BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       AB 1293|
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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1293
          Author:   Bloom (D)
          Amended:  7/2/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 6/25/13
          AYES:  Evans, Corbett, Jackson, Leno, Monning
          NOES:  Walters, Anderson

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-30, 5/30/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Courts

           SOURCE  :     Judicial Council of California


           DIGEST :    This bill establishes, until January 1, 2019, a  
          filing fee of $40 for a request for special notice, as  
          specified, and requires that this fee be in addition to any  
          other fee charged for a paper filed concurrently with a request  
          for special notice.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:
           
           1.Provides that any person interested in a proceeding for the  
            administration of a decedent's estate, whether a devisee,  
            heir, creditor, or beneficiary under a trust, may file with  
            the court clerk a written request for special notice.  That  
            special notice may be requested for one or more of the  
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            following:  (1) petitions filed in the administration  
            proceeding; (2) inventories and appraisals of property in the  
            estate; (3) objections to an appraisal; (4) accounts of a  
            personal representative; or (5) reports of status of  
            administration. 

          2.Allows a ward in a proceeding concerning a conservatorship or  
            guardianship, if over 14 years of age or the conservatee, the  
            spouse of the ward or the spouse or domestic partner of the  
            conservatee, any relative or creditor of the ward or  
            conservatee, or any other interested person to file with the  
            court clerk a written request for special notice.  That  
            special notice may be requested for any one or more of the  
            following:  (1) petitions filed in the guardianship or  
            conservatorship proceeding; (2) inventories and appraisals of  
            property in the estate; (3) accounts of the guardian or  
            conservator; or (4) proceedings for the final termination of  
            the guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.

          3.Allows a beneficiary or creditor, in proceedings involving a  
            trust, to file with the court clerk a written request for  
            special notice of the filing of petitions regarding the trust.
           
          This bill:

          1.Provides that the filing fee for a request for special notice  
            in a decedent's estate, guardianship, conservatorship or trust  
            proceeding is $40.

          2.Contains a sunset date of January 1, 2019.

           Background
           
          Over the past five years, California's judicial branch has  
          experienced ongoing budget reductions of $535 million and has  
          diverted around $1 billion in courthouse construction funds to  
          support court operations.  Those catastrophic budget reductions  
          have crippled California's court system by, among other things,  
          forcing the closure of courts and self-help centers, which has  
          resulted in delayed access to justice for a large number of  
          Californians.  

          In response to those budget reductions, the Judicial Council  
          reviewed potential cost savings and efficiencies that could be  

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          implemented to allow the courts to function with fewer  
          resources.  One of the results of that effort was the  
          development of 17 legislative proposals for trial court  
          operational efficiencies, cost savings, and new revenue.  A  
          report on those proposals detailed the process by which the  
          proposals were generated as follows:

               Proposals for efficiencies, costs savings, and new revenue  
               were initially solicited from presiding judges and court  
               executive officers.  Submissions were received and  
               initially compiled by the Administrative Office of the  
               County (AOC) Finance staff.  The proposals were forwarded  
               to the Office of Governmental Affairs to coordinate the  
               next steps.  The chairs of the Trial Court Presiding Judges  
               Advisory Committee and the Court Executives Advisory  
               Committee each appointed 7 members for a 14-person  
               [Presiding Judge (PJ) / Court Executive Officer [CEO])  
               Trial Court Efficiencies Working Group.  The matrix of  
               proposals was revised and circulated to the group.   
               Additional proposals were added as they were received, from  
               whomever they were received.  The working group met three  
               times by conference call, reviewing each of the proposals  
               submitted.  The working group recommended that roughly  
               one-half of those proposals be forwarded for consideration  
               for Judicial Council sponsorship.

               In the meantime, at the direction of the chair of the  
               Executive and Planning Committee and the chair of [the  
               Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee (PCLC)], the  
               chairs of most of the council's subject matter advisory  
               committees, the Open Courts Coalition, and the president of  
               the California Judges Association were asked to designate  
               members to participate on an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on  
               Court Efficiencies, Cost Savings, and New Revenue.  The ad  
               hoc committee was created to ensure that all of the  
               proposals could be acted on timely, while retaining for the  
               council the benefit of the expertise of the various  
               advisory committees.  The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee met by  
               conference call four times to review the proposals  
               recommended by the PJ/CEO Trial Court Efficiencies Working  
               Group.  The advisory committee further winnowed the  
               proposals for recommendation to the PCLC for council  
               sponsorship.  This process resulted in 24 proposals for  
               statutory change being forwarded to PCLC for consideration  

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               for council sponsorship.  PCLC, under the authority  
               expressly delegated to it for these purposes in December  
               2011, approved 17 of those proposals for council  
               sponsorship.  (Judicial Council of Cal., Policy  
               Coordination and Liaison Com. Rep., Judicial Council  
               Legislative Priorities: 2013 (Dec. 14, 2012)  
                 
               [as of June 20, 2013] pp. 3-4.) 

          Of those 17 proposals, eleven were included in both the  
          Governor's Proposed 2013-14 Budget and the May Revise.  The  
          Senate Budget Committee recommended adopting eight of those  
          proposals, while the Assembly Budget Committee recommended  
          adopting four.  The Budget Conference Committee adopted the  
          Assembly's recommendations, thus, four of the 17 proposals were  
          included in the 2013-14 Budget.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/2/13)

          Judicial Council of California (source) 

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author:

               AB 1293 will assist the judicial branch, especially the  
               trial courts, in implementing efficiencies and  
               cost-recovery measures during this era of significantly  
               decreased general fund support for the courts.  From fiscal  
               year 2007-08 to the current year, according to the State  
               Legislative Analyst's office, state General Fund share of  
               the entire judicial branch budget fell from 56 [percent] to  
               just 20 [percent].  Last year alone, state General Fund  
               support for the judicial branch was reduced by $544  
               million.

               Because of the challenging budget times in which we find  
               ourselves, and despite the fact that all parties - from the  
               court users themselves to the Chief Justice of California -  
               would prefer to not have to increase fees, we must bolster  
               the judicial branch as best we can with the most practical  
               solutions available.  The trial courts are suffering from a  
               sharp decrease in funding.  

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           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-30, 5/30/13
          AYES:  Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Blumenfield, Bocanegra,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian Calderon,  
            Campos, Chau, Chesbro, Daly, Dickinson, Eggman, Fong, Frazier,  
            Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Hall, Roger Hernández,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lowenthal, Medina, Mitchell, Mullin,  
            Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Pan, Perea, Quirk, Rendon, Skinner,  
            Stone, Ting, Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada
          NOES:  Achadjian, Allen, Bigelow, Chávez, Conway, Cooley, Dahle,  
            Donnelly, Fox, Beth Gaines, Gorell, Gray, Grove, Hagman,  
            Harkey, Jones, Linder, Logue, Maienschein, Mansoor, Melendez,  
            Morrell, Nestande, Olsen, Patterson, Quirk-Silva, Salas,  
            Wagner, Waldron, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Holden, V. Manuel Pérez, John A. Pérez,  
            Vacancy


          AL:nl  7/2/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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