Cutting traffic fines, protecting the environment and helping working residents dominate agenda

Here are Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s top bills when session resumes Monday

August 12, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Reducing traffic fines, protecting the environment and providing incentives for attorneys to perform legal help for working residents are among the proposed laws Sen. Bob Hertzberg will be pushing when this year’s legislative session resumes Monday.

Here are some of the top bills the Van Nuys Democrat hopes are approved and sent to the governor prior to the Legislature’s scheduled Sept. 11 adjournment:

·        SB 405 – Driving Down Debt 

Citing the loss of the ability to drive as a threat to economic security – especially among working residents – this plan would improve court access by eliminating the requirement that all fines and penalties be paid before the driver can get a court hearing.

·        SB 286 – Green Electricity Choice 

With the goal of encouraging competition and reducing costs for retail electricity, this renewable energy measure would allow some commercial customers to select their own provider for 100-percent renewable electricity, thereby helping the state meet goals for renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions. 

·        SB 272 – Local Government Data

Local governments would be required to create an inventory of their data-keeping systems, make that catalog publicly available online and list the types of data collected by those systems. Local education agencies, cybersecurity systems and infrastructure-control systems would be exempted.

·        SB 664 – Earthquake Preparedness for Water Infrastructure

This bill would require regional water-management officials to assess the vulnerability of their water systems to an earthquake and to publicly report that assessment as well as any mitigation plans.

·        SB 621 – Mental Health and Public Safety 

This proposal would clarify that counties can apply for Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grant funds to pay for diversion programs that reduce recidivism of certain mentally ill offenders.

·        SB 233 – Rigs to Reefs

This environmental-protection measure would improve the permitting process to convert an oil rig into an artificial reef and help bring an end to off-shore oil production.

·        SB 540 – Taxpayer Advocate Relief  

Extends indefinitely a soon-to-expire taxpayer-advocate program to help ensure taxpayers who are overcharged by the state Franchise Tax Board can receive assistance and refunds.

·        SB 239 – Contracts for Fire Protection

This proposal would ensure residents and public officials have an opportunity to examine plans, costs and other financial estimates before local governments provide new or extended fire-protection services.  

·        SB 134 – Public Interest Attorney Loan Forgiveness

In an effort to help ensure working Californians have greater access to equal justice, this bill seeks to use unclaimed funds to help pay off loans for attorneys practicing public-interest law.

·        SB 500 – Mobile Workforce 

This business-friendly bill would allow out-of-state employers to send their workers to California for conferences or work lasting less than 20 days without triggering income-tax reviews and other red tape. Athletes, actors, and some other professions would be exempted.

For more, including Fact Sheets, visit Hertzberg’s Web site at the address below.

Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map HERE or at  After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. More HERE or at


Communications Director
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate District 18
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4018 office; 916 834-1128 cell or



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