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Legislative Update: Nov. 22, 2019 - Federal Privacy Legislation Unveiled


Federal Privacy Legislation Unveiled
 

In an attempt to establish a baseline, a group of United States Senate Democrats unveiled policy principles for moving forward with digital privacy legislation. This announcement comes after months of stalled efforts to introduce a bipartisan approach to regulating data privacy on the federal level. They are calling for sweeping protections of consumers’ personal information, which could further delay bipartisan talks in the chamber. 

The guidelines seek to establish a comprehensive framework to include limits on the collection, use, and sharing of consumers' data; enhanced protections for youth; greater safeguards against data collection practices that may be abusive; safeguards against discrimination and biases in algorithms; and the ability of users to control their information. 

Despite widespread frustration over privacy mishaps in the tech sector and other major industries, the broad scope of the Democrats’ principles and some specific recommendations are likely to draw pushback from Senate Republicans. 

It is not explicit whether federal law should override state measures, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) set to take effect in the new year, as the parties have been at odds on this point. Democrats are seeking to ensure tough state privacy measures, while Republicans are pushing for a uniform federal law to preempt state laws to avoid confusion. The Democrats’ guidelines have factored in caution that any federal enforcement "should be complemented by state enforcement of federal … [and] nothing in this framework should be interpreted to change or displace existing privacy laws, or privacy laws scheduled to go into effect." 

Democrats are also pushing for consumers to be able to bring a private right of action over privacy violations. That has been another sticking point with Republicans, who claim consumer lawsuits will only burden businesses and enrich trial lawyers. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce quickly disavowed the guidelines, saying they could complicate privacy talks between Senate Democrats and Republicans.


Legislative Analyst Publishes Review of MICRA Initiative

An initiative titled the “Fairness for Injured Patients Act to Adjust California's Maximum Compensation Cap of $250,000 Set by Politicians in 1975 on Wrongful Death and Quality of Life Damages That Has Never Been Updated” was filed by Scott Olsen, Nelson A. Moreno, and Bree Lynn Moreno on September 26, 2019. This is an effort to increase the cap of payouts for medical malpractice under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).

As required by the California Constitution, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) produces a fiscal analysis for all initiatives to be circulated for signature. The LAO found that this initiative would increase state and local government health care costs by raising or removing the cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Increased costs would likely range from the low tens of millions of dollars to the high hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Under current state law, patients injured while receiving health care may sue health care providers for medical malpractice. A successful malpractice claim typically requires that the injured party prove that they were injured as a result of the health care provider’s negligence, and awards may be issued for both economic and noneconomic damages.

Enacted in 1975, MICRA limits noneconomic damages awards to $250,000 and capped the percentage of awards that can be diverted as attorneys’ fees; 40 percent for the first $50,000 recovered, 33.3 percent for next $50,000 recovered, and 15 percent of any amount over $600,000 recovered. There is no current limit on economic damages awards.

The initiative, if passed, would effectively increase the noneconomic damages awards in malpractice cases to $1.2 million, and adjusted annually for inflation. It would also remove the cap on noneconomic damages awards in cases of catastrophic injury, and increase recovery of attorneys’ fees to reflect inflation since the enactment of MICRA. Other revisions to MICRA include prohibiting outside sources such as insurance as evidence of payment to cover injury, extending statute of limitation to two years after discovery for adults and four years after discovery for cases on behalf of a minor, eliminates periodic payments of damages awarded, and requires certification of merits of the case by plaintiff’s attorneys.

The LAO cites these changes would likely result in higher medical malpractice costs and higher total health care spending in California, and estimate the increase in those costs could range from 20 percent to 30 percent. Other impacts the LAO notes that increasing the number of medical malpractice awards would potentially increase the amount that could be recovered by the state through Medi-Cal, and could potentially increase the number of medical malpractice cases and thereby increase costs for state trial courts. Both of those additional impacts the LAO finds to be relatively minor.


Commissioner Lara to Help Expedite Insurance Claims from California Fires

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued an emergency notice to all property and casualty insurance companies doing business in California to request they expedite claims handling for California wildfire survivors. This notice was issued in order to help them begin the recovery and rebuilding process more quickly.

