BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING
                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          AB 1284           Hearing Date:     6/23/2015
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          |Author:   |Baker                                                 |
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          |Version:  |4/8/2015                                              |
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          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant|Eric Thronson                                         |
          |:         |                                                      |
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          SUBJECT:  Bay Area state-owned toll bridges:  Toll Bridge  
          Program Oversight Committee


            DIGEST:  This bill subjects the Toll Bridge Program Oversight  
          Committee to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Generally requires, under the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act,  
            that all meetings of a state body be open and public and that  
            all persons be permitted to attend and participate in any  
            meeting of a state body.

          2)Similarly requires, under the Ralph M. Brown Act, that all  
            meetings of a local government body be open and public and  
            that all persons be permitted to attend and participate in any  
            meeting. 

          3)Establishes the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee  
            (TBPOC) consisting of the Director of the California  
            Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Executive  
            Directors of the California Transportation Commission and the  
            Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

          4)Assigns to the TBPOC the responsibility of reviewing project  
            status, costs, and schedules; evaluating project changes and  
            resolving project issues; and providing program direction for  







          AB 1284 (Baker)                                    Page 2 of ?
          
          
            all phases of the San Francisco Bay Area toll bridge projects.

          5)Exempts the TBPOC from the requirements of both the  
            Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act.

          This bill subjects the TBPOC to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting  
          Act.
          COMMENTS:

          1)Purpose.  According to the author, transparency is essential  
            to accountability, and the TBPOC needs transparency.  Through  
            2013 and 2014, this committee held a series of informational  
            hearings on the construction problems with the Bay Bridge.   
            The committee's final report detailed findings from a number  
            of outside entities, including Caltrans itself.  All reports  
            identified an existing lack of transparency to the public and  
            oversight entities for the Bay Bridge project, despite  
            receiving billions of tax payer dollars.  While the TBPOC  
            adopted an "open meetings policy," the policy allows the  
            committee to meet in closed session on "any matter" for any  
            reason deemed by its members to be in the public interest.   
            The committee can similarly expunge the record so that there  
            is no report that a meeting took place or action was taken.   
            The author introduced this bill to ensure much-needed  
            transparency within the TBPOC's meetings.

          2)Is this bill necessary?  The work of the TBPOC will be ending  
            shortly.  All of the state-owned toll bridges under its  
            oversight have achieved seismic safety, and the one remaining  
            project, the demolition of the old east span of the San  
            Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, is due to be completed next  
            year.  While concern about the transparency of the TBPOC is  
            legitimate, it is unclear what this bill will accomplish now  
            that the committee's work is all but over.

          Related Legislation:
          
          AB 144 (Hancock, Chapter 71, Statutes of 2005) - among other  
          things, established the TBPOC and exempted it from open meeting  
          laws.

          Assembly Votes:
               
            Floor:     74-0
            Appr:      17-0








          AB 1284 (Baker)                                    Page 3 of ?
          
          
            LGov:        9-0
            Trans:     15-0
          
          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  No    Fiscal Com.:  Yes     
          Local:  No


            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          June 17, 2015.)
          
            SUPPORT:  

          None received
          OPPOSITION:

          None received


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