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Legislative Report - June 2023

The mountain of legislative and budget proposals introduced this session are making their way through the policy and fiscal processes at the State Capitol. The House of Origin deadline was Friday, June 2, 2023. This is the date by which all legislation introduced in its own chamber must pass off the Floor to be sent to its second house where the process begins again. Of the 891 bills introduced in the Senate since the beginning of this session, 658 continued to the Assembly; of the 1,770 bills introduced in the Assembly, 1,055 made their way to the Senate. 948 bills are no longer moving. These bills either died in committee, failed passage on the Floor, or were put on hold as two-year bills.

RPPG identified measures of top concern or that aligned with CARPD values and has advocated for the interests of CARPD and its member districts at every step of the legislative process. We have reviewed each of the thousands of bills progressing through the Legislature, analyzing amendments, working with CARPD’s Legislative Committee to take positions on the most critical pieces of legislation and advancing specific advocacy strategies to ensure the interests of parks and recreation districts are protected and included -- securing victories along the way.  

Additionally, we worked in this first half of the year to help CARPD have a seat at the table, working in tandem with other local government associations to advance, improve, or stop key legislation.

This work paid off as CARPD interests have been successfully negotiated into or out of the following key legislative items:

AB 817 (Pacheco)  Open meetings: teleconferencing: subsidiary body. CARPD sponsored key legislation to narrowly expand the Brown Act to remove barriers to entry into public office and open pathways for public participation. This bill would allow remote participation for members of any legislative body that is serves in an advisory capacity only. This effort is now a two-year bill, but not before RPPG brought on CalCities, California State Association of Counties, Rural County Representatives of California, Urban Counties, and California Association of Public Authorities for In-Home Supportive Services as co-sponsors, secured an author and co-author from the Assembly Local Government Committee, coordinated statewide support with a robust coalition from associations, local entities, and advocacy groups for seniors and the disabled, transforming CARPD into a leader on this issue within the local government sphere.

AB 262 (Holden) Children’s Camps: safety and regulation. This bill would have defined Children’s Camps and required new regulations to be promulgated by the Department of Social Services. In its initial form, it would have included local agencies such as recreation and park districts programming into the definitions and excluded special districts providing these services from the working group advising the regulations. RPPG worked closely with the author’s office, committee staff, and a broad group of stakeholders to amend the bill and address the concerns of CARPD. Accordingly, the bill is now a study, with a report back to the legislature, and includes a seat for a representative from a special district providing recreation and parks services in the working group. CARPD was able to move from an oppose position to neutral.

AB 334 (B.Rubio) Public contracts: conflicts of interest. This bill would update current law to allow an independent contractor who performs one phase of a project for a public entity to enter into a subsequent contract for a later phase of the same project, if specified conditions are met. When this bill was heard in both the Assembly and Senate Elections policy committees,  RPPG secured the opportunity for CARPD to be a lead witness in support. Executive Director Matthew Duarte was able to come to Sacramento and meet directly with the Assembly member to pre-plan testimony and again to testify before the full committee representing parks districts statewide to provide the local government perspective. This bill continues to make its way through the legislature and will next be heard in Senate Judiciary. CARPD is a lead support.

AB 1056 (Davies) Department of Parks and Recreation: California Youth Water Safety State Grant. This bill would establish a Youth Water Safety State Grant as a dedicated funding source for free swimming lessons for at-risk and low income youth. In its original form, the funds would have been accessible only to non-profits, cities, and counties. RPPG worked with the author’s office to secure amendments including special districts in this program. CARPD is supporting the bill, which is now a two-year bill.

AB 1637 (Irwin) Local government: internet websites and email addresses. This bill would have required all local governments to transition to a .gov or account. CARPD joined with a large local government coalition, including the California Special Districts Association, and advocated for special districts to be removed from this onerous requirement, given the size and function of many districts. As a result, the bill now only applies to cities and counties. CARPD was able to move from Oppose to Watch.

SB 240 (Ochoa Bogh) Surplus state real property: affordable housing and housing for formerly incarcerated individuals.  This bill would have eliminated parks from the priority list of entities eligible to purchase surplus state real property prior to being offered for sale to private entities or individuals and would have restricted that use only for affordable housing. This was of great concern to CARPD member agencies and RPPG was able to have discussions as such. Instead, the bill now adds housing for formerly incarcerated individuals as a priority use prior to public sale. As a result of these desired developments, CARPD was able to move from Oppose to Neutral.

RPPG continues to monitor the state budget, with a budget package expected anytime and negotiations on final terms anticipated to last through the Fall. We continue to be honored to be your voice and presence in the state Capitol and work diligently to protect your interests so that you can continue to do the good and essential work within your communities. As we look to the months ahead, there are several fights we continue to battle in the labor and government operations arena as well as several bills we continue to champion on your behalf that will enhance your ability to provide access to recreation opportunity, open spaces, and critical facilities to residents.  As always, RPPG staff is available to help CARPD members understand the legislative proposals moving through this year, the politics involved in crafting them, and the potential implications they may have for your agencies.



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Alyssa Silhi

Renne Public Policy Group

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