BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1697
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 18, 2005

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                   Judy Chu, Chair

                     AB 1697 (Pavley) - As Amended:  May 4, 2005

          Policy Committee:                              Human  
          ServicesVote:5-1

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          This bill prohibits the licensure of a day care center that is  
          located within 650 feet of a high traffic roadway or industrial  
          site, as defined. Specifically, this bill: 

          1)Defines "high traffic roadway" to mean those roads that have  
            traffic in excess of 50,000 vehicles in a rural area on an  
            average day and in excess of 100,000 vehicles in an urban area  
            on an average day. 

          2) Defines "industrial site" to mean any pollution sources with  
            a potential to use, generate, emit, or discharge hazardous  
            emissions, as defined. 

          3)Defines "hazardous air emissions" to include substances  
            identified by the National Toxicology Program, substances  
            identified by the US secretary of Health and Human Services,  
            carcinogens, reproductive toxins, air contaminants, or  
            potential air toxics identified by the Office of Air Quality  
            and Planning and Standards of the Environmental Protection  
            Agency, and other substances recognized to present chronic or  
            acute threat to public health. 

          4)This bill provides exemptions to this prohibition if a day  
            care center has: 

             a)   A current and valid license to operate within 650 feet  
               of a high traffic roadway.
             b)   A license to build a center under construction within  
               650 feet of a high traffic roadway.
             c)   A valid license and plans to transfer ownership to a  








                                                                  AB 1697
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               different person or entity. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  
                              
          1)Unknown annual costs in excess of several hundred thousand  
            dollars to the Division of Community Care Licensing (CCL)  
            within the Department of Social Services (DSS) to comply with  
            the provisions of this bill. According to data, 1,500 new  
            child care facilities were licensed in 2004. 

          This bill may require several hours of CCL staff time to test  
            air quality, measure distance from a myriad of unacceptable  
            sources of air pollutants identified in the bill, measure  
            distances from roadways, research whether such roadways meet  
            the definition of high traffic contained in this bill, and to  
            determine appropriate facility placement in a community. For  
            example if each of the 1,500 facilities takes three additional  
            hours to license, costs will increase by more than $200,000.
          2)Unknown, potentially major, California Work Opportunity and  
            Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program costs to the extent  
            this bill delays placement of children in safe and healthy  
            child care and therefore delays parents from paid work that  
            would otherwise reduce welfare caseloads and expenditures. 

          For example, if 500 employable parents were delayed from paid  
            work by three months due to a lack of appropriate child care  
            due to the air quality and location restrictions in this bill,  
            CalWORKs costs could increase by up to $1 million in Temporary  
            Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. 

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . This bill is designed to improve the quality of air  
            that children breathe while in California's licensed child  
            care system. The author indicates, via legislative findings  
            and declarations, that children are vulnerable and at higher  
            risk than adults because of still developing lung capacity. In  
            addition, numerous research studies show a link between asthma  
            and poor air quality. Nearly 1.2 million children in  
            California have asthma, increasing health costs significantly.  


           2)Existing Law  . The CCL division within DSS develops and  
            enforces regulations designed to protect the health and safety  
            of individuals in 24-hour residential care facilities and day  








                                                                  AB 1697
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            care. Licensed facilities include child care, foster family  
            and group homes, adult residential facilities, and residential  
            facilities for the elderly. 

          There are 9,700 licensed child care centers that provide care to  
            613,000 children. According to some estimates, more than  
            200,000 are currently on waiting lists for child care  
            statewide. 

           3)Opposition  . The Child Care Law Center and the California Child  
            Care Resource and Referral Network oppose this bill. Although  
            the opponents applaud the intent of the bill, they indicate  
            the burden this bill places on an already-stressed and  
            underfunded child care system will further constrain the  
            supply of child care in the state. In addition, opponents  
            indicate that this bill disproportionately impacts low-income  
            and urban communities. Finally, these and other opponents  
            assert that many child care centers have started businesses  
            close to high traffic roads to increase parental convenience  
            and reducing travel time.  

           4)Provisions are Broad  . Although this bill aims to improve air  
            quality for young children, the bill is very broad and unclear  
            regarding what sources of exposure are acceptable or  
            unacceptable. For example, as currently drafted, businesses  
            such as gas stations, dry cleaners, and car painters may be  
            sources of prohibited air. Enforcement of such broad  
            provisions may be complex, costly, and time-consuming. Some  
            questions of child safety addressed by this bill may be beyond  
            the reach of child care providers and CCL staff. 

           5)Related Legislation  . SB 532 (Escutia), Chapter 668, Statutes  
            of 2003 prohibits the acquisition of a school site within 500  
            feet of the edge of the closest lane of traffic of a freeway  
            or other busy traffic corridor, unless certain conditions are  
            met. 
           

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Mary Ader / APPR. / (916) 319-2081