BILL ANALYSIS SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE Senator Dave Cox, Chair BILL NO: AB 419 HEARING: 6/9/10 AUTHOR: Caballero FISCAL: No VERSION: 5/17/10 CONSULTANT: Detwiler BOUNDARY CHANGE ELECTIONS Background and Existing Law As the Legislature's watchdog over local boundaries, local agency formation commissions (LAFCOs) must follow detailed procedures in the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act when they approve boundary changes. Some boundary changes require voter approval: city incorporations, district formations, annexations and detachments with significant local protest, and certain reorganizations. When it approves a boundary change that needs voter approval, the LAFCO must notify the county board of supervisors or city council which then must call the election, set the election date, designate precincts and polling places, and direct the local election official to run the election. LAFCO officials and local election officials want legislators to clarify how the state's boundary laws and election laws fit together. LAFCO officials point out that it's possible for a county board of supervisors or city council to balk at calling a required election. Local election officials point out that the election laws already cover some of the details contained in the boundary laws. Proposed Law Assembly Bill 419 requires a local agency formation commission (LAFCO) to also notify the local elections official when it notifies a county board of supervisors or city council regarding the need to hold a boundary change election. If the county supervisors or city council fails to direct the elections official to conduct the election within 45 days after receiving the notice, AB 419 requires the elections official to place the item on the ballot at the next established election date which is at least 88 days after the date of the LAFCO's notification to the elections official. The bill declares that this 45-day requirement does not apply to applications filed with a AB 419 -- 5/17/10 -- Page 2 LAFCO before January 1, 2011. AB 419 deletes the requirement for a county board of supervisors or city council to designate precincts and polling places and instead requires them to direct the elections official to carry out those duties. The bill also conforms the timing of boundary change elections to the election dates provided in the Elections Code. Comment Making a mesh of things . Both the Elections Code and the boundary laws are complex statutes which require elections officials and the LAFCOs to meticulously coordinate their decisions. AB 419 meshes these statutory requirements so that elections officials can carry out their duties without interference. Further, the bill prospectively ensures that the needed boundary elections will occur, even if local elected officials balk. Assembly Actions Assembly Local Government Committee: 5-0 Assembly Floor: 73-0 Support and Opposition (6/3/10) Support : California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions, California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, California Special Districts Association, East Bay Regional Park District, San Diego LAFCO. Opposition : Unknown.