosted the April 2018 RCRC Board of Directors meeting in Humboldt County this week.  The two-day event commenced on Wednesday with a tour of the county and a couple of local businesses, followed by dinner at the Ivanhoe Restaurant and Saloon.  The event concluded with an RCRC Board of Directors meeting in Ferndale on Thursday.  Read More…

RCRC Board of Directors Maintains Support of Transportation Funding

Yesterday, the RCRC Board of Directors took action on two items to maintain support of transportation funding in California.  First, the RCRC Board of Directors voted to oppose the effort to repeal Senate Bill 1 (Beall), the recently-enacted measure which increased taxes and fees on motorists to fund repairs to California’s roads.  Next, the Board of Directors also voted to support Proposition 69, which would protect the revenues derived from SB 1 from being used for non-transportation purposes. 

The memo addressing the effort to repeal Senate Bill 1 can be accessed here.  The memo outlining Proposition 69 can be accessed here.

FAA Reauthorization Act

Later this afternoon, the House is expected to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, HR 4, to reauthorize programs of the FAA for another six years. Leading up to the vote, the House Rules Committee received over 200 proposed amendments to the FAA Reauthorization Act. Among the amendments considered was a proposal by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California) that would revoke authorization for the Essential Air Service program that subsidizes commercial routes to small, rural airports. McClintock’s amendment was voted down on the House Floor Friday morning.

In the wake of last week’s Southwest airlines accident, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) added an amendment that compels the FAA to study engine safety and examine “regulations, guidance, and directives” for engine design, production, operation and maintenance.

The FAA Reauthorization Act would provide long-term authorization for the FAA for the first time since 2015. Congress passed five subsequent extensions, including one attached to the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill that expires Sept. 30. The long-term certainty led business and labor groups to support the bill. Chairman Shuster touted that aspect as well.

HR 4 will include $5.3 billion for a new airport grant program from Fiscal Year 2019 through Fiscal Year 2023. In addition to new landing strips the funding is eligible for projects to improve runways and airfields, similar to the Airport Improvement Program. 

2018 Farm Bill Update

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) told reporters this week there is no date set for the release of his chamber’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are engaged in bipartisan negotiations to deliver a 2018 Farm Bill that will garner more Democratic support than the House version of the bill which was passed out of Committee earlier this month with only Republican support.

Chairman Roberts’ statement came the same week the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a group of conservative House Republicans, released a budget proposal for Fiscal 2019 with dramatic cuts to farm bill programs. The RSC’s budget proposal underlines the challenge House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) faces in the lower chamber. Chairman Conaway’s Farm Bill would make dramatic reforms to food stamp programs but several other Farm Bill staples, including crop insurance and premium subsidies, remain deeply unpopular among conservatives. Conaway is working with Republican leadership in the House to stave off conservative attacks on the Farm Bill’s commodity programs and crop insurance.

Conservative think tanks such as Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and the R Street Institute are advocating against the bill but conservative members are signaling their potential support for the Agriculture and Nutrition Act. On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters he was open to supporting the bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) is selling the bill as conservatives’ only opportunity to reform the food stamp program. If Ryan and Conaway find enough votes to pass the House, the 2018 Farm Bill is expected to reach the floor for a vote the week of May 7th.

Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 821 (Jackson) – SUPPORT

RCRC has lent its support to Senate Bill 821 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara).  SB 821 would authorize counties to automatically enroll residents into county-operated emergency notification systems, as well as allow residents to “opt-out” of receiving emergency alerts.  

Current “opt-in” emergency notification systems are not adequate to notify residents during emergency situations. This became very clear during the devastating 2017 wildfires, which killed 44 people and injured 192 others in Northern California.  Fires such as the Tubbs Fire and the Thomas Fire were fast-moving due to severe conditions, which included high winds and dry vegetation.  The lack of a suitable, coordinated emergency notification system slowed evacuations during these fires and further endangered the safety of residents in those areas.

Recent emergencies in California reinforce the need for a robust emergency notification system, and SB 821 would ensure the safety of county residents during a disaster.

Ms. Rhine’s support letter can be accessed here.  Ms. Rhine can be reached at (916) 447-4806 or trhine@rcrcnet.org.

THE RURAL RUNDOWN PODCAST

The Rural Rundown discusses the legislative and regulatory issues impacting California’s rural counties, featuring commentary and interviews from individuals committed to improving the quality of life in rural California. 