Survivors of the recent fires in Northern and Southern California face the long and painful task of recovery, which often includes trying to inventory lost possessions and reconstruct destroyed or missing documents.

Commissioner Lara is asking insurance companies to provide greater flexibility to survivors affected by wildfires across the state with some deadlines and documentation typically required to pay claims, including: 

·     Minimum four-month advance payment of Loss of Use, Fair Rental Value or Additional Living Expenses;

·     Minimum 60-day billing grace period to allow for lost or destroyed renewal notices;

·     Advance payment of at least 25% of policy limits for personal property — without the completion of an inventory;

·     Accepting any inventory form that contains substantially the same information as a company-specific form;

·     Accepting an inventory that includes groupings of personal property, such as clothing, shoes, books, or food items rather than listing individual item;

·     Expediting payment of vehicle damage claims covered under comprehensive loss coverage; and

·     Cooperating with consolidated debris removal efforts coordinated through city, county, and state agencies, unless the insurer can provide more rapid debris removal outside of this effort.

The Department of Insurance has issued similar notices after other devastating fires, including the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires in 2018. Virtually all insurers heeded the Commissioner’s call during previous fires when similar notices were sent out. This notice is also in recognition of Governor Gavin Newsom’s declared states of emergencies related to the wildfires.

Last week, Commissioner Lara ordered the FAIR Plan — California’s insurer of last resort — to help homeowners find adequate coverage by offering a comprehensive policy in addition to its current dwelling fire-only coverage by June 1, 2020, and taking other steps to modernize its options.


Sacramento Lawmakers Call on Investor-Owned Utilities to Discuss Power Shutoffs

The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee this week held an oversight hearing on protocols and incidents of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events that have grown in use following years of devastating wildfires, many of which have been ignited by electric infrastructure owned and operated by investor-owned utilities (IOUs).

Committee members made clear they were looking to be better prepared to handle future PSPS incidents. Senators went on to say that de-energization of power lines was intended to be a last resort measure for limited, targeted shutoffs to minimize impact to Californians, especially individuals with medical needs who require power.

Prior to the testimony of the executives of the three IOUs in California – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE), and Southern California Edison (SCE) – the committee heard from Ross Brown of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). Brown mentioned PSPS events are a rather new tool for IOUs. In 2008, SDGE requested authority from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to conduct power shutoffs in high wildfire-risk events, initially denied before CPUC set guidelines. Ten years later, SB 901 was signed into law and included the authority for utility companies to shutoff power in high wildfire-risk events as a public safety measure.

Testimony from the IOU executives was enlightening. Caroline Winn from SDGE stated her company is committed to working with the state to reduce the impacts of PSPS events, looking to have greater coordination with non-profits during the events, and planning the implementation of microgrids that help segment communities to help reduce the coverage of PSPS. Phil Harrington with SCE echoed that, noting SCE has invested $27 billion in the last decade to upgrade its electric system, employed the use of wind speed and fire detection monitoring technologies, installed fast-acting fuses to minimize the potential for igniting fires, and engaged PSPS with a granular approach.

It was no secret, however, most of the focus was on PG&E, as they have received overwhelming criticism for their lines being linked to many of the wildfires in recent years and widespread frustration over their use of PSPS. New CEO of PG&E, William Johnson, stated in his opening that shutting power off to people is not part of their business model but PSPS is an effective tool to reduce incidents of sparking that may lead to wildfires. In response to the concern PG&E will take ten years to upgrade its system, Mr. Johnson stated ten years is not the timeline and most of the improvements are set to be done within five years, ideally sooner. He offered humility in their execution of PSPS, stating that performance has not been perfect, especially with the October 9, 2019 event, but processes around implementation are being honed and perfected. In response to Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Johnson noted he is beholden to the shareholders and is working to keep PG&E together but recognized the company will emerge from bankruptcy a different yet intact company.

Moving into the third panel of the many state agencies that have been tasked with oversight and emergency response, the tone was firm. There was a notable need to keep accountability on the use of PSPS to a measure of last resort, but the need to also keep Californians safe from harm. The state is expected to continue putting pressure on the IOUs to upgrade and harden their infrastructure as quickly as possible.

