BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 501


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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          501 (Levine) - As Amended April 22, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:   


          SUMMARY:


          This bill requires a person conducting Delta research, and whose  
          research is funded in whole or in part by state funds, to share  
          findings, data, samples, collections, and other supporting  
          material created and gathered in the course of the research.   








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          Additionally, this bill:





          1)Requires a state agency that funds or participates in Delta  
            research to implement appropriate policies to disseminate and  
            share Delta research results, including by making it a  
            condition of a grant that the grantee share research data,  
            collections, and findings with other researchers.



          2)Provides that a researcher who fails to comply with the  
            sharing and dissemination requirements, as specified, is not  
            eligible for state-funding until he or she complies. 



          3)Permits the Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) to adopt  
            guidelines to provide adjustments to, or exemptions from, the  
            requirements of this bill if necessary to safeguard the rights  
            of individuals or the validity or integrity of research.  



          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)One-time increased costs to the Delta Stewardship Council of  
            up to $1 million to develop an online data submittal and  
            retrieval system.  Ongoing annual costs of up to $800,000  
            depending on how delta research is defined (GF or special  
            fund).


          2)Increased one-time costs in the range of $150,000 to $200,000  
            for the Delta Independent Science Board to adopt guidelines  








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            (GF or special fund).


          3)Increased ongoing annual costs, likely of over $150,000 for  
            ISB to provide adjustments and exemptions from the  
            requirements of the bill (GF or special fund).


            The ISB is a part-time board with limited staff.  This bill  
            would significantly expand their duties.


          4)Unknown, potentially significant, increased costs for state  
            agencies, such as the Department of Water Resources,  
            Department of Fish and Wildlife, and State Water Resources  
            Control Board to comply with the requirements of the bill (GF  
            or special).


          


          COMMENTS:


          1)Rationale.  In February 2015, the Environmental Data Summit  
            Organizing Committee, under the leadership of the Delta  
            Science Program, released a draft white paper, Enhancing the  
            Vision for Managing California's Environmental Information.   
            This draft discusses the need for sharable data to help inform  
            Delta policy and asserts that shared and accessible data with  
            a clear understanding of the accuracy and content of the  
            information is paramount to minimizing lawsuits and conflicts,  
            advancing nimble management and deepening public engagement. 
            


            According to the author, by some estimates there are over 100  
            different state, federal, local, and non-governmental entities  








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            conducting scientific analyses in the Delta.  This bill will  
            foster communication and transparency among Delta researchers  
            and provide the Delta Science Program with open access to  
            research data. 





          2)Background.  The Delta Stewardship Council is charged with  
            achieving the state's "coequal goals" of providing a more  
            reliable water supply for California and protecting,  
            restoring, and enhancing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta  
            ecosystem.  


            In furtherance of these goals, the Delta Science Program seeks  
            unbiased research to help lawmakers and state agencies develop  
            scientifically-based water and environmental policies for the  
            Delta.  According to the Council's Web site, the science  
            program has funded 40 research grants totaling more than $25  
            million. The Science Program considers funding scientific  
            research to be a critical component in establishing unbiased  
            and authoritative knowledge directly relevant to Bay-Delta  
            actions.  


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


















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