Listen to our first two episodes where we discuss the NACo advocacy trip and federal efforts, and a recent joint legislative committee on Emergency Management and Senate Committee on Insurance titled "Drought, Climate Change and Fire: How is the California Homeowners' Insurance Market Responding?" 

The Rural Rundown can be accessed here

BULLETIN BOARD

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

CWC Meeting to Determine Final Public Benefit Ratios for Proposed Water Storage Projects

Click here

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

RCRC members are encouraged to share letters addressed to state and federal representatives and regulatory bodies with RCRC’s Government Affairs staff.  

Assembly Bill 924 (Bonta): Indian Tribes: Commercial Cannabis Activity.  Assembly Bill 924 would authorize the Governor to enter into agreements concerning cannabis activities on lands of federally-recognized sovereign Indian tribes. Status: AB 924 awaits consideration in the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee.  RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 986 (Gallagher): Hunting and Sport Fishing Licenses.  Assembly Bill 986 would revise the duration of sport fishing licenses, and provide Veterans with a reduced-fee sport fishing license.  Status: AB 986 awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1250 (Jones-Sawyer): Counties and Cities: Personal Contract Services.  Assembly Bill 1250 would establish specific standards for the use of personal services contracts by counties.  Status: AB 1250 awaits consideration in the Senate Rules Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 1772 (Aguiar-Curry): Fire Insurance Indemnity. Assembly Bill 1772 would extend the minimum limit during which an insured may collect the full replacement cost of a loss relating to a state of emergency to 36 months. Status:  AB 1722 awaits action in the Senate. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1875 (Wood): Residential Property Insurance.  Assembly Bill 1875 would require an insurer to offer extended replacement cost coverage when issuing or renewing a policy of residential property insurance, and requires the insurer to disclose the premium costs for extended replacement cost coverage. Status: AB 1875 awaits consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1919 (Wood): Price Gouging: State of Emergency. Assembly Bill 1919 would make it a misdemeanor, upon proclamation or declaration of an emergency to increase the monthly rental price advertised, offered or charged for residential housing to an existing or prospective tenant by more than a specified percentage or greater than the rental price advertised, offered, or charged within 30 days immediately prior to the date of the proclamation or disaster. Status: AB 1919 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1954 (Patterson): Timber Harvest Plans: Exemption: Flammable Materials. Assembly Bill 1954 would delete the inoperative date of an exemption from some or all provisions of the Forest Practices Act of 1973 concerning a person engaged in specified forest management activities. Status: AB 1954 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2038 (Gallagher): Countywide drought and water shortage contingency plans. Assembly Bill 2038 would require the Department of Water Resources, in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and other relevant state and local agencies and stakeholders, to use available data to identify small water suppliers and rural communities that may be at risk of drought and water shortage vulnerability and requires the department to notify counties and groundwater sustainability agencies of those suppliers or communities. Status: AB 2038 awaits consideration in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. RCRC Position: Watch

Assembly Bill 2050 (Caballero): Small System Water Authority Act of 2018.  Assembly Bill 2050 would create the Small System Water Authority Act of 2018 and state legislative findings and declarations relating to authorizing the creation of small system water authorities that will have powers to absorb, improve, and competently operate noncompliant public water systems. Defines various terms and requires a change in organization to be carried out as set forth in the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000. Status: AB 2050 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2069 (Bonta): Medical Cannabis: Employment Discrimination. Assembly Bill 2069 would provide worker protections to patients using medical cannabis outside of the workplace and not during work hours. Exempts employers whose workers are in safety sensitive positions subject to federal drug testing mandates. Status: AB 2069 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 2166 (Caballero): California Farm Bill: agricultural technology. Assembly Bill 2166 would require the Department of Food and Agriculture to create a user-friendly navigational link on its Internet Web site that provides farmers and other members of the agricultural industry comprehensive information about regulatory requirements of, and guidance to, operating and managing a farm. Status:  AB 2166 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status:  Watch