State agencies also reported on their efforts during recent wildfire events to coordinate emergency response and minimize the impact of wildfires. They noted the State Operations Center at the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) worked to ensure continuity of critical infrastructure across the state. CalOES activated the state operations center to its highest level to manage the dual-threat of wildfires and PSPS. CalOES and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal FIRE) pre-positioned assets statewide to prepare for the emergencies, with the California National Guard on standby to assist. Teams from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) worked around the clock to protect Californians traveling on the state’s roads while Caltrans worked to keep roads, rails, and tunnels open.

The Governor released a lengthy announcement on the state’s involvement in this hearing, which outlines the state’s efforts. You may read that here.


Meanwhile…

TRIA Extension – On November 19, the United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019, by a vote of 385-22. The reauthorization has been transmitted to the Senate. In the Senate, the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs passed S. 2877, its own version of the reauthorization of this program, on November 20. The language in the two measures is identical. The bipartisan support for the bill is creating cautious optimism that the reauthorization could get to President Trump before year-end. This would avoid the problems created in 2014-15 when there was a brief lapse of the program due to Congressional delay in the reauthorization.

The current Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA) of 2015 is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020.

Auditor Report on QMEs - On November 19, California State Auditor Elaine Howle issued a report regarding the administration of the qualified medical evaluator (QME) process by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The report cites a number of alarming deficiencies regarding this program. Remediation of some of these deficiencies is within the ability of the DWC to accomplish, even if it may take longer than the April 2020 deadline set by the auditor. Others, however, may compel a legislative review of this entire system. The Medical-Legal Fee Schedule, which has not been updated since 2006, is cited as a problem in the audit. It was also the subject of AB 1832 (Salas) and continues to be debated at stakeholders’ meetings at the DWC.

Audit Report on State Workers’ Comp Programs - On November 21, California State Auditor Elaine Howle issued a report regarding the adjusting of workers’ compensation claims for state agencies by the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF). The report appears to have borrowed from the auditor’s QME report in terms of citing delays in claim resolution. In terms of the audited agencies, the report indicates there were no delays in providing medical treatment. The report concludes the 32 state agencies that opted to purchase insurance from the State Fund as authorized by Labor Code Section 6130 were paying considerably more relative to the 190 state agencies who opted for direct payments from the State of California administered by SCIF per Labor Code Sec. 6111. It would appear that the auditor did not adequately take into consideration various factors such as reserving and IBNR that would be necessary to do a cost comparison between an insurance policy and direct payments.

DWC Issues Bulletin on Med-Legal Fee Schedule - On November 21, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) issued an update on its efforts to revise the medical-legal fee schedule. As noted in the audit report, this is a long-delayed revision. The process by which these revisions are being negotiated and discussed is expectedly contentious. Per the announcement, the DWC intends to begin the regular rulemaking process by the end of the year and will hold a public hearing in early 2020. The division continues to meet with stakeholders as it refines its proposed amendments and fixed fee schedule to improve the quality of medical reports, eliminate complexity factors, and increase fees for medical-legal testimony.


Year-End Segment Review

In continuing to bring you vital information, our annual year-end report is available. In it, we review the important issues and topics that were considered over the previous legislative year. To request a digital copy of the 2019 Year-End Legislative Report, contact Gabby Reynaga at greynaga@nalobby.net.

The section of our Year-End Report we are providing to you this week is the “Environment” section.


ENVIRONMENT

 

AB 839 (Mullin) Climate adaptation strategy: strategic resiliency framework: Resiliency through adaptation, economic vitality, and equity account

Following the passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, California developed and implemented numerous adaptation and resiliency measures to address climate change through reductions in greenhouse gases. The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) is the agency-level lead on the state’s climate adaptation policy and natural resources climate policy, and existing law requires that the Safeguarding California Plan, the state’s climate adaptation strategy, be revised by the CNRA every three years with public input.

Assemblymember Mullin’s AB 839 would have required the CNRA secretary review the Safeguarding California plan and develop a strategic resiliency framework with the objective to recommend action for preparing for future climate change impacts, develop timetables and metrics for progress toward goals, and establish actions to ensure water supply and ecosystem resiliency.

Status: This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.


AB 1080 (Gonzalez) California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

Intentions of recycling plastics instead of sending them to landfills or dumping them in our environment, although good, have had some adverse effects. More plastics have found their way into bodies of water as recycling efforts resulted in shipments of used plastics to East Asian countries.

