BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 549|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
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                                   THIRD READING 

          Bill No:  AB 549
          Author:   Levine (D), et al.
          Amended:  8/31/15 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE:  9-0, 6/23/15
           AYES:  Pavley, Stone, Allen, Hertzberg, Hueso, Jackson,  
            Monning, Vidak, Wolk

           AYES:  Lara, Bates, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza
           NOES:  Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 5/4/15 (Consent) - See last page for  

           SUBJECT:   State park system

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:  This bill makes numerous changes to the operations of  
          state parks in regards to contracts, agreements, and donations  
          based largely on the reform recommendations of the Parks Forward  


          Existing law: 


                                                                     AB 549  
                                                                    Page  2

          1)Vests the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)  
            with control of the state park system and responsibility for  
            administering, protecting, developing, and interpreting state  
            parks for the use and enjoyment of the public. DPR is also  
            responsible for protecting the state park system from damage  
            and preserving the peace.

          2)Establishes a revenue generation program at DPR that allows  
            the department to collect fees and rents at state parks, and  
            to sell additional annual and regional passes. 

          3)Adds, since 2013, legislative ex officio members to the  
            California State Parks and Recreation Commission. 

          4)Creates a citizen review panel, the Parks Forward Commission,  
            whose final report was released earlier this year. 

          5)Requires the Director of Finance to approve all gifts,  
            bequests, etc., in any amount that are given to DPR, except  
            for a certain historic artifacts that are valued at less than  

          6)Authorizes DPR pursuant to Public Resources Code Section  
            5009.1 to enter into agreements to accept funds from any  
            person, corporation, or business entity for the maintenance or  
            operation on a nonprofit basis, of a state park unit.

          7)Authorizes DPR to enter into concession contracts with private  
            businesses subject to the specified conditions.  

          This bill: 

          1)Contains findings and declarations regarding the purpose of,  
            and recommendations from the Parks Forward Commission. 

          2)Contains a statement of legislative intent that the California  
            Coastal Commission, the State Coastal Conservancy and DPR  
            develop a proposal using existing and possibly future revenues  
            to identify and implement opportunities to expand the  
            availability of affordable cabins or other similar  
            accommodations in state, local, and regional parks. 


                                                                     AB 549  
                                                                    Page  3

          3)Allows DPR to acquire and install camping cabins, parking  
            facilities for recreational vehicles, and any associated  
            access and public safety facilities with state parks provided  
            the operation is consistent with the classification of that  
            park unit and with a general plan of that unit if one is in  
            effect. Further, the department may enter into agreements with  
            qualified nonprofits to acquire, install, and operate these  
            cabins, parking facilities for recreational vehicles, and any  
            associated access and public safety features provided such  
            agreements comply with the terms of Section 5080.42. That  
            section is the main provision in the Public Resources Code  
            authorizing DPR to enter into operating agreements with  

          4)Expands the department's authority to accept various gifts and  
            interests in real property to include buildings, facilities,  
            and other improvements to be used in connection with the park  
            system. Establishes a $100,000 cap for conditional gifts or  
            bequests gifts that the department can accept without approval  
            from the Director of Finance. Conditional gifts or bequests  
            are those that require the gift to be used at a certain park  
            or for specified purposes. DPR must annually report such gifts  
            to the Director of Finance. 

          5)Expands the authority of DPR to accept funds for the  
            operations of state parks units. The new authority allows DPR  
            to enter into agreements for the restoration, repair,  
            development, improvement, or enhancement of state park units  
            and deletes the requirement that such funds be contributed on  
            a nonprofit basis. It also deletes the requirement that such  
            funds must be prioritized to prevent park closures or to  
            reduce hours of service to the public. This provision also  
            allows DPR to provide free access to and use of park  
            facilities to entities that have entered into agreements  
            pursuant to this section. 

          6)Proposes a change to concession contracts that are entered  
            into between the department and private firms that provide  
            specified services at state parks. The change allows DPR to  
            request an annual financial statement prepared or audited by a  
            certified public accountant. Additionally, a technical change  
            regarding the public bid process for concession contracts is  


                                                                     AB 549  
                                                                    Page  4

          7)Raises the cap on concession contracts that are not subject to  
            various contract requirements from $500,000 to $1,000,000 in  
            total sales or investment value.  

          8)Contains other technical and clarifying changes from  
            Legislative Counsel. 

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, this bill will  
          have unknown ongoing staffing costs, potentially minor to the  
          low hundreds of thousands of dollars from a special fund, the  
          State Parks and Recreation Fund (SPRF), to review additional  
          agreements and contracts. Unknown revenue increases into SPRF  
          for additional donations and benefits of agreements with DPR.  
          Unknown SPRF losses for free and reduced costs access and use of  
          state park units, which may be offset by the benefits of  

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/28/15)

          California Council of Land Trusts
          California State Parks Foundation
          State Park Partners Coalition

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/28/15)

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:   According to the author, AB 549 will  
          facilitate implementation of the Parks Forward Commission  
          recommendations to improve and strengthen the management of  
          California's state park system, enhance the tools available to  
          DPR to facilitate partnerships agreements, generate increased  
          revenue, and promote public access to state parks.  Among other  
          things, this bill enhances opportunities for DPR to develop  
          mutually beneficial partnerships with nonprofit organizations,  
          accept philanthropic contributions to support parks, and  


                                                                     AB 549  
                                                                    Page  5

          increase affordable overnight accommodation options in state  
          parks.  It also updates and makes more efficient the process for  
          approval of concession agreements.  

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 5/4/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Chang, Chau,  
            Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd,  
            Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia,  
            Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray,  
            Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low,  
            Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin,  
            Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen, Patterson, Perea,  
            Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago,  
            Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  
            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Campos, Dahle

          Prepared by:William Craven / N.R. & W. / (916) 651-4116
          8/31/15 16:32:26

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