BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 2761|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 2761
          Author:   Assembly Natural Resources Committee
          Amended:  6/3/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/9/10
          AYES:  Pavley, Cogdill, Huff, Kehoe, Lowenthal, Padilla,  
            Wolk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Hollingsworth, Simitian

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  76-0, 5/13/10 (Consent) - See last page  
            for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Natural resources

           SOURCE :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill (1) clarifies that the State Geologist  
          may enter into grant or cooperative agreements and  
          contracts with governmental, including school districts,  
          and non-governmental entities to provide technical,  
          analytic and research services related to geologic hazards  
          directly impacting those entities, (2) repeals the  
          provision requiring the Attorney General to act as the  
          legal advisor and provide legal services to the Division of  
          Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources; and (3) updates the  
          Urban Forestry Act by modifying the definition of "urban  
          forestry" to include non-tree vegetation, and by  
                                                           CONTINUED





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          facilitating equipment loans to aid local or regional urban  
          forestry projects including green waste utilization.

           ANALYSIS  :    

           Existing law
           
          1. Creates the State Mining and Geology Board (Board) and  
             authorizes the Board to nominate, and the Director of  
             the Department to appoint a State Geologist, who is  
             required to advise the Director regarding technical,  
             scientific, and engineering issues, including the  
             scientific quality of the division's products and  
             activities. 

          2. Creates the California Geological Survey (CGS) as the  
             primary state agency responsible for geologic hazard  
             review and investigation, including investigation of  
             seismological, geological, and strong motion aspects of  
             earthquakes and other geologic hazards. 

          3. Requires the Attorney General (AG) to be the legal  
             advisor for the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal  
             Resources (DOGGR) in the Department and to perform  
             necessary legal services. 

          This bill:

          1. Clarifies that the State Geologist may enter into grant  
             or cooperative agreements and contracts with  
             governmental - including school districts - and  
             non-governmental entities to provide technical, analytic  
             and research services related to geologic hazards  
             directly impacting those entities.

          2. Repeals the provision requiring the AG to act as the  
             legal advisor and provide legal services to the DOGGR.

          3. Updates the Urban Forestry Act by modifying the  
             definition of "urban forestry" to include non-tree  
             vegetation, and by facilitating equipment loans to aid  
             local or regional urban forestry projects including  
             green waste utilization.








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           Comments
           
          This is the Assembly Natural Resources Committee bill.

           Background
           
          The CGS is the primary state agency responsible for  
          geologic hazard review and investigation including the  
          study and assessment of seismic hazards and earthquakes.   
          The state geologist is appointed by the director of the  
          Department of Conservation and must meet certain  
          professional requirements.  The State Geologist is required  
          to provide advice to the director regarding technical,  
          scientific and engineering issues, including the scientific  
          quality of the CGS products and activities.  Existing law  
          authorizes the state geologist to enter into contracts and  
          agreements with certain entities to provide funding for  
          services provided by the CGS pursuant to its mission, and  
          the CGS routinely contracts with state and federal  
          governmental entities for a variety of geological services.  
           Due to a recent technical drafting error (c. 254, Statutes  
          of 2007 altering section 2205, Public Resources Code), the  
          types of entities that CGS may contract with have become  
          ambiguous.  Of particular concern is CGS's ability to  
          contract directly with school districts to review  
          geological hazard assessments and proposed mitigation for  
          school construction projects.  Historically, the Department  
          of State Architects (DSA) has secured CGS' assistance for  
          these reviews via interagency agreements, and has provided  
          direct reimbursement to CGS from funds paid directly to DSA  
          by the school districts.  A recent policy change by the DSA  
          now necessitates the execution of individual contracts  
          between CGS and each school district for these reviews.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the Department of  
          Conservation, "ensuring that CGS can provide review and  
          consultation regarding geological hazards at proposed  
          school sites will ensure the safety of California's  
          schoolchildren."  This bill "will provide the flexibility  
          needed to ensure that CGS technical expertise is available  
          to other types of government entities in evaluating and  







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          assessing geologic and seismic hazards."



           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block,  
            Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Charles  
            Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, Davis, De  
            La Torre, De Leon, DeVore, Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer,  
            Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines,  
            Galgiani, Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries,  
            Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma,  
            Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Smyth, Solorio, Audra Strickland,  
            Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines,  
            Yamada, John A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Caballero, Norby, Skinner, Vacancy


          CTW:do  8/23/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                       SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  NONE RECEIVED

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