As Final Gavel Falls, Hertzberg Seeks Governor’s Signature on 10 Bills
Legislation punishing ransomware, expediting traffic amnesty claims, improving water supply and modernizing Cal-Access awaits action
SACRAMENTO – Three bills by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, have been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in recent weeks and 10 more have been sent to the governor’s desk. Here is an update of Hertzberg’s legislation:
LEGISLATION SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
Cleaning Hazardous Waste Sites
SB 820 renews the California Land Reuse & Revitalization Act (CLRRA), which is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2017, for another 10 years. The act encourages redevelopment of blighted properties by allowing purchasers of contaminated lots to negotiate a cleanup plan with the state in exchange for liability protection from damages associated with the original contamination that they had no role in. Brown signed this bill on Aug. 22.
Transit Fare Evasion
SB 882 prohibits youths from being charged with a criminal violation for transit fare evasion and instead treats the offense through an administrative process. Brown signed this bill on Aug. 22.
Protecting Workers’ Wages
SB 954 clarifies the list of deductions an employer can count to reduce hourly wages, without prior consent from employees. The bill excludes wage credits for employer payments for industry advancement unless it is part of a bargained agreement. Brown signed this bill on Monday.
LEGISLATION SENT TO THE GOVERNOR
Ensuring Legal Rights
SB 614 extends an important fee waiver to low-income defendants, sentenced under the Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011. Legal fees for criminal defendants can be expensive burdens that are collected from the innocent family members of offenders. This bill protects these families from unnecessary burdens by extending presumption that a defendant can’t pay defense fees if sentenced to jail for a year or more. The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday and sent it to the governor.
SB 881 requires courts to process traffic amnesty requests in a timely manner. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Wednesday and sent the bill to the governor. This bill no longer includes provisions related to suspended driver’s licenses. Sen. Hertzberg plans to continue working on the issue of driver’s license suspensions and the fairness of the court fee and fine system with Gov. Brown and Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye in order to develop a comprehensive solution.
Native American Education Centers
SB 911 makes the California American Indian Education Center program permanent, thereby allowing 22 American Indian education centers in 17 California counties to continue receiving state support. The program, run by the Department of Education, is due to sunset on Jan. 1, 2017 in the absence of this bill. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Aug. 25 and sent the bill to the governor.
Improving Water Supply
SB 919 requires the state to better coordinate energy resources by creating an incentive to direct excess renewable energy that can occur during the middle of the day toward water agencies that recycle or purify water. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Aug. 24 and sent the bill to the governor.
Boosting Small Business Loans
SB 936 makes more private loans possible through the state IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program by adopting the federal standard for leveraging the financing, which means less state money is required to back the private loans than under the current state standard. In essence, the change allows the state and federal funding used to guarantee the loans to go further. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Aug. 18 and sent the bill to the governor.
Safeguarding Government Bonds
SB 1029 requires the state to track and report on all new state and local government debt until it is fully repaid or redeemed. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Aug. 24 and sent the bill to the governor.
SB 1137 clarifies that infecting computers with ransomware is a form of extortion and punishable as such. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Aug. 25 and sent the bill to the governor.
Firefighter Training: Mental Health
SB 1221 allows the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to offer to firefighters a training course related to law enforcement interaction with mentally disabled persons. This bill helps give firefighters better options when interacting with mentally ill individuals. The Senate passed the bill on Monday and sent it to the governor.
Overseeing Tax Checkoffs
SB 1476 requires tax checkoff donations to be continuously appropriated to the administering agency and that the administering agency post online the process for awarding the money, how program funds are awarded and how much is spent on administration. The Senate concurred with Assembly amendments on Aug. 25 and sent the bill to the governor.
SB 1349 directs the state to overhaul the Secretary of State’s antiquated Cal-Access system for filing and accessing campaign finance and lobbying data. The Senate concurred in Assembly amendments on Tuesday and sent the bill to the governor. Separately, Sen. Hertzberg pursued funding for the measure through the budget process. The 2016-17 budget signed by the governor includes $1.8 million for the Secretary of State to begin upgrading Cal-Access.
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 at http://sd18.senate.ca.gov/district. 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. Learn more at www.senate.ca.gov/hertzberg.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew LaMar
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, CA 95814