2000 Significant Legislation


Senate Local Government Committee

TO: Persons Interested in Local Finance and Land Use 
FROM: Senator Richard K. Rainey 
SUBJECT: Important Local Government Bills During 2000 
DATE: October 2, 2000

Governor Gray Davis has finished acting on the bills passed by legislators in 2000. I wanted you to know about some of the measures that the Committee worked on this year affecting local agencies’ powers, property taxes, and land use issues. Page 5 explains how to retrieve the text of these bills and how to get copies of our Committee’s bill analyses.

Property Tax Allocation / Local Finance / Local Government Powers 
Land Use & Development / Local Agency Formation Commissions / Redevelopment


SB 1637 (Burton) phases in a permanent cap of the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) over three years. Cities, counties, and special districts keep 1/3 of their ERAF growth in 2000-01, 2/3 of the growth in 2002-03, and all of the growth in 2003-04 and beyond, effectively capping their ERAF shifts at the 2002-03 levels. Status: Vetoed.

SB 1919 (Chesbro) prospectively exempts fire districts from the 1992-93 ERAF shift. Status: Died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 2080 (Leslie) gives a one-time $250 million base reduction in the property tax revenues transferred to ERAF. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1195 (Longville) limits ERAF during 2000-01 to 90% of the 1999-2000 shift. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 


State Budget, 2000-01 did not reform state-local fiscal relations but contained many specific appropriations for local governments. The Legislative Analyst’s description of the Budget is available on the LAO’s website www.lao.ca.gov

SB 165 (Alarcón) imposes accountability measures on local governments that levy special taxes and issue local bonds. Status: Signed, Chapter 535, Statutes of 2000.

SB 225 (Rainey) reimburses booking fees to cities that missed the State Controller’s filing deadline and to special districts that operate their own police departments. Status: Signed, Chapter 1075, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1334 (Senate Local Government Committee) conforms 15 benefit assessment statutes to the constitutional requirements of Proposition 218. Status: Signed, Chapter 262, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1477 (Lewis) clarifies the confidentiality status and tabulation process for benefit assessments under Proposition 218. Status: Signed, Chapter 220, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1982 (Alpert) and SCA 18 (Alpert) had contained the state-local fiscal reforms recommended by the California State Association of Counties but reduced to "intent" measures. Status: SB 1982 died at the Assembly Desk and SCA 18 died in the Senate Constitutional Amendments Committee.

SB 2000 (Polanco) and SCA 17 (Polanco) had contained the state-local fiscal reforms recommended by the State Controller but reduced to intent measures. Status: SB 2000 died at the Assembly Desk and SCA 17 died on the Senate Floor.

SB 2048 (Leslie) states an intent to give $250 million to cities and counties for infrastructure improvements. Status: Died at the Assembly Desk.

AB 83 (Cárdenas) prohibits cities and counties from requiring licenses or from taxing the income of home-based "employees," contingent on the enactment of AB 1992 (Cedillo). Status: Signed, Chapter 1070, Statutes of 2000.

AB 943 (Dutra) requires cities and counties to send copies of their investment reports and policy statements to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission. Status: Signed, Chapter 687, Statutes of 2000.

AB 1396 (Aroner) allocates $212 million to cities, counties, and special districts for fiscal relief in 2000-01. Cities and counties get $100 million based on population; cities, counties, and special districts get $100 million based on their ERAF losses; counties get $10 million based on countywide population; independent library districts and recreation and park districts get $2 million based on their ERAF losses.Status: Signed, Chapter 903, Statutes of 2000.

AB 1784 (Lempert) extends the current moratorium on local taxation on Internet access by three years, until 2005. Status: Signed but will not become effective because this bill was contingent on AB 2412 which was vetoed.

AB 1982 (Gallegos) allows local officials to increase benefit assessments according to schedules adopted before Proposition 218. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2300 (Florez) creates new procedures involving the Attorney General and the State Treasurer in the validation of Marks-Roos Act bonds. Status: Signed, Chapter 723, Statutes of 2000. 


SB 329 (Peace) creates an 11-member San Diego Regional Government Efficiency Commission that must report to the Legislature by August 1, 2001. Status: Signed, Chapter 764, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1321, SB 1322, SB 1323 are the Senate Local Government Committee’s annual Validating Acts. Status: Signed, Chapters 24, 229, and 230, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1327 (Escutia) allows employees (including local public employees) to inspect their personnel records. Status: Signed, Chapter 886, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1350 is the Senate Local Government Committee’s annual omnibus bill with 30 items. Status: Signed, Chapter 506, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1447 (Hughes) prohibits volunteer firefighters from serving on the governing boards of their own agencies. Status: Vetoed.

AB 1732 (Torlakson) requires the Attorney General to establish regulations for approving electronic recording systems for county recorders. Status: Died on the Senate Floor.

AB 2296 (Dutra) allows seven counties to use the design-build method of contracting for public works until 2006. Status: Signed, Chapter 594, Statutes of 2000.

AB 2556 (Hertzberg) creates the $8 million School-Community Partnership Program and the $4 million School-Community Partnerships Grant Program. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2614 (Oller) requires the Attorney General to establish regulations for approving electronic recording systems for county recorders, and creates pilot programs in Contra Costa and Placer counties for experimenting with electronic recording technologies. Status: Vetoed.

AB 2684 (Bock) creates the Innovations in Local Government Management Program. Status: Vetoed. 


SB 1621 (Alarcón) changes the standards for land use moratoria in urgency zoning ordinances. Status: Vetoed.

