BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                     SENATE GOVERNANCE & FINANCE COMMITTEE
                            Senator Lois Wolk, Chair
          

          BILL NO:  AB 72                       HEARING:  5/15/13
          AUTHOR:  Holden                       FISCAL:  No
          VERSION:  3/19/13                     TAX LEVY:  No
          CONSULTANT:  Weinberger               

                 MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICTS' BOARDS OF DIRECTORS
          

          Specifies the date on which municipal water district board  
          members take office after an election.


                           Background and Existing Law  

          The Municipal Water District Law of 1911 governs  
          California's 36 municipal water districts (MWDs).  With  
          specified exceptions, a MWD's board of directors consists  
          of five members who must be elected from divisions in which  
          they are residents.  Directors hold office for a four-year  
          term, starting from the date they take office and until the  
          election and qualification of their successors.

          MWDs' directors must be elected at general district  
          elections, which must be held in each even-numbered year  
          and consolidated with the general election.  State law  
          defines "general election" as either:
                 The election held throughout the state on the first  
               Tuesday after the first Monday of November in each  
               even-numbered year, or
                 Any statewide election held on a regular election  
               date specified in state law.
          MWD directors elected to office must take office at 12  
          o'clock noon on the first Monday after the January 1st  
          succeeding their election, which is the time provided by  
          state law for county officers to take office (SB 15,  
          Backstrand, 1963).

          Under the Uniform District Election Law (UDEL), special  
          districts' governing board members take office on the first  
          Friday in December following their election (AB 3543,  
          Harvey, 1990).  Other state laws specify the first Friday  
          in December as the day on which many local elected  
          officials' terms begin, including:
                 School and community college district board  




          AB 72 -- 3/19/13 -- Page 2



               members,
                 Library district trustees,
                 Community services district directors,
                 Recreation and park district directors,
                 California water district directors,
                 Orange County Water District's directors, and
                 Santa Clara Valley Water District's directors.
          Some MWD officials want the Legislature to change the date  
          on which MWD directors take office after an election to  
          conform to the more common UDEL standard.


                                   Proposed Law  

          Assembly Bill 72 requires municipal water district  
          directors to take office at noon on the first Friday in  
          December succeeding their election, except for directors  
          elected at a formation election.


                               State Revenue Impact
           
          No estimate.

                                     Comments  

          1.   Purpose of the bill  .  AB 72 changes the date on which  
          municipal water districts' directors take office to the  
          same date on which many other special districts' directors  
          take office after an election.  This change will allow MWD  
          directors to take office approximately 30 days earlier than  
          is required under current law, cutting in half the amount  
          of time that "lame-duck" MWD directors would continue to  
          serve after an election.  By shortening the time that newly  
          elected board members must wait to join a board, SB 72 will  
          make MWD's governing boards more reflective of - and  
          responsive to - voters' choices at the ballot box.

          2.   Similar legislation  .  AB 72 is similar to AB 17 (Davis,  
          2012), which would have allowed MWD directors who win  
          elections held before November to take office one month  
          after the election's certification.  AB 17 died on the  
          Senate Floor.


                                 Assembly Actions  





          AB 72 -- 3/19/13 -- Page 3




          Assembly Local Government Committee:  9-0
          Assembly Floor:                    75-0


                         Support and Opposition  (5/9/13)

           Support  :  Three Valleys Municipal Water District;  
          Association of California Water Agencies; California  
          Municipal Utilities Association; California Special  
          Districts Association; Calleguas Municipal Water District;  
          City of Burbank Department of Water and Power; City of  
          Pasadena; Cucamonga Valley Water District; Eastern  
          Municipal Water District; Humboldt Bay Municipal Water  
          District; San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District;  
          Walnut Valley Water District; West Basin Municipal Water  
          District; Yuima Municipal Water District.

           Opposition  :  Unknown.