2009 Evans Legislation Summaries

Outcome Summary

14 bills passed the Legislature: 12 signed and 2 vetoed. 1 resolution chaptered.

Legislation Sent to Governor

AB 5 - The Electronic Discovery Act
Updates discovery procedures for courts and civil litigants to reflect that most information is now stored in electronic form. By promoting the proper handling of electronic discovery, this bill will reduce the cost of discovery, thereby benefiting courts and litigants. This legislation was sponsored by Judicial Council of California, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and California Defense Counsel. Bill Signed.

AB 82 - Foster Youth: Court Approval Process for Psychotropic Medications
Establishes additional safeguards in the court approval process for psychotropic medications to be prescribed for foster youth. The bill would require that the child and caregivers are provided with information about the medications, that the effectiveness and side effects of the medications are carefully monitored, and the medications are accompanied with therapy for youths as appropriate. This legislation is sponsored by the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles. Bill Vetoed.

AB 94 - Natural Heritage Preservation Tax Credit
Reinstates and enhances the voluntary Natural Heritage Preservation Tax Credit, thereby allowing the state, a local government, or qualified non-profit to save 45% when acquiring park and habitat lands by structuring the acquisition so that the landowner can receive a state tax credit and use federal tax deductions. From 2001 to 2008, the Tax Credit provided a voluntary alternative that saved California approximately $40 million in the acquisition of more than 8,000 acres of land. Because all tax credits would have to be coupled with the reimbursement of the General Fund, this is a General Fund-neutral tax credit that allows limited funding for resources to be stretched farther. This legislation was sponsored by the Trust for Public Land. Bill Signed.

AB 131 - Juvenile Court Costs
Allows courts to implement a cost-recovery program in juvenile dependency cases and requires that the funds recovered be used to reduce the caseloads of the court appointed attorneys who represent children and parents in these cases. Investing in attorney representation has proven to be a cost-effective way of improving permanency and well-being outcomes for children and families in the dependency system. This legislation was sponsored by Judicial Council of California. Bill Signed.

AB 154 - Federal Law: Adoption Assistance
Implements provisions of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, which enhances adoption incentive payments and increased eligibility of children and families for adoption assistance payments. This legislation also ensures that any savings realized from drawing down federal funds are invested in child welfare programs and that all parents considering adopting a foster youth are aware of the state and federal tax credits for adoption-related expenses. Bill Signed.

AB 608 - Lot-Line Adjustment
Gives Napa County authority to proceed with a lot line adjustment between state land and land owned by Syar Industries. In 1999, the state granted an easement to the County of Napa to allow a public non-motorized recreational trail on state land immediately south of Napa State Hospital. Subsequent to construction of the trail, the state sold surplus land in the area to Syar Industries. After purchase of the land, Syar discovered that the trail had been constructed slightly outside of the described easement in two locations, and thus slightly encroached onto Syar’s newly-acquired land. This bill was sponsored by the County of Napa. Bill Vetoed.
***Since the veto, Evans and Wiggins have sent the Department of General Services a letter urging an administrative resolution to the issue. No response has been received yet.

AB 712 - Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
Ensures consistency and clarity between the Small Claims Act (which governs small claims courts) and statutes independently authorizing the small claims court to provide injunctive or equitable relief. Under current law, various statutes grant a person the right to seek declaratory or injunctive relief in small claims court. However, the Small Claims Act does not currently contain a catch-all provision that specifically authorizes the small claims court to order equitable relief in cases where such relief has been made available through other statutes. This bill would provide the necessary certainty to the law. Bill Signed.

AB 729 - Transit-Design Build
Extends the existing statutory authorization for public transit agencies to enter into design-build contracts for transit capital improvement projects until January 1, 2015. The extension of design build provides local transit agencies with explicit authorization to use this contracting tool when spending Proposition 1B funding in the coming years. This legislation was sponsored by the California Transit Association. Bill Signed.

AB 1216 - Honey Labeling
Changes the definition of honey for labeling purposes to protect California consumers from deceptively labeled, adulterated, and potentially less healthy products. Deceptively labeled and misbranded products and adulteration of honey with other sweeteners or compounds are growing problems worldwide and their increasing presence in the market is adversely affecting honey prices in California. California agriculture depends on honeybees for pollination services. This legislation was sponsored by the California State Beekeepers Association. Bill Signed.

AB 1219 - Solano Transit Authority
Designates the Solano Transportation Authority (STA) as a direct claimant of local transportation funds made available to the county via the Transportation Development Act (TDA) and allows the STA to file an annual claim for Solano County’s TDA funds in order to expedite and streamline countywide coordination and planning for transit. The bill allows STA to spend less time preparing and reviewing applications and more time serving its customers. This legislation was sponsored by STA. Bill Signed.