SB 1815 (Vasconcellos) would have required the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to set goals and evaluate long-range objectives, and to assist regional collaboratives. Now requires a master plan for a Central Coast military cemetery. Status: Signed, Chapter 771, Statutes of 2000.

SB 1966 (Brulte) allows city councils and county supervisors to ask for studies of land use initiatives before the elections. Status: Signed, Chapter 496, Statutes of 2000.

SB 2095 (Johnston) would have required subdivisions to use recycled water when available. Now enacts the "Water Recycling in Landscaping Act." Status: Signed, Chapter 510, Statutes of 2000.

AB 779 (Torlakson) would have required cities and counties to grant density bonuses near public transit stations. Now authorizes the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to award smart growth grants and loans to cities and counties. Status: Signed, Chapter 914, Statutes of 2000.

AB 1219 (Kuehl) requires subdivisions to have reliable water supplies. Status: Died in the Senate Agriculture and Water Resources Committee.

AB 1968 (Wiggins) creates a Local Regional Planning Support grant program within OPR. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2033 (Torlakson) would have required the California Research Bureau to study existing land use inventories, and appropriated $5 million for a statewide digitized image project. Now corrects a drafting error in AB 2300. Status: Signed, Chapter 724, Statutes of 2000.

AB 2471 (Wayne) expands the contents of OPR’s Environmental Goals and Policy Report. Status: Vetoed.

AB 2495 (Ashburn) requires cities and counties to follow each other’s zoning and building ordinances. Status: Held in the Senate Local Government Committee for interim study.

AB 2774 (Corbett) creates a $10 million Local Government General Plan Update and Sustainable Communities Grant Program within OPR. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2870 (Cedillo) appropriates $25 million for a new Downtown Rebound Program, including money to revise local general plans. Status: Signed, Chapter 83, Statutes of 2000. 


AB 1495 (Cox) reforms the revenue neutrality calculations for city incorporations. Status: Vetoed.

AB 1526 (Thompson) reforms the revenue neutrality calculations for incorporations and requires state departments to serve new cities. Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1544 (Calderon) makes it easier to develop the "doughnut hole" (Redlands’ unincorporated island) by giving landowners control of the City’s sphere of influence. Status: Signed, Chapter 129, Statutes of 2000.

AB 1960 (Machado) prohibits LAFCOs from charging the proponents for the cost of environmental impact reports on city incorporations; the new city or the state government pays. Status: Vetoed.

AB 2779 (Cox) allows new cities to use mediation in disputes over incorporation finances. Status: Defeated on the Senate Floor.

AB 2838 (Hertzberg) revises the Cortese-Knox Act by implementing the recommendations of the Commission on Local Governance for the 21st Century. Status: Signed, Chapter 761, Statutes of 2000. 



SB 2113 (Burton) allows San Francisco to exceed the statutory deadlines for its older redevelopment project areas to pay for affordable housing. Status: Signed, Chapter 661, Statutes of 2000.

AB 2041 (Dutra) allows redevelopment agencies to pool their housing funds, subject to specific conditions. Status: Signed, Chapter 552, Statutes of 2000. 
* = The Senate Local Government Committee did not hear this bill.



The fastest way to get copies of the these bills and the Committee's analyses, other analyses, histories, voting records, and any veto messages is from the California Legislature's official websitewww.leginfo.ca.gov You can also order a printed copy of any bill by writing directly to the Bill Room, State Capitol (Room B-32), Sacramento CA 95814-4906. Single copies are free. 


More information about the Committee’s work, including detailed references on land use, redevelopment, LAFCOs, and links to useful websites is available on the Committee’s own websitewww.sen.ca.gov/locgov 


The California Legislature convenes for the 2001-02 Session on December 4, 2000. In the meantime, during the Fall Interim Recess, Senator Rainey has directed the Committee’s staff to work on these projects that will lead to the introduction of new bills:

Proposition 218 and public property. Proposition 218 (1996) required local officials to follow new hearing, notice, and protest procedures before they levy or increase benefit assessments. Proposition 218 also reversed the traditional rule that exempted public property from paying benefit assessments. The Legislature has not created statutory procedures to respond to this constitutional change. Consulting with the State Department of General Services and local officials, the Committee’s staff will examine this issue and draft legislation for 2001.

Proposition 218 and benefit assessments. As a constitutional amendment, Proposition 218 superceded the statutory requirements for levying or increasing benefit assessments. Legislation authored this year by the Committee conformed 15 assessment acts to the constitutional requirements (SB 1334). An additional 15 assessment acts remain outdated. The Committee’s staff, in consultation with local officials, will draft additional revisions for introduction in 2001.

Recreation and park district law. The Legislature has not revised the state laws governing recreation and park districts since 1957. Many parts of the current statute are obsolete, contradictory, and redundant. Working with a Task Force, the Committee’s staff will identify these problems, draft solutions, and prepare a revised statute for introduction in 2001.

Mapping hazardous land uses. Several state agencies identify and map hazardous land uses: fire dangers, geologic and seismic hazards, and areas threatened by flooding. Some of these data sets appear to be out-of-date while others are not readily available to local officials. The Committee’s staff will review the status of these state maps and their use by local planners. Remedial legislation may be needed in 2001.

Local plans and public works. Cities and counties must follow their own general plans when siting public works projects. But schools and special districts can override local planning and zoning. State departments can ignore local plans. Cities and counties don’t have to follow each other’s land use rules, as illustrated by AB 2495 (Ashburn). The Committee’s staff will examine these contradictory state laws in consultation with local and state officials. Remedial legislation may be needed in 2001.

Committee Address