AB 1080, and its partner bill SB 54, would create the California Circular Economy and Pollution Reduction Act to impose a comprehensive regulatory scheme on producers, retailers, and wholesalers of single-use packaging and priority single-use products, to be administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Among the provisions is the requirement to achieve and maintain a statewide 75 percent reduction of the waste generated from single-use packaging and priority single-use products through source reduction, recycling, or composting.

Status: Moved to the Inactive File on the Senate Floor. May be taken up in January 2020.

 

AB 1160 (Dahle) Forestry: timber operations: sustained yield plans

The Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 prohibits a person from conducting timber operations unless a timber harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester has been submitted to, and approved by, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The Act requires the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to adopt district forest practice rules and regulations and requires a sustained yield plan that is prepared and approved in accordance with these rules and regulations to be effective for a period of no more than 10 years. AB 1160 extends the effective date of a sustained yield plan from no more than 10 years to no more than 20 years.

Assembly Vote: 77-0

Senate Vote: 39-0

Status: Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 108, Statutes of 2019.

 

AB 1236 (Lackey) Public resources: greenhouse gases: recycling: California Environmental Quality Act

This bill would have established the Recycle It Here Act and The Recycled Materials Innovation Grant Program. Additionally, this bill would have allocated $200 million, upon appropriation by the Legislature, from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to an existing grant program at CalRecycle.

Status: This bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

AB 1509 (Mullin) Solid waste: lithium-ion batteries

This measure would establish the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Program in the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), and require a covered entity to provide to CalRecycle a list of covered products that it sells or offers for sale in the state and the total number of each covered product it sold in the state during the prior year, and to update those lists annually. The bill would define “covered product” to mean a lithium-ion battery sold separately or sold with a product, or a product containing a lithium-ion battery or battery pack that is not designed to be removed from the product by a consumer.

Status: This bill was postponed for hearing by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. May be taken up in January 2020.

 

AB 1511 (Bloom) Coastal resources: Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission is prescribed duties relating to the restoration and enhancement of Santa Monica Bay and its watershed. Current law requires the State Water Resources Control Board to provide administrative services to the commission, and requires the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, and the Chair of the Bay Watershed Council of the commission to enter into a memorandum of understanding that ensures the coordination of state programs affecting Santa Monica Bay.

This bill would have instead required the State Coastal Conservancy to provide those administrative services to the commission and to enter into that memorandum of understanding with the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, and the commission.

Assembly Vote: 78-0

Senate Vote: 40-0

Status: Vetoed by Governor. Veto message found in Appendix F.

 

AB 1560 (Friedman) California Environmental Quality Act: transportation: major transit stop

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires the Office of Planning and Research to prepare and propose guidelines for the implementation of CEQA by public agencies and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to certify and adopt the guidelines. CEQA requires the office to propose revisions to the guidelines establishing criteria for determining the significance of transportation impacts of projects within transit priority areas to meet certain objectives. CEQA defines the “transit priority area” as an area within 1/2 mile of a major transit stop.

This bill revises the definition of a “major transit stop” for purposes of qualifying for exemption or abbreviated review under CEQA to include a “bus rapid transit station” with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.

Assembly Vote: 79-0

Senate Vote: 40-0

Status: Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 631, Statutes of 2019.

 

AB 1583 (Eggman) California Recycling Market Development Act

Established law requires all rigid plastic bottles and rigid plastic containers sold in the state to be labeled with a code that indicates the resin used to produce the bottles or containers, with specified numbers and letters placed in relation to a triangle. Currently, the state recycling goal is to achieve 75% of solid waste generated be diverted from landfill disposal by 2020 through source reduction, recycling, and composting

AB 1583 specifies that the resin code labels on rigid plastic bottles and rigid plastic containers do not have to include the “chasing arrows” recycling symbol, and requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to convene a Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling to issue policy recommendations, and identify products that are recyclable or compostable. It also extends the sunsets on CAEATFA financial assistance given to projects that promote the use of advanced manufacturing to January 1, 2026, and on CalRecycle’s Recycled Market Development Zone Loan Program that encourages California-based recycling businesses located within California to January 1, 2031.

Assembly Vote: 79-0

Senate Vote: 40-0

Status: Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 690, Statutes of 2019.

