BILL ANALYSIS Ó 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.