BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 549


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          549 (Levine)


          As Amended  August 31, 2015


          Majority vote


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          Original Committee Reference:  W., P., & W.


          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation  
          (DPR) to accept donations for support of state parks, requires  
          proposed park concession contracts above a threshold to be  
          provided to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for review  
          prior to approval, clarifies DPR's authority to enter into  
          agreements for acquisition and operation of cabins in state  
          parks, clarifies that concession contract renewals are subject  
          to competitive bidding requirements, and states legislative  
          intent to expedite implementation of recommended reforms of the  
          state park system.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)Authorize DPR to acquire and operate camping cabins and  
            parking facilities for recreational vehicles in state park  
            units, and to enter into agreements with nonprofit  








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            organizations to acquire, install, and operate camping cabins  
            and parking facilities for recreational vehicles in state park  
            units.


          2)Authorize DPR to accept donations of rights-of-way, buildings,  
            facilities and other improvements to be added to or used in  
            connection with the state park system.


          3)Clarify DPR's authority to enter into an agreement to accept  
            funds or services from a person, educational institution,  
            tribal government, or other organization for the maintenance,  
            operation, restoration, repair, development, improvement, or  
            enhancement of a state park system unit, state beach, or  
            facility, or for research, educational, interpretive,  
            recreational, or visitor services provide on or for a state  
            park system unit.  Provides that such funds or services shall  
            supplement but not replace existing resources for these  
            purposes.


          4)Authorize DPR to provide free or reduced cost access to and  
            use of park facilities for entities that have entered into  
            agreements to donate funds or services to state parks, if the  
            public benefit to be provided exceeds or is of comparable  
            value to the access or use of the park facilities granted.


          5)Require, with specified exceptions, that all concession  
            contract renewals be subject to competitive bidding  
            requirements.  Requires state park concessionaires, upon  
            request of DPR, to provide an annual financial statement  
            prepared or audited by a certified public accountant.


          6)Prohibit a proposed state park concession contract, expected  
            to involve a total investment or estimated annual gross sales  
            in excess of $1 million, from being advertised for bid,  
            negotiated, or materially amended unless and until at least 30  
            days advance written notice is provided to the appropriate  
            policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature and the Joint  








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            Legislative Budget Committee for review.


            


          EXISTING LAW:


          1)Called for creation of the Parks Forward Commission to  
            undertake an independent, comprehensive review of the state  
            park system and make recommendations to the Legislature and  
            Governor to provide for long-term sustainability of state  
            parks.


          2)Requires DPR to develop a revenue generation program as an  
            essential component of a long-term sustainable park funding  
            strategy.  Requires DPR to develop revenue generation targets  
            for each district.  Requires revenue generated by the revenue  
            generation program to be deposited in the State Parks &  
            Recreation Fund.  Revenue in excess of the revenue targets is  
            to be transferred to the State Parks Revenue Incentives  
            Subaccount.  Fifty percent of the revenues in the subaccount  
            are allocated to those districts that exceeded their revenue  
            targets, for improvement of the parks in that district.


          3)Requires DPR to report to the Legislature by July 1 of each  
            year on the revenue distributed to each district from the  
            revenue generation incentives subaccount.


          4)Prohibits a proposed state park concession contract expected  
            to involve a total investment or estimated annual gross sales  
            in excess of $500,000 from being advertised for bid,  
            negotiated, or materially amended unless and until all of the  
            following have occurred:


             a)   The State Park & Recreation Commission has reviewed the  
               proposed concession and determined that it meets  








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               requirements of law and is compatible with the  
               classification of the park unit.


             b)   The Legislature has reviewed and approved the proposed  
               concession as part of the annual budget process, or,  
               following enactment of the Budget, the Public Works Board  
               determines that the concession could not be presented for  
               review as part of the budget process and it would be  
               adverse to the interests of the public to defer action, in  
               which case the Public Works Board may review and approve  
               the concession after giving the Joint Legislative Budget  
               Committee and the chair of the fiscal and appropriate  
               policy committees 20 days written notice. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)Unknown ongoing staffing costs, potentially minor to the low  
            hundreds of thousands of dollars (special fund) to review  
            additional agreements and contracts.

          2)Unknown revenue increases (special fund) for additional  
            donations and benefits of agreements with DPR.

          3)Unknown revenue losses (special fund) for free and reduced  
            costs access and use of state park units, which may be offset  
            by the benefits of agreements.


          COMMENTS:  This bill as passed by the Assembly stated  
          legislative intent to enact changes in law necessary to  
          facilitate and expedite implementation of reforms recommended by  
          the Parks Forward Commission to ensure a sustainable state park  
          system for California.  It also required DPR to report to the  
          Legislature annually by December 31st on the revenue distributed  
          to each state park district pursuant to DPR's revenue generation  
          program.  These provisions are still in this bill, plus a number  
          of additional provisions were added in the Senate to facilitate  
          implementation of transformation efforts underway at DPR.  These  








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          include provisions recommended by the Parks Forward Commission  
          and the transformation team that is working on implementation.   
          Specifically, this bill clarifies DPR's authority to acquire and  
          operate alternative overnight accommodations in state parks to  
          improve public access; to accept donations of funds, services,  
          and facilities for support of state parks; and to enhance  
          partnerships.  This bill also improves the process for review  
          and approval of state park concession contracts, in order to  
          enhance efficiency, oversight and transparency.


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Diane Colborn / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096     
                                                                  FN:  
          0001803