The California legislative session ended this Labor Day weekend. Now it's all about the Governor's signing decisions. We'll have more on end-of-session legislative outcomes as the news shakes out but here are some preliminary items:

SB 270 plastic bag law goes to Governor

The AB 270 ban on single-use plastic bags had a tough time during the Legislature's final week but made it through after all. As we noted in last week's news briefs at, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) pulled support from the bill right before an August 25 vote in the Assembly that narrowly ran against it.  As of August 28, however, the UFCW was back on board. Per the Sacramento Bee, "Central to the union's reversal was a provision allowing grocery stores to offer paper or reusable bags for a minimum 10-cent fee." See The Bee reported the bill passed the Senate 22-15 Friday, sending the bill to Governor Jerry Brown to be considered for signature.

The Bee called the plastic bag ban "one of the most heavily lobbied issues in the final days of the legislative session." See As we reported last week, pro and con accounts traded barbs on Twitter. According to the Mercury News, one lobbyist sent letters against the bill to legislators on behalf of a group called "Familias Latinas de California"; the newspaper said it was "run by political consultants fighting the ban." See

Meanwhile, Monterey County and the city of Salinas both adopted plastic bag bans in late August. (See The terms of local bans will be grandfathered under the new statewide statute if they were either adopted or passed at first reading before September 1, 2014. American Canyon's City Council heard a presentation August 19 on a possible plastic bag ban (via League of California Cities -- see but it wasn't clear if the Council had been able to meet the September 1 deadline. (For prior coverage of plastic bag bans' history and litigation see

Last-minute bid to keep Garcia's Coastal Commission seat fails

A late legislative effort failed to save the eligibility of Coastal Commissioner Robert Garcia to remain on the Commission after becoming mayor of Long Beach. Under the terms of Garcia's appointment to the Commission, he was eligible only while he was a member of a city council or board of supervisors, but not once he became Mayor.

On August 18, Assemblymember Anthony Rendon converted AB 1759 into a gut-and-amend that would allow Garcia to continue to serve. But the proposal didn't pass after all. The state legislative tracking site shows the bill's last bit of progress was at the gut-and-amend stage on August 18, after which the site says it was "withdrawn from committee" and re-referred to the Rules Committee as of August 19: The story is covered fully by the Capitol Weekly at and in a quick item by the Bee at For prior coverage of Garcia's eligibility to serve on the Commission, see

Garcia's term on the Commission accordingly ends September 13, 60 days after the end of his term on the council. (See The Senate President Pro Tem, currently Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, has power to appoint a successor to Garcia. Sen. Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, will succeed Steinberg as pro tem in October. See

The Weekly suggested the AB 1759 effort was led by Sen. Ricardo Lara, "D-Bell Gardens, whose district includes a piece of Long Beach."

The Long Beach Report blog posted material at, attributed to anonymous "conservation activists" and not otherwise confirmed, that suggested the bill's failure to advance represented a definite choice by the Legislature's Democratic leadership. The blog named 15 local officials in Los Angeles and Orange Counties who it said were under consideration to succeed Garcia.

Post-redevelopment bills pile up on the Governor's desk

With bills related to the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, the question all year has been not so much what the Legislature can pass, as what Governor Brown is willing to sign. So the suspense is nowhere near gone.

As noted separately at, the AB 2280 bill to revive a limited quasi-redevelopment tax increment financing mechanism passed the Legislature last week with doubtful further prospects, while a bill Brown was said to support, the SB 628 gut-and-amend on infrastructure financing districts, passed early Saturday morning, August 30. Both of those bills were still waiting for Brown's attention.

Additionally, as of this writing the League of California Cities' "Hot Bills" tracking page at showed the following post-Redevelopment bills as passed:

  • AB 1450, on pension-related tax revenues.
  • AB 2493, to allow use of more bond proceeds to finish redevelopment projects
  • SB 1129, a much-watched post-redevelopment "cleanup" bill to ease the redevelopment dissolution process for successor agencies.

The League's tally showed AB 1582, on successor agencies' loan repayment interest rates, made it only to a third reading, hence failed to pass the Legislature.

In other major legislative moves --

  • The momentous Pavley-Dickinson groundwater regulation package, consisting of AB 1739, SB 1168, and SB 1319, passed the Senate August 27. The Association of CA Water Agencies (ACWA) reported on that vote at The three bills passed the full Legislature August 29. For details see ACWA again at and, e.g., the Chico News and Review (via the Maven's Notebook blog) at
  • AB 52, the CEQA bill on consultation with Native American tribes over projects potentially affecting tribal cultural resources, passed with the amendments discussed in last week's news briefs at  See the state legislative tracking page at The bill's passage is confirmed by multiple Twitter comments on the #AB52 hashtag, including one by tribal issues strategist Jacob Mejia at
  • AB 1839, the film production tax credit, passed and was expected to be signed by Governor Brown. See for LA Times coverage, for formal legislative history, and the August 27 joint statement by Brown and legislative leaders on the bill at
  • The Sacramento Bee reported August 25 that the campaign to stop or delay the "gas tax" portion of AB 32 implementation was "over for the year." See The legislative vehicle for that purpose, Assemblymember Henry Perea's AB 69, never formally emerged from its early-July committee referral, reportedly due to opposition from Senator Steinberg.
  • The LA Times reported during Labor Day weekend that it appeared there would be no legislative deal to grant tax breaks to the Tesla company as an inducement to build its battery factory in California. See SB 1309, which Senator Steinberg emptied out and readied as a legislative vehicle for Tesla in June, remained empty except for generic placeholder text as of the end of the session. See the legislative history at Tesla's Elon Musk didn't end the session empty-handed, though. As previously reported at, tax advantages enacted under AB 777 that would aid Musk's SpaceX company have been finding regulatory expression over the past several months at the Board of Equalization. An notice arrived a few days ago from the Board saying that amendments to its Property Tax Rule 133, the rule that now exempts certain space rockets from property tax by calling them "business inventory," was approved in final form August 21, to take effect October 1. See
  • The Legislature passed SB 1077, to create a pilot program testing an approach to vehicle taxation by measuring miles traveled. See the League of California Cities' tracking page at As previously reported the bill was supported by the Southern California Association of Governments (see but had raised privacy concerns (see
  • Sen. Lois Wolk's SB 614, to finance water and other infrastructure in disadvantaged unincorporated communities, passed the Legislature August 25. For her press release see The tracking page is at