AB 1337 - Electioneering
Defines “electioneering” in statute as the displaying visible or disseminating audible information that advocates for or against a candidate or measure while in or within 100 feet of a polling place. This is consistent with the legal interpretation applied by courts and the Secretary of State. Existing laws prohibit electioneering but the term was previously undefined making the law subject to confusion. This legislation was sponsored by the Secretary of State. Bill Signed.

AB 1364 - Infrastructure Projects
Responds to the uncertainties facing over 5,700 state infrastructure projects and related jobs as a result of the “stop work order” imposed for funds from the Pooled Money Investment Account. The bill creates framework to fairly and uniformly provide guidance through the challenges created by the “stop work order,” including the need to adjust project timetables and deadlines rendered obsolete by months of delay, protects the state’s project, and assures similar operations if bond financing interruptions occur and put another freeze in place. This bill would help the state honor its project agreements as state infrastructure bond resources allow. This bill was sponsored by the California Council of Land Trusts, the California State Parks Foundation, and the Planning and Conservation League. Bill Signed.

AB 1470 - Wine
Enables wineries to sell wine by the glass or bottle in a second tasting room while expanding public review in the licensure process. It also establishes consistency in how wineries may sell their wines at locations operating under duplicate licenses, conforms the issuance of duplicate licenses to a 30-day public review period, and allows customers of wine bars operating under a standard beer and wine bar license or a duplicate winery license to take home unfinished bottles of wine, as currently allowed at restaurants and wineries to promote responsible consumption. This legislation was sponsored by Wine Institute. Bill Signed.

AB 1499 - Horseracing
Authorizes horseracing fairs to deduct 0.5% of the handle in exotic parimutuel pools of races for the provision of workers' compensation insurance for horse trainers and owners who are racing horses – except thoroughbreds – at fairs. This bill was sponsored by the California Authority of Racing Fairs. Bill Signed.

Resolutions Chaptered

ACR 49 - Law Revision Commission
Provides legislative authorization for the California Law Revision Commission’s work plan for 2009-2010. Assemblymember Evans is a member of the Commission.

Two-Year Bills

AB 602 - Land Use Planning
Responds to a recent appellate court decision regarding the statute of limitations for actions involving local housing elements. Status: Pending Referral by the Senate Rules Committee.

AB 1229 - Prequalification for Public Works Projects
Establishes pre-qualification guidelines to be used by local public agencies for contractors bidding on infrastructure and other public works projects. This will help streamline the bidding process and ensure that contractors are qualified. This legislation is sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and the Associated General Contractors. Status: Pending in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.

AB 1342 - Local Revenues
Expands revenue options for local government by authorizing county supervisors to put on the ballot a local personal income tax and or a local vehicle license fee. Enactment would remain subject to the constitutional vote requirements prescribed by Prop. 218. Status: Pending in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

ACA 18 - State Budget
Enacts two basic state budget reforms. It would allow the budget to be adopted by a majority vote. It would also allow the Legislature, by majority vote, to place budget-balancing tax measures on the ballot for voter approval. Status: Pending in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

AJR 16 - Journalism Shield Laws
Urges the U.S. Congress and President of the United States to enact a shield law for American's journalists. Sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Status: Pending Referral by the Senate Rules Committee.

Legislation Held in Committees

AB 510 - CalWORKS: Time Clock Suspension
Stops a CalWORKs participant’s state time clock if they are granted "good cause" for not participating in welfare-to-work activities due to a lack of necessary supportive services as a result of budget cuts. This bill was sponsored by the County Welfare Directors Association of California. Status: Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File.

AB 596 - Community Planning Grants and Loans Program
Establishes competitive grants and loans for local planning projects that are consistent with the State's goals in regards to infrastructure development, climate change, affordable housing, ground and surface water quality and open space protection. Funding of the program is contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature. This bill was sponsored by the League of California Cities. Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File.

AB 1429 - Meet and Confer Rights
Corrects an inequity in the law by providing managerial state employees the right to meet and confer with their employer in all matters relating to employee compensation. Current law gives this right to the state's excluded supervisory employees. This legislation was sponsored by the California Correctional Supervisors Organization. Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File.

AB 1513 - Wilderness
Directs the Resources Agency and the State Lands Commission to report to the Legislature whether specific state lands in Lake, Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Clara Counties merit designation and protection as state wilderness. Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File.

AB 1520 - Watersheds
Establishes the Statewide Watershed Program (Program) within the Department of Conservation, to be conducted under the control of the Secretary and administered by the Department. The Program will provide assistance and funds to local community-based efforts in the conservation, protection, and restoration of the state’s watersheds and promote coordinated management of watersheds. This watershed-based resource management approach stresses land and water management practices that recognize and makes use of the link between related ecosystems. Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File.