BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 446


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          Date of Hearing:  May 6, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          446 (Ridley-Thomas) - As Introduced February 23, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill eliminates the 2018 sunset date for the Baldwin Hills  
          Conservancy (BHC), thereby extending the conservancy  
          indefinitely.









                                                                     AB 446


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          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Increased annual administrative state costs of between $369,000  
          and  $615,000 per year (special funds) beginning in FY 2017-18.


          The BHC's administrative support and operations budget is from  
          the Environmental License Plate Fund (ELPF) and has averaged  
          $369,000 over the last three years.  There are also two bond  
          funded support positions budgeted for $246,000 (Proposition 1).


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, neighborhoods across Los  
            Angeles populated by minorities and recent immigrants are  
            especially short of park space.  Access to park space is  
            important for Greater Los Angeles because of the proven health  
            benefits of public parks.
            The author further notes the BHC has achieved great success to  
            date and has outlined an innovative vision for the future.   
            Allowing the Baldwin Hills Conservancy to sunset would deny  
            Los Angeles access to open space and the healthier future  
            envisioned by the Conservancy.  Additionally, removing the  
            sunset date would allow the Baldwin Hills Conservancy to  
            continue its mission in parity with the other eight out of ten  
            conservancies that do not have a sunset date impacting their  
            ability to develop ongoing multiyear projects.


          2)Background.  The BHC was established in 2000 in the Natural  
            Resources Agency (NRA BHC to acquire public lands within the  
            Baldwin Hills area.  BHC jurisdiction covers approximately 2  
            square miles and it is the smallest of the state's 10  
            conservancies. 
            








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            BHC is located approximately 6 miles from downtown Los  
            Angeles.  There is significant oil production activity in the  
            BHC's jurisdiction. BHC plans to restore former oil production  
            lands and open them to the public as oil production ceases.  
            The goal of BHC is to eventually connect public land into one  
            big park (2 square miles) to serve the area. This will provide  
            access to open space in a region that is lacking parks. 





            BHC was subject to a Department of Finance (DOF) audit in  
            2008, which found deficiencies with BHC's pre-awarding  
            processes, monitoring and oversight of projects.  BHC  
            responded to the audit and agreed to take several corrective  
            actions to address the deficiencies found.


            To ensure proper oversight, the Legislature may wish to  
            consider extending the sunset date rather than eliminating it.


          3)Resource Bond Funding.  BHC received an allocation of $40  
            million from Proposition 40 (2002), $10 million from  
            Proposition 84 (2006), and $10 million from Proposition 1  
            (2014). The Proposition 1 funds are meant for multi-benefit  
            water quality, water supply, and watershed protection and  
            restoration projects. 


          4)State Conservancies.  There are currently 10 state  
            conservancies located within the Natural Resources Agency: a)  
            Sierra Nevada Conservancy; b) California Tahoe Conservancy; c)  
            State Coastal Conservancy; d) San Joaquin River Conservancy;  
            e) Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy; f) Coachella  
            Mountains Conservnacy; g) San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles  








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            Rivers Conservancy; h) Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; i)  
            Baldwin Hills Conservancy; and j) San Diego River Conservancy.





          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081