 

AB 1672 (Bloom) Solid waste: flushable products

The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), generally regulates the disposal, management, and recycling of solid waste. This bill would have prohibited a manufacturer or other covered entity from labeling a covered product as safe to flush, safe for sewer systems, or safe for septic systems, unless the product is a flushable wipe that meets certain performance standards. The bill would have also required non-flushable products to be labeled clearly and conspicuously to communicate that they should not be flushed.

Status: This bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.


AB 1673 (Salas) California Environmental Quality Act: judicial challenge: litigation transparency: identification of contributors

AB 1673 would require plaintiffs in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuits to identify every person or entity who contributed, or committed to contributing, $1,000 or more to support the lawsuit, and identify any pecuniary or business interest related to the project. The bill would also authorize a court to withhold publicly those disclosures if the court finds that the public interest in keeping that information confidential clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure. 

Status: This bill failed passage in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. Granted reconsideration and may be taken up in January 2020.

 

AB 1694 (O’Donnell) San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy: territory: Dominguez Channel watershed and Santa Catalina Island

The San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, as part of the Natural Resources Agency, is prescribed the functions and duties to protect, preserve, and enhance specified areas of the Counties of Los Angeles and Orange located along the San Gabriel River and the lower Los Angeles River and tributaries along those rivers.

This bill would have additionally included the Dominguez Channel watershed and Santa Catalina Island within the territory managed by the Conservancy.

Status: This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

AB 1788 (Bloom) Pesticides: use of anticoagulants

Current law prohibits the use of any pesticide that contains one or more of specified anticoagulants in wildlife habitat areas and exempts from this prohibition the use of these pesticides for agricultural activities. AB 1788 would create the California Ecosystems Protection Act of 2019 and expanded this prohibition against the use of a pesticide containing specified anticoagulants in wildlife habitat areas to the entire state.

Status: This bill was postponed for hearing by the Senate Appropriations Committee. May be taken up in January 2020.

 

SB 25 (Caballero) California Environmental Quality Act: projects funded by qualified opportunity zone funds or other public funds

This measure would establish expedited judicial review procedures under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for projects financed in whole or in part by a “qualified opportunity fund” or other specified means and meeting other specified conditions, requiring the courts to resolve lawsuits within 270 days, to the extent feasible.

Status: Bill progress stalled in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. May be taken up in January 2020.

 

SB 45 (Allen) Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection

SB 45 would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $4,189,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation, and flood protection program.

According to the author, “SB 45 will provide the necessary investment to help our state become more resilient to climate change… to fund projects to reduce fire risk and restore already damaged areas; restore and protect impacted wetlands, watersheds, waterways, coastal resources, and fish and wildlife populations; reduce impacts in local communities and on vulnerable populations; and improve the resiliency of the state’s water supplies and agricultural lands.”

Status: This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

SB 54 (Allen) California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

SB 54, and its partner bill AB 1080, would create the California Circular Economy and Pollution Reduction Act to impose a comprehensive regulatory scheme on producers, retailers, and wholesalers of single-use packaging and priority single-use products, to be administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Among the provisions is the requirement to achieve and maintain a statewide 75 percent reduction of the waste generated from single-use packaging and priority single-use products through source reduction, recycling, or composting.

Intentions of recycling plastics instead of sending them to landfills or dumping them in our environment, although good, have had some adverse effects. More plastics have found their way into bodies of water as recycling efforts resulted in shipments of used plastics to East Asian countries.

Status: Bill progress stalled on the Assembly Floor. May be taken up in January 2020.

 

SB 69 (Wiener) Ocean Resiliency Act of 2019

Current law requires the Fish and Game Commission to establish fish hatcheries for the purposes of stocking the waters of California with fish and requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to maintain and operate those hatcheries.

SB 69 would have required the department to develop and implement a plan, in collaboration with specified scientists, experts, and representatives, as part of its fish hatchery operations for the improvement of the survival of hatchery-produced salmon, and the increased contribution of the hatchery program to commercial and recreational salmon fisheries.

