Several pieces of legislation authored by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who represents about half of the Santa Clarita Valley, take effect in 2014. Other Pavley bills are 2-year bills that await further action.
Bills Signed by the Governor
Senate Bill 4 – Fracking Regulations – Chapter 313
Addresses the growing national concern about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as “fracking”) on communities and the environment. Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial and potentially risky well stimulation treatment to enhance oil and gas production. SB 4 directs the California Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to enact comprehensive hydraulic fracturing regulations, in consultation with additional regulators, which include advanced public notice of planned fracking activities and fracking fluid chemical disclosure.
Senate Bill 11/Assembly Bill 8 (Pavley/Perea) – Clean Transportation Incentives (AB 118/Moyer Programs) – Chapter 401
Improves public health and the economy by continuing critical funding programs that help clean the air. These programs are paid for by dedicated vehicle, tire, vessel, and smog abatement fees and do not require general fund revenues. California’s highly successful and proven clean air incentive programs were set to sunset, just as the investments are needed most to meet our clean air, public health, climate, and economic development goals. This legislation continues the funding, in lieu of regulatory action, to construct the minimum fueling infrastructure necessary to support the impending introduction of new clean vehicle technologies.
Senate Bill 114 – Sex Trafficking Pilot Project Sunset Extension – Chapter 42
Extends the sunset of the Los Angeles County Sex Trafficking Pilot Program. This program will implement a comprehensive, replicative, multidisciplinary model for addressing the needs and effective treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors.
Sponsor: Children’s Advocacy Institute
Senate Bill 145 – Child Pornography Sentencing – Chapter 777
Increases penalties for possession of child pornography, with the intent of targeting the worst offenders. Under current law, the strongest penalty for possession of child pornography is only three years in prison. This bill would raise the potential sentence to five years.
Sponsor: Ventura County District Attorney
Senate Bill 203 – Ventura County Transit – Funding Flexibility for Smaller Cities – Chapter 464
Permits cities under 100,000 in Ventura County to join other smaller cities in the state in providing flexibility to meet transit or local road needs. SB 203 deletes references in current law to the Ventura County Transit Plan and consequently, allows cities in Ventura County with smaller populations to use Transportation Development Act funds for either transit or local streets and roads, provided the use conforms with the findings of the unmet needs test. Ventura County had previously been exempted from this provision in law while they were developing their Regional County Transit Plan.
Senate Bill 236 – Moorpark Unified School District: “Middle College” – Chapter 716
Authorizes the Moorpark Unified School District (USD) to operate it’s “Middle College” program on a four-day school week. Middle College is an accelerated academic program in which students take both high school and college courses concurrently. The goal of this bill is to provide Moorpark USD with the flexibility needed for the Middle College curriculum. Typically, four-day school weeks are used to reduce school district costs; however, in this case the authorization is entirely for the academic benefit of Moorpark’s Middle College students.
Sponsor: Moorpark Unified School District
Senate Bill 352 (Pavley/Hernandez – Principal Coauthor) – Physician Assistants/Medical Assistant Supervision – Chapter 286
Allows physicians to delegate the task of Medical Assistant supervision to a Physician Assistant (PA) across all outpatient medical settings where Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners currently function, without requiring a physician’s presence. The law already allows this practice in community clinics. This change is necessary if California hopes to accommodate the dramatic increase in patients expected to result from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California which will require the health care delivery system to accommodate an additional 4 to 6 million people.
Sponsor: California Academy of Physician Assistants
Senate Bill 368 – Special Education Credentialing – Chapter 717
This bill is designed to help ensure qualified special education teachers are not required to take unnecessary and duplicative coursework. It codifies guidelines published by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing which provide a process in which coursework and experience from multiple CTC-approved programs are credited towards added authorizations for education specialist (special education) credential holders. This process would only apply to education specialist credential holders and to coursework associated with added authorizations. These guidelines were created in response to prior legislation, AB 2226 (Ruskin, 2008).
Sponsor: California Federation of Teachers
Senate Bill 459 – Affordable Clean Cars – Chapter 437
Requires the State Air Resources Board, in consultation with other state agencies, to submit a plan to the Legislature that identifies opportunities to save middle-income households money on gasoline by accelerating incentives for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Senate Bill 460 – Harmful Reproductive Toxins Education – Chapter 667
Requires the California Department of Public Health to modify the prenatal testing program’s educational materials to include information concerning the importance of avoiding consumer products that are known to be harmful to reproductive health. Educating pregnant women about harmful chemicals present in everyday life will help them limit their exposure and give their babies a better, healthier start in life.
Senate Bill 463 – Judicial Sentencing Procedures – Chapter 508
Ensures a three year continuation of California’s judicial sentencing procedures which provide for a jury trial to determine if a defendant is guilty or not guilty of a crime, but rely upon the sound discretion of a judge to determine an appropriate prison term, without additional fact finding. This system not only provides for balanced judicial review, but it also saves money as a jury trial for sentencing would require additional state resources to hire more prosecutors, public defenders and judges at a time when courts are struggling to pay for basic services. California’s current sentencing law sunsets on January 1, 2014. If the law is not extended, California will revert to a law that was held to be unconstitutional.
Sponsor: Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office
Senate Bill 630 – Tahoe Compact Restoration – Chapter 762
Emphasizes the importance of the Tahoe Regional Compact by developing a contingency plan if Nevada follows through with its state law to withdraw from the bi-state Tahoe Compact. The contingency plan would restore the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency which would become the entity that undertakes the land-use planning, project approval, and other activities in the Tahoe Basin that are necessary to help improve water clarity and protect other important conservation values.
Senate Bill 651 (Pavley/Leno) – Sexual Assault in Developmental Centers – Chapter 724
Requires outside medical forensic exams for alleged rape victims to ensure proper evidence collection and protect against future assaults in California’s developmental centers and state hospitals. In addition, the bill stipulates that failure to report a sexual assault or other violent crime to law enforcement will result in either civil penalties or a Class B citation.
Sponsor: California Disability Rights
Bills Pending Action in 2014 (2-Year Bills)
Senate Bill 40 – Water Bond
Intends to reduce and refocus California’s $11.1 billion water bond.
Senate Bill 212 – APLE Grant Expansion
Expands and increase funding for the Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE). The goal of this bill is to provide a fiscal incentive for college students to pursue a career in education. The APLE grant is a competitive teacher incentive program designed to encourage outstanding students, etc. to become a California teacher in subject areas where there is a teacher shortage. APLE participants who provide designated teaching service in the area of math, science, etc., instruction are eligible to receive specified amounts in loan assumption benefits. Last year, the Legislature eliminated funding for any new applicants.
Senate Bill 264 – Safe Laboratory Testing for Medicare Patients
Ensures safe, appropriate and cost-effective laboratory testing for Medicare fee-for-service patients. Requires that all Affordable Care Organizations (ACOs) created for Medicare Shared Savings patients in California have clinical laboratory testing advisory boards in an effort to provide proper testing and guidelines for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. Currently, California has 24 ACOs in the state, including ones formed by Cedar Sinai, ULCA and others in Southern California.
Sponsor: California Society of Pathologists
Senate Bill 577 – Expanding Employment Opportunities for people with Developmental Disabilities
Creates a program to promote service providers to offer job exploration and preparation service for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Senate Bill 633 – CEQA
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) already has a process for the CEQA Guidelines amended by the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and for those amendments to be certified by the Secretary for Natural Resources. This bill would use that process and authorize, but not require, OPR to propose revisions to the guidelines for temporary events of all sorts that it determines do not have a significant effect on the environment and are qualified to be exempt from CEQA.