BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 229


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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY AND ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


                                  Rudy Salas, Chair


          AB 229  
          Chang - As Amended April 22, 2015


          SUBJECT:  State employees:  travel reimbursement


          SUMMARY:  Prevents state agencies from prohibiting state  
          employees traveling on official state business from using  
          transportation network companies or lodging in a short-term  
          rental.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Requires reimbursements for these necessary and actual  
            expenses to be made consistent with the agency's policies for  
            reimbursement of other lodging and other vehicles for hire.


          2)Defines "short-term rental" and considers it a commercial  
            lodging establishment for this section.


          3)Defines "transportation network company" as having the same  
            meaning as a specified Public Utilities Code section.


          4)Requests the University of California (UC) to adopt travel  
            reimbursement policies consistent with this bill.    










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          EXISTING LAW requires the director of the Department of Human  
          Resources (CalHR) to adopt general rules and regulations that  
          limit the amount, time, and place of expenses and allowances to  
          be paid to officers, employees, experts, and agents of the state  
          while traveling on official state business. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, the intent of this bill is  
          to ensure state employees can use "sharing economy" services  
          like ride-sharing or home-sharing while traveling on state  
          business.  This bill would prevent agencies from prohibiting the  
          reimbursement to traveling state employees for the use of  
          transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, in which  
          participating drivers transport passengers in their own  
          vehicles.  Additionally, this bill would not allow agencies to  
          ban the use of short-term rental arrangements like Airbnb, which  
          allows participants to rent out their homes or rooms in their  
          homes for a specified number of nights.


          Current CalHR rules as well as memorandums of understanding  
          (MOUs) with employee bargaining units that specify travel  
          reimbursement information do not currently prohibit the use of  
          transportation network companies or short-term rentals for  
          employees traveling on state business.  These documents do not  
          name either of these types of services when setting  
          requirements.    


          Instead, rules and MOUs set lodging reimbursement maximum rates  
          by location and require travelers to submit itemized receipts  
          when claiming reimbursements.  Rules and MOUs specify that to  
          qualify for reimbursements, lodging must be in commercial  
          lodging establishments.  This bill specifies, for purposes of  
          the section added by this bill, that short-term rentals are  
          considered commercial lodging establishments.  








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          This bill also defines a transportation network company to have  
          the same meaning as a Public Utilities code section, which  
          defines the term as an organization that "provides prearranged  
          transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled  
          application or platform to connect passengers with drivers using  
          a personal vehicle." While CalHR rules and MOUs do not  
          specifically mention transportation networks companies, they set  
          requirements for taxi and similar transportation. Currently when  
          state employees use taxis while traveling, depending on their  
          employee group, they are either not required to submit taxi  
          receipts or must only submit them when the ride exceeds $10.


          This bill also encourages UC to adopt similar travel  
          reimbursement policies as those specified in this bill.





          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          None on file




          Opposition


          None on file








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          Analysis Prepared by:Scott Herbstman / A. & A.R. / (916)  
          319-3600