Bills to lower traffic fines, protect water supplies and help workers go to governor

Lawmakers endorse Bob Hertzberg-backed measures

September 11, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Reducing traffic fines, protecting water supplies and providing incentives for attorneys to perform legal help for working residents are among the proposals by Sen. Bob Hertzberg that await final action by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“It has been an honor to fight for measures to improve the quality of life for Californians and the nearly 1 million constituents of my east San Fernando Valley district,” Hertzberg said. “It’s comforting to know workers will find it easier to deal with traffic fines, that our drinking water supplies will be better prepared in an earthquake, and that those who need help most will be able to receive inexpensive legal aid – if Gov. Brown signs my bills now on his desk.”

Below are bills the Van Nuys Democrat hopes will receive the governor’s support before his Oct. 11 deadline to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature:

·        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 272 – Local Government Data

Local governments would be required to create an inventory of their key data-keeping systems, make that catalog publicly available online and list the types of data collected by those systems. 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 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 low-income Californians have greater access to equal justice, this bill seeks to use certain unclaimed funds to help pay off loans for attorneys practicing public-interest law.

·        SB 697 – Accountability Act

This good-government bill would increase accountability and transparency in the Public Utilities Commission.


In addition to a tax-reform bill from earlier this year, Hertzberg this month announced plans to pursue two measures next year:

·        SB 155 – Renewable Energy

Power users in California and neighboring Western states would have greater access to more reliable and less expensive sources of renewable energy under this plan to fight climate change.

·        SB 163 – Water Reuse

In a pro-environment effort to capture up to 1.5 billion gallons of treated freshwater dumped into the ocean daily, this bill sets timelines for water-treatment operators to meet standards for 50 percent reuse of treated water by 2026 and 100 percent reuse of treated water by 2036.

·      For more, including Fact Sheets on the above bills, 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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