BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                           812 (Ashburn)
          
          Hearing Date:  05/28/2009           Amended: 05/04/2009
          Consultant: Mark McKenzie       Policy Vote: T&H 10-0
          _________________________________________________________________ 
          ____
          BILL SUMMARY:   SB 812 would require the housing element to  
          include an analysis of the special housing needs of persons with  
          autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).  The bill would also require  
          the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), in  
          cooperation with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS),  
          to report to the Legislature on the housing needs of persons  
          diagnosed with an ASD.
          _________________________________________________________________ 
          ____
                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2009-10      2010-11       2011-12     Fund
           DDS housing needs analysis        Unknown, perhaps $100-$200  
          annually               General

          Mandate                Unknown, moderate costs to local Local/
                                 governments.  Unlikely to be  
          reimbursable.             General
                                      ----------see staff  
          comments----------
          _________________________________________________________________ 
          ____

          STAFF COMMENTS:  SUSPENSE FILE.  AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED.
          
          The Planning and Zoning Law requires cities and counties to  
          prepare and adopt a general plan, including a housing element to  
          guide the future growth of a community.  Following a staggered  
          schedule, cities and counties located in more urban areas revise  
          their housing elements every eight years, while rural local  
          governments are on a five year schedule.  A housing element must  
          identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs,  
          identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning to meet its fair  
          share of the regional housing need, and ensure that regulatory  
          systems provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain,  
          housing development.  HCD reviews both draft and adopted housing  
          elements to determine whether or not they are in substantial  










          compliance with the law.

          DDS currently provides community-based services to approximately  
          243,000 persons with developmental disabilities and their  
          families through a statewide system of 21 regional centers, four  
          developmental centers, and two community-based facilities.  ASD  
          is the fastest growing developmental disability in California,  
          and within the next decade the state is projected to face a  
          massive influx of persons with ASD who want to live  
          independently.  Currently, approximately 6,000 adults with a  
          diagnosis of ASD receive services from DDS.  In the next five  
          years, more than 4,000 teenagers diagnosed with ASD will reach  
          adulthood.  By 2018, the number of adults with an ASD diagnosis  
          who are receiving services from DDS is expected to grow to  
          19,000.  This bill is intended to identify some of the  
          particular needs of this population so that local governments  
          can ensure the provision of adequate and appropriate housing for  
          persons with ASD.


          Page 2
          SB 812 (Ashburn)

          SB 812 would require cities and counties to include within the  
          housing needs assessment portion of their housing elements an  
          analysis of the special housing needs of persons diagnosed with  
          an ASD.  In assessing the needs of persons with ASDs, the local  
          government would consult with local regional centers, the Area  
          Board on Developmental Disabilities, and other relevant  
          stakeholders.  This bill would also require HCD, in cooperation  
          with DDS, to report to the Legislature on the housing needs of  
          persons diagnosed with an ASD who receive services from either  
          DDS or a regional center.  Staff recommends an amendment to  
          specify a due date for the report.

          HCD indicates that costs to prepare the report would be in the  
          range of $50,000 to $100,000.  DDS is unable to provide specific  
          cost information at this time, but notes that costs would be  
          incurred to provide specific data analysis on the ASD  
          population, determine what the special needs are for these  
          individuals, and coordinate with local governments through the  
          regional centers.  Staff estimates these costs would be in the  
          range of $100,000 to $200,000 annually.  

          Legislative Counsel has keyed SB 812 as a state-mandated local  
          program by requiring additional information to be included in  










          the housing element.  Recent decisions by the Commission on  
          State Mandates (COSM), however, indicate that local governments  
          may not succeed in filing a test claim for reimbursement for the  
          higher level of service imposed by this bill.  In 2005, the COSM  
          reversed previous decisions that had provided for reimbursement  
          to local governments and councils of government (COGs) for the  
          "Regional Housing Needs Determination" mandate (Statutes of  
          1980, Chapter 1143), related to housing element requirements.   
          On reconsideration of the previous decisions, the COSM  
          determined, in light of statutes enacted and court decisions  
          rendered since 1980, that previously approved test claims are  
          not reimbursable because cities, counties, and COGs have fee  
          authority for this program, citing Government Code Sections  
          65104, which authorizes local entities to establish fees to  
          support the work of the planning agency, and 65584.1, which  
          allows a city or county to charge a fee to recover costs  
          incurred by a COG in distributing regional housing needs.  In  
          light of these decisions, staff notes that the COSM would  
          probably not approve a claim for reimbursement related to SB 812  
          because local entities have the authority to charge fees for  
          planning costs, including costs associated with housing element  
          requirements.  If a successful claim were filed, however, costs  
          would likely be relatively minor for each agency to comply with  
          the requirements of this bill.


          Proposed amendments would delete the requirement for HCD, in  
          cooperation with DDS, to submit a report to the Legislature.