Assembly Bill 2348 (Aguiar-Curry): Winter-Flooded Rice: Incentives. Assembly Bill 2348 would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation that would provide an incentive to farmers to maintain winter-flooded rice. Status:  AB 2348 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2411 (McCarty): State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign: Compost. Assembly Bill 2411 would declare the intent of the Legislature that the state pursues all feasible measures to improve markets for recycled products. Requires each state agency to ensure that, on and after a specified date, at least a specified percentage of reportable purchases of soil or similar products are compost, as described. Status: AB 2411 awaits action in the Assembly. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2447 (Reyes): California Environmental Quality Act: Land Use. Assembly Bill 2447 would require the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to publish a list of subject land uses and a map that identifies disadvantaged communities and areas within 1/2 mile radius of the disadvantaged communities. Requires a lead agency to provide certain notices to owners and occupants of property located within one-half mile of any parcel or parcels, and to any schools located within one mile of any parcel or parcels, involving a subject land use. Status: AB 2447 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 2501 (Chu): Drinking Water: Consolidation and Extension of Service.  AB 2501 would redefine small public water system for purposes of the California Safe Drinking Water Act as a system with 200 connections or less. Authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to order consolidation with a receiving water system where a disadvantaged community is reliant on a state small water system, an individual well, or an unregulated water system serving fewer than five connections. Status: AB 2501 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 2518 (Aguiar-Curry): Innovative Forest Products and Mass Timber. Assembly Bill 2518 would require the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, in collaboration with the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, to explore markets, including export markets, for milling, development, and expansion of innovative forest products and mass timber, that require consistence with the state's climate objectives on forest lands. Status: AB 2518 awaits action in the Assembly. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2649 (Arambula): Groundwater Recharge. AB 2649 would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to increase groundwater recharge. Status: AB 2649 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2717 (Lackey): Cannabis: Local Control: City Responsibility for County. Assembly Bill 2717 would require a city to assume from the county complete responsibility for any regulatory function relating to licensees located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city. Status:  AB 2717 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support/Sponsor

Assembly Bill 2727 (Flora): Personal Income Taxes: Volunteer Firefighters. Assembly Bill 2727 would authorize a tax credit for costs incurred by volunteer firefighters during the taxable year for expenses incurred for training and equipment. Status: AB 2727 was placed on suspense in Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support/Sponsor

