The 2017-18 Legislative Session Underway
The 2017-18 Legislative Session was gaveled in on December 5, 2016 for the swearing-in of all Assembly Members and those Senate Members that stood election in November. Following a day of other ceremonies and celebrations, legislators returned to their home districts until January 4, 2017. Also, another highly anticipated event occurs in January, the 10th to be exact, that being the Governor’s constitutional deadline to unveil his proposed State Budget. Finally, it is anticipated that Assembly Speaker Rendon and Senate President pro Tempore De León will begin to announce new committee chairs and the composition of all committees during January, but if history is any indicator, that process will continue into February.
The November election also produced two-thirds super majorities of Democrats in both Houses of the Legislature, which was expected in the Assembly but not the Senate. While these super majorities will theoretically allow the Democrats to pass any and all things requiring a two-thirds vote, including, but not limited to taxes and constitutional amendments, given the number of “moderate” Democrats, specifically in the Assembly, many political pundits doubt there will be a flurry of taxes and other two-thirds vote issues pass, but those same pundits agree some high-profile measures will reach the Governor’s desk.
Finally, while legislators may introduce bills the first day of a new session, few do, preferring to wait until January when their legislative priorities are more in focus. But the first day of the new session was special for CARPD and parks/open space communities, as not one, but two park bonds were introduced.
The first, Assembly Bill 18 by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia is very similar to his park bond measure of last year, Assembly Bill 2444. The second measure, Senate Bill 5 by Senate President pro Tempore De León also contains many of the provisions of his Senate Bill 317 of 2015. Neither bill reached the Governor’s desk, but both authors are highly motivated as evidenced by their early introduction of their respective measures.
Russ Noack prepared a document (see document below) comparing the major provisions of each bill, including AB 2444 or comparative purposes.
The CARPD Legislative Committee will be meeting soon to review and discuss AB 18 and SB 5, plus any other new legislation introduced prior to the meeting.
By: Ralph Heim