End-of-session environmental bills

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 4, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The final weeks of the 2007-08 legislative session saw more than the normal amount of bill amendments, reconsiderations, rule suspensions, and "gut-and-amends" (where bills are totally stripped of contents and replaced with new language)  The problem with "gut-and-amends" is that they have not been vetted through policy committees and some even avoid fiscal review in appropriations committees.  

Three troubling environmental bills were born in this limited process, but in the end, reason prevailed and all three were either held in Senate Rules or failed to get sufficient votes on the floor before time ran out.  The bills were:

•    AB 1390 (Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael) incorporated four previously stalled bills.  After its amendments, it dealt with illegal dumping, green waste, mandated industrial recycling and a 52% increase in the tipping fee for solid waste.  

•    AB 2175 (John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, and Mike Feuer, D-Los Angles) would have required the state to achieve a 20% urban water consumption decrease by 2020 with a 10% reduction by 2015.  At first it would only have applied to residential, but was amended to include commercial, industrial and institutional usage.  CMTA argued for an exemption for water used in the manufacturing process.  Over 90% of the water consumption in some industries goes into their product.  These industries would face a future with forced water curtailment and no hope of increasing production.  The bill also did not consider previous water reduction projects.

•    AB 2769 (Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys) was gut-and-amended by Senate Rules without the author’s knowledge into a Regional Water Quality Control Board membership bill.  It gave the Speaker of the Assembly and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate the authority to appoint a member to each Board.  This bill was amended so late in the process that it required a 2/3 majority of the floor to move forward.

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