BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2131


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          Date of Hearing:  May 4, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          2131 (Maienschein) - As Amended April 18, 2016


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          |Policy       |Transportation                 |Vote:|16 - 0       |
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          |             |Agriculture                    |     |10 - 0       |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill requires the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)  
          to apply to the DMV to sponsor the "Imagine" specialized license  
          plate, and continuously-appropriates all net revenues from sales  
          of this plate to assist food banks in California. The plates  
          would contain an image of a duly-licensed self-portrait of John  
          Lennon to the left of the numerical series.










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          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Potential one-time special fund costs of approximately  
            $440,000 to DMV to establish the specialized license plate  
            program, including computer programming changes and updating  
            forms. Pursuant to current law, DMV will make computer  
            programming and form changes only after program applications  
            meet a 7,500-application threshold. Therefore, the DMV will  
            incur these costs only if it receives enough applications to  
            require the DHCS to implement the program. The DMV will incur  
            minor ongoing costs to continue issuing specialty license  
            plates and renewals under the program. All of the DMV's  
            initial and ongoing costs will be covered by a portion of the  
            additional $50 fee paid for original specialized license  
            plates and the additional $40 fee to renew such plates.
                                    
          2)Minor costs to CDFA to submit the program application and  
            license prototype to DMV, design and print the license plate  
            application, and collect and hold applications and fees until  
            7,500 applications are received. 

          3)Potential ongoing revenue, continuously-appropriated to assist  
            the state's food banks.

          4)Current law requires that specified additional funds related  
            to personalizing a specialized license plate must be deposited  
            into the Environmental License Plate Fund (ELPF).  This bill  
            instead directs all revenues to the newly created Imagine  
            Account, for food banks, after deducting administrative costs.  
             This would result in the diversion of any revenues associated  
            with personalization from the ELPF to the new account.

          COMMENTS:


          1)Specialized License Plates. Prior to 2007, any new special  
            interest license plate required specific legislative  
            authorization. This practice was held to be unconstitutional  








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            in that the Legislature approved some of the plates, and  
            rejected others, using no standardized or objective criteria  
            for those decisions. Pursuant to AB 84 (Leslie)/Statutes of  
            2006, the DMV will issue specialized license plates when  
            sponsored by a state agency, the plate's message and resulting  
            revenues support that agency's program, and at least 7,500  
            paid license applications have been received. The  
            7,500-application threshold attempts to assure that DMV's  
            startup costs are fully covered, by the portion of the  
            registration fee surcharge directed to the department, and to  
            avoid a proliferation of different types of plates, which can  
            be troublesome from a law enforcement perspective.


          2)Purpose. The author seeks to provide support and revenue to  
            California's emergency food safety net without taking  
            resources from the General Fund.  According to the California  
            Association of Food Banks, the sponsor of this bill, more than  
            five million Californians, including one in four children,  
            face food insecurity every day and many of these individuals  
            rely on the services of food banks for access to nutrition.   
            The author argues that the revenue generated from this  
            specialized license plate program will be instrumental in  
            funding California food banks to reach the goal of ending  
            hunger in California. In 2004, the State of Florida enacted a  
            well-received specialty license plate bearing the John Lennon  
            theme.



          3)Related Legislation. Currently there are six other bills in  
            the legislative process that would direct a state agency to  
            sponsor a specialized license plate for a specific cause.   
            Three bills were all held on Suspense last year in Senate  
            Appropriations: AB 63 (Bonilla) to raise money for school  
            safety, AB 270 (Nazarian) to raise money for diabetes  
            awareness, and AB 932 (Daly) to raise money for local parks  
            and recreation grant programs.  AB 1884 (Harper), pending on  
            this committee's Suspense file, raises money for mental health  








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            awareness.  AB 2303 (Holden), on today's committee agenda,  
            raises money for the state's Active Transportation Program. AB  
            2253 (Grove), also on today's agenda, raises money to support  
            veterans' programs.

          4)Prior Legislation. Since 2011, 12 bills have been introduced  
            establishing specialized license plate program, of which four  
            have been chaptered: Salton Sea restoration [AB 1096  
            (Nestande), Chapter 353, Statutes of 2014], kidney disease  
            research [AB 2450 (Logue), Chapter 359, Statutes of 2014],  
            breast cancer awareness [AB 49 (Buchanan), Chapter 351,  
            Statutes of 2014], and domestic violence prevention [AB 2321  
            (Gomez), Chapter 358, Statutes of 2014].


          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081