Office of Assemblyman Jerry Hill – Press Release
Contact: Aurelio Rojas, 916-747-3199 cell or 916-319-2019 office
Jerry Hill Completes Productive Legislative Year
SACRAMENTO – Ten bills introduced by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, were approved by the Legislature during the 2011 session, including four bills that have already been signed into law.
Among the bills now before Gov. Jerry Brown is legislation to improve natural gas pipeline safety, to prohibit members of the California Public Utilities Commission from soliciting contributions from entities it regulates, and to allow San Mateo County to lower pension benefits for new sheriff’s deputies.
These bills the governor has to sign or veto within 30 days of reaching his desk:
AB 56 – Prompted by last year’s deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, this bill would require remote-controlled shut off valves in high population areas and the comprehensive testing and record-keeping of transmission lines. It would also prohibit utilities from using ratepayer money to pay penalties for safety violations assessed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and require natural gas corporations to meet annually with local fire departments to review emergency response plans.
AB 1055 – Would prohibit a commissioner or employee of the CPUC from soliciting contributions from any persons or entity that the commission regulates. Last year, the CPUC created a foundation that solicited money from utilities that they regulate to pay for activities not authorized by the Commission’s budget.
AB 89 – Would allow San Mateo County to implement a memorandum of understanding providing lower retirement tiers for new employees represented by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. The county recently negotiated a six-year MOU with the union that will require new hires to choose reduced retirement formulas.
AB 75 – Allows the Secretary of State office to use its discretion and refuse to process documents that are clearly intended for fraudulent purposes. During the past few years, deceptive solicitation schemes have arisen that take advantage of statutorily required filing with the Secretary of State. The misleading solicitations sent to companies sometimes appear to be official government documents and imply that the company must pay an exorbitant fee in order to file the documents with the Secretary of State.
AB 320 – Clarifies that the “real party in interest” named in a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit for a particular project are those identified by the lead agency as persons undertaking the publicly-funded project or receiving the permit. Currently, to prevent important cases from being dismissed by procedural tactics, CEQA practitioners are forced to name and serve parties that neither want nor need to be involved.
The governor has already signed these bills:
AB 1 X15 (Chapter 3, Statues of 2011) – Provides tax certainty for solar energy companies located in California. Clarifies the types of financing mechanisms that can be used to make it more affordable for people to install solar on their homes and will make the state be more competitive in luring solar firms. One example is Maryland-based SunEdison, which is relocating its corporate headquarters to the city of Belmont in San Mateo County.
AB 50 (Chapter 18, Statutes of 2011) – Exempts San Bruno residents from paying state taxes on recovery money they received from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the Red Cross and the City of San Bruno after last year’s pipeline explosion. After the disaster, PG&E began making payments ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 to cover immediate day-to-day expenses such as temporary housing, food and transportation.
AB 459 (Chapter 188, Statues of 2011) – Seeks to enact a national popular vote for President wherein whichever candidate receives the most votes will be guaranteed to be elected. Currently, candidates campaign exclusively in a few battleground state and often ignore issues of particular importance to California. Under this bill California, in conjunction with other states, will award all of its electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The legislation does not go into effect until it is adopted by states representing a majority of the Electoral College.
AB 1349 (Chapter 185, Statues of 2011) – Strengthens the legal rights of non-biological parents in California. The bill allows courts leeway in cases where there is both a non-biological parent who has an established relationship with a child and a man who signed a voluntary declaration of paternity. It was written in response to a ruling that found that courts could not recognize a non-biological parent who has raised a child, even though the biological father had no relationship with the child.
The governor vetoed this bill:
AB 293 -- Would have required local elections officials to establish a free access system by which a vote by mail voter could determine whether his or her ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why it was not.
Blogmaster's note: One thing he did vote for, which I'm not happy about, is AB353.
Posted by Steve Sinai