Assembly Bill 2842 (Bigelow): Wood Products. Assembly Bill 2842 would require the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development to work with state academic institutions and certification organizations to perform additional product testing that accelerates the development, use, or commercialization of new wood products, as provided. Requires the commission to work with local planning offices, developers, and architects to consider the feasibility of expanding the use of wood and mass timber in California buildings. Status: AB 2842 awaits action in the Assembly. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2966 (Aguiar-Curry): Disaster Relief. Assembly Bill 2966 would provide that the state share for the removal of dead and dying trees in connection with the Governor’s proclamation of a state emergency issued on a specific date is no more than 90 percent of total state eligible costs. Status: AB 2966 was referred to the Assembly Appropriations suspense file. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2975 (Friedman): Wild Scenic Rivers. Assembly Bill 2975 would take action to remove or delist any river or segment of a river in California that is included in the national wild and scenic rivers system and not in the state wild and scenic rivers system, requires the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, after holding a public hearing on the issue, to take any necessary action to add the river or segment of a river to the state wild and scenic rivers system and to classify that river or segment of a river. Status: AB 2975 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 3036 (Cooley): Solid Waste: Definition. Assembly Bill 3036 would exclude from the State Integrated Waste Management Act's definition of solid waste byproducts from processing food, if those byproducts meet certain conditions, including, among others, that the byproducts are intended for use as animal feed. Status: AB 3036 awaits action in the Assembly. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 3178 (Rubio): Integrated Waste Management Plans: Source Reduction. Assembly Bill 3178 would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to consider whether the absence or loss of a market for recyclable materials necessitated the disposal of those materials as a temporary measure to avoid a public health threat when evaluating a jurisdiction’s compliance with AB 939 diversion goals. Status: AB 3178 was amended in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 452 (Glazer): The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act. Assembly Bill 452 is considered the bottle bill “short term fix” and is intended to increase recycling opportunities. SB 452 proposes to return processing payments to 2015 levels and extends plastic recycling market development incentives. SB 452 would also limit take back responsibility for dealers in unserved zones to 24 containers per day, temporarily relieve dealers by suspending the take-back obligation in zones that became unserved due to a recycling center closure until December 2021, and provides additional handling fees in rural areas annually for three years, among other provisions. Status:  SB 452 awaits consideration in the Assembly Rules Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Senate Bill 623 (Monning): Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.  Senate Bill 623 would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.  SB 623 would provide grants, loans, or services to assist those without access to safe and affordable drinking water. Status: SB 623 awaits consideration in the Assembly Rules Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 824 (Lara): Insurance: Nonrenewal.  Senate Bill 824 would express the intent of the Legislature to clarify that the provisions described concerning cancellation of structural insurance policies is applicable to all insured properties located within a county for which a state of emergency has been declared. SB 824 prohibits nonrenewal of the policies under specified circumstances. Status: SB 824 awaits action in the Senate.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 894 (Dodd): Property Insurance. Senate Bill 894 would require an insurer, in the case of a total loss to the primary insured structure under a policy of residential property insurance, to offer to renew the policy. Increases the minimum coverage for additional living expenses in the case of a loss related to a declared state of emergency. Requires an insurer who decides not to offer to renew a policy after the expiration of that period to report the decision to not offer to renew the policy to the Insurance Commissioner. Status: SB 894 awaits action in the Senate. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 897 (McGuire): Residential Property Insurance: Wildfires. Senate Bill 897 would specify that additional living expense coverage under a residential insurance policy shall include all reasonable expenses incurred by the insured in order to maintain a comparable standard of living and would provide a list of expenses that shall be covered. Authorizes an insured to collect, in lieu of additional living expenses, the fair rental value of the dwelling that has suffered a loss. Status: SB 897 awaits action in the Senate. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 917 (Jackson): Insurance Policies. Senate Bill 917 would provide that insurance policies that do not cover the peril of landslide shall not exclude coverage for any loss or damage attributable to a landslide if the landslide resulting in loss or damage was proximately caused by another covered peril, as provided.  Status: SB 917 awaits action in the Senate. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 919 (Dodd): Water Resources: Stream Gages. Senate Bill 919 would require the Department of Water Resources to develop a plan to deploy a network of stream gages that includes a determination of funding needs and opportunities for reactivating existing gages. Requires the Department to prioritize the deployment of stream gages based upon gaps in the existing system of gages and specified considerations. Status: SB 919 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 998 (Dodd): Water Shutoffs: Urban and Community Water Systems. Senate Bill 998 would require an urban and community water system as a public water system that supplies water to more than 200 service connections, to have a written policy on residential service shutoff available in specified languages of the people residing in its service area. Requires certain aspect to be available on its system web site and be provided annually to customers in writing. Status: Senate Bill 998 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support if Amended

Senate Bill 1079 (Monning): Forest Resources: Fire Prevention Grant Fees. Senate Bill 1079 would relate to existing laws authorizing the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide grants to entities, including, but not limited to, private or nongovernmental entities, Native American tribes, or local, state, and federal public agencies, for the implementation and administration of projects and programs to improve forest health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Authorizes the Director to authorize advance payments to a nonprofit organization, a special district, or a Native American tribe. Status: SB 1079 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 1215 (Hertzberg): Drinking Water Systems and Sewer Systems: Consolidation. Senate Bill 1215 would authorize the State Water Resources Control Board to set timeline and performance measures to facilitate completion of extension of service of drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Authorizes ordered consolidation with a receiving sewer system for, or extension of sewer service to, a disadvantaged community under specified circumstances. Status: SB 1215 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Position: Pending/Concerns

Senate Bill 1222 (Stone): Use of Vacuum or Suction Dredge Equipment. SB 1222 would provide, under permits issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and by regulations of the State Water Resources Control Board or a California regional water quality control board, for specified activities, that the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment means the use of any equipment that removes minerals and water in conjunction to process and recover minerals. Status: SB 1222 was held in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 1302 (Lara): Cannabis: Local Jurisdiction: Prohibitions on Delivery. Senate Bill 1302 would prohibit a local jurisdiction from adopting or enforcement any ordinance that would prohibit a licensee from delivering cannabis within or outside of the jurisdictional boundaries of that local jurisdiction. Status: SB 1302 awaits consideration in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Senate Concurrent Resolution 133 (Berryhill): Senator David E. Cogdill, Sr., Memorial Highway. Senate Concurrent Resolution 133 would designate a specified portion of State Highway Route 395 in the County of Mono as the Senator David E. Cogdill, Sr., Memorial Highway. Status: SCR 133 awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. RCRC Position: Support