Status: This bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

SB 392 (Allen) Hazardous materials: green chemistry: consumer products

In lieu of requiring the analysis of alternatives, SB 392 would authorize the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) following public notice and an opportunity for public comment, to instead rely on all or part of one or more applicable publicly available studies or evaluations of alternatives to the chemical of concern under consideration in a consumer product, in existence at the time of consideration, and to proceed directly to a regulatory response, as provided. It also would have required DTSC to amend specified regulations to conform to these provisions.

Status: Moved to the Inactive File on the Assembly Floor. May be taken up in January 2020.

 

SB 450 (Umberg) California Environmental Quality Act exemption: supportive and transitional housing: motel conversion

Existing law requires lead agencies with the principal responsibility for carrying out or approving a proposed discretionary project to prepare a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or environmental impact report for this action, unless the project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

SB 450 will, until January 1, 2025, exempt from CEQA projects related to the conversion of a structure with a certificate of occupancy as a motel, hotel, residential hotel, or hostel to supportive or transitional housing that meets certain conditions. Since the lead agency would be required to determine the applicability of this exemption, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Assembly Vote: 74-2

Senate Vote: 40-0

Status: Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 344, Statutes of 2019.

 

SB 458 (Durazo) Public health: pesticide: chlorpyrifos

Chlorpyrifos has been the subject of extensive EPA review and tolerance reassessments. Most recently, in 2015, the EPA proposed a rule to revoke food tolerance, based on research from its preliminary 2011 human health risk assessment and 2014 revised human health risk assessment. In these assessments, the EPA factored in exposures from water, inhalation, skin exposure, and spray drift. In 2015, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) designated chlorpyrifos a restricted material, meaning that only trained, licensed, permitted professionals may use products with chlorpyrifos and, in 2017, Proposition 65 added it to the list of chemicals that are known to cause reproductive harm.

SB 458 would have prohibited the use of a pesticide that contains chlorpyrifos, unless and until the director adopts control measures for chlorpyrifos and the Director of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the chairperson of the State Air Resources Board determine that those control measures will not result in neurodevelopmental or other harm to children after taking into account the potential effects of consuming food or water contaminated with chlorpyrifos that was used in compliance with those control measures, and will not negatively impact sensitive receptors.

Status: This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

SB 667 (Hueso) Greenhouse gases: recycling infrastructure and facilities

SB 667 would have required the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to develop and have authorized the department to amend a five-year needs assessment to support innovation and technological and infrastructure development to meet specified organic waste reduction and recycling targets. Additional provisions would have required CalRecycle to develop financial incentive mechanisms, including loans and incentive payments, to fund and accelerate public and private capital towards organic waste diversion and recycling infrastructure.

Status: This bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

SB 724 (Stern) California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act

Existing California law authorizes the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to grant a convenience zone an exemption from certain redemption requirements, including certain dealers and recycling center redemption requirements. Current law limits the total number of exemptions that may be granted to 35% of the total number of convenience zones identified as having one or more of those factors applicable.

This bill sought to increase the total number of exemptions that may be granted to 50% of the number identified as eligible. The bill would have also required the department to review exemptions every five years to determine if each exemption still meets the prescribed exemption criteria.

Status: This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File, therefore dead.

 

SB 726 (Caballero) Hazardous waste: public agencies: materials exchange program

Presently, a public agency is authorized by California law to conduct a materials exchange program as a part of its household hazardous waste collection program if the public agency determines which reusable household hazardous products or materials are suitable and acceptable for distribution to the public in accordance with a quality assurance plan prepared by the public agency. Current law imposes certain requirements for a quality assurance plan and requires a public agency to instruct a recipient to use the product in a manner consistent with the instructions on the label.

This bill defines a “materials exchange program” for these purposes to mean a program conducted at a household hazardous waste collection facility that makes reusable household hazardous products or materials available to recipients.

Assembly Vote: 79-0

Senate Vote: 40-0

Status: Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 485, Statutes of 2019.

 

SB 732 (Allen) Transactions and use tax: South Coast Air Quality Management District

Current law establishes the South Coast Air Quality Management District vested with the authority to regulate air emissions from stationary sources located in the South Coast Air Basin and establishes a district board to govern the district.

This bill would authorize the south coast district board to impose transactions and use tax within the boundaries of the south coast district with the money generated from the transactions and use tax to be used to supplement existing revenues being used for south coast district purposes.

Status: The author canceled bill hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee. May be taken up in January 2020.