BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 2616 (Burke) - California Coastal Commission:  environmental  
          justice
          
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          |Version: May 31, 2016           |Policy Vote: N.R. & W. 6 - 2    |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 8, 2016    |Consultant: Narisha Bonakdar    |
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          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.


          Bill  
        Summary:  SB 2616 requires that three of the 12 voting representatives on  
          the Coastal Commission (Commission) are individuals who reside  
          in or work with communities disproportionately burdened by, and  
          vulnerable to, high levels of pollution and environmental  
          justice issues. The bill also states that when acting on a  
          coastal development permit, the issuing agency, or the  
          Commission on appeal, may consider environmental justice.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  Unknown, likely minor, fiscal impact.


          Background:  

          Coastal Commission.  The Commission is an independent,  
          quasi-judicial state agency located in the Natural Resources  
          Agency. It consists of 12 voting members and three nonvoting  







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          members (six members of the public at large and six from local  
          governments representing six coastal regions). The Governor, the  
          Speaker of the Assembly, and Senate Rules Committee each appoint  
          four of the members.
            
          The Commission was established by voter initiative in 1972  
          (Proposition 20) and was later made permanent by the  
          Legislature through adoption of the California Coastal Act  
          of 1976 (Act).  In partnership with coastal cities and  
          counties, the Commission plans and regulates the use of  
          land and water in the coastal zone. 

          Development activities, which are broadly defined by the  
          Act, include building construction, land divisions, and  
          activities that change land use intensity or public access  
          to coastal waters, generally require a coastal development  
          permit from either the Commission or a local government  
          with a certified local coastal plan.

          Environmental Justice.  Environmental justice is the fair  
          treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with  
          respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and  
          enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.   
          According to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard  
          Assessment, approximately 8 million Californians live in zip  
          codes that are considered "highly impacted" by environmental,  
          public health, and socioeconomic stressors.
          





          Proposed Law:  
           This bill: 

           Requires that one of the four Commissioners appointed by each  
            of the appointing authorities (the Governor, the Speaker of  
            the Assembly, and Senate Rules Committee) represents  
            environmental justice communities.
           Makes a finding that Commission decisions must adhere to the  
            Civil Rights Act.
           Authorizes the issuing agency, or the Commission on appeal to  
            consider environmental justice, or the equitable distribution  








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            of environmental benefits throughout the state, when acting on  
            a coastal development permit.

          Related  
          Legislation:  

          SB 1190 (Jackson, 2016) prohibits a Coastal Commissioner or an  
          interested person from intentionally conducting any ex parte and  
          other communication, as specified, and prohibits Commissioners  
          from unduly influencing Commission staff reports.  This bill is  
          pending consideration in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
          

          Staff  
          Comments:  

          Purpose.  According to the author, the additional three members  
          will help ensure the Commission effectively addresses the  
          diverse needs and perspectives of all California's residents. 


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