BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                             Senator Fran Pavley, Chair
                               2015 - 2016  Regular 

       Bill No:            SB 317          Hearing Date:    April 14, 2015
       |Author:    |De León                |           |                 |
       |Version:   |April 23, 2015    Amended                            |
       |Urgency:   |Yes                    |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
       |Consultant:|William Craven                                       |
       |           |                                                     |
       Subject:  The Safe Neighborhood Parks, Rivers, and Coastal Protection  
       Bond Act of 2016.

       In 2000 and 2002, the Legislature passed two parks bond measures that  
       were subsequently ratified by the voters. Prop 12 passed in 2000 and  
       Prop 40 passed in 2002. These bonds invested in state parks, local  
       parks, conservancies, and a variety of other resource programs. These  
       were the last two parks bonds that were approved by the voters that  
       focused exclusively on parks and resources funding. According the  
       LAO, 95% of Prop 12 has been expended; 88% of Prop 40 has been  

       Prop 84, passed by the voters in 2006 as a citizen initiative,  
       contained some funding for parks and other resource protection  
       programs but was primarily focused on water projects. All of the  
       remaining Prop 84 funds were later encumbered by the State Water  
       Resources Control Board. 

       While there are differences in emphasis among these last three bonds,  
       there are also several common themes: The two parks and resources  
       bonds prioritized funding for local parks, for grants on a per capita  
       basis to all local governments with parks programs, for the state's  


       conservancies, for ocean and working landscape protection, and for  
       other recreational and educational opportunities such as soccer  
       fields, zoos and aquaria, non-motorized trails, river parkways and  
       watershed protections, etc. Prop 84 introduced the concept of funding  
       sustainable communities planning and projects to help meet the  
       state's climate goals under AB 32 and SB 375. SB 317 would continue  
       that approach with funding for projects that would improve climate  
       resilience of urban areas and natural resources. The bonds have all  
       de-emphasized acquisition of new state parks acreage in favor of more  
       funding for deferred maintenance projects.

       SB 317 is an urgency measure that if approved by the Legislature and  
       signed by the Governor, would authorize the sale of general  
       obligation bonds in the amount of $2.45 billion. The bond is  
       presently divided into four areas of emphasis: (1) parks; (2) rivers,  
       lakes, and streams; (3) coast and ocean protection; and (4) climate  
       resilience. A snapshot of the bond looks like this: 


          Parks ($1.45 billion)  
                 $800 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation  
               for the creation of neighborhood parks in park poor  
                 $200 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation  
               for local park rehabilitation, allocated on a per capita  
                 $200 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation  
               for restoration, preservation and protection of regional  
                 $200 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation  
               for the restoration and preservation of existing state  
                 $50 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation  
               for revenue generation activities at state parks 

          Rivers, Lakes, and Streams ($370 million)
                 $100 million to the Natural Resources Agency for the  
               protection, restoration, and development of river parkways
                 $100 million for implementation of the Lake Tahoe  
               Environmental Improvement Program
                 $100 million for protection, restoration, and  
               development of Los Angeles River parkway projects
                 $50 million for the Salton Sea Restoration Fund 
                 $20 million for urban stream restoration

          Coast and Ocean Protection ($350 million) 
                 $300 million to the Coastal Conservancy for protection  
               of beaches, bays and coastal watersheds, including  
               protection of coastal agricultural land and California  
               Coastal Trail projects
                 $50 million to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy  
               for the protection of coastal watersheds of the Santa  
               Monica Mountains  

          Climate Resilience ($280 million)
                 $100 million to the Strategic Growth Council for the  
               development or implementation of regional or local  
               greenprints or climate adaptation plans and for the  
               protection of open space and agricultural resources
                 $150 million to the Wildlife Conservation Board for the  
               protection and expansion of wildlife corridors
                 $30 million for the Department of Forestry and Fire  
               Protection for urban forestry grants

          In its general provisions, the following criteria would apply to  
          all grants made with bond funds: 

          ĎAll funds would be required to promote the states planning  


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          priorities and the sustainable communities strategies. 

          ĎThe wildlife conservation objectives would occur on public  
          lands or through voluntary projects on private lands. 

          ĎPriority would be given to wildlife and habitat projects that  
          implement natural community conservation plans or endangered  
          species recovery plans. 

          ĎRestoration projects would include the planning, monitoring,  
          and reporting necessary to ensure successful implementation of  
          the project objectives. 

          The four major funding categories: 

          1. Parks. The largest single funding source in the proposed bond  
          is for the creation and expansion of safe neighborhood parks in  
          park-poor neighborhoods pursuant to AB 31, legislation authored  
          by then-Assemblymember De Leon in 2008 that is called "The  
          Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Act of  

          Although it does not have a dedicated funding source, AB 31 was  
          major legislation that highlighted the need for new and expanded  
          local parks in critically underserved communities. This need was  
          recently re-emphasized by the Parks Forward Commission final  
          report. These communities are defined as communities with less  
          than 3 acres of usable parkland per 1,000 residents or a  
          disadvantaged community which is defined in section 75005(g) of  
          the Public Resources Code as a community with a median household  
          income less than 80% of the statewide average.  

          Eligible entities that could receive grants under AB 31 include  
          local governments, regional parks district, local recreation and  
          parks districts, joint powers authorities, community service  
          districts, nonprofit organizations, and others. 

          Grants could be used to establish places for organized team  
          sports, outdoor recreation, nonmotorized trails, permanent play  
          structures, landscaping, community gardens, and many other  
          activities including activities tailored for youth, seniors, and  
          other population groups.  

          Grants would be awarded on a competitive basis. Joint  


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          partnership projects between two or more agencies (including  
          school districts, nonprofits, and local governments) would be  
          encouraged. The department is authorized to provide technical  
          assistance to grant applicants, which is important to  
          communities that do not have professional staff savvy in the  
          ways of grant applications. 

          Projects would also be designed to provide for efficient use of  
          water, including stormwater capture and reuse, reduced uses of  
          pesticides and fertilizers, permeable surfaces, and uses of  
          recycled materials. 

          This section of the bond would also fund a $200 million per  
          capita grants program for which all local governments may apply  
          for purposes of local park rehabilitation and improvements. 

          It would also fund $200 million in grants for restoration,  
          preservation, and protection of regional parks, including state  
          parks that are operated by and managed by regional or local  

          The state Department of Parks would receive $200 million for its  
          deferred maintenance projects that would "increase public access  
          and to protect natural resources." 

          Lastly, this article of the bond provides $50 million to the  
          department for its enterprise activities that increase revenue  
          generation in state parks. This is also a key recommendation of  
          the recent Parks Forward Commission and builds on earlier  
          legislation that created the revenue generation program at the  

          2. Article 5 of the proposed bond would fund categories related  
          to rivers, lakes, and streams. The Natural Resources Agency  
          would receive $100 million for grants for the river parkways  
          program. The California Tahoe Conservancy would receive $100  
          million for California's partial fulfillment of its share of the  
          Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. (Nevada recently  
          fully funded its share in its current legislative session.) The  
          protection and restoration of the LA River would receive $100  
          million to complement the aggressive plans of the affected local  
          governments in that region. The final two categories in this  
          article are $50 million for assisting with the state's statutory  
          obligations as the Salton Sea, and $20 million for urban stream  


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          restoration grants pursuant to section 7048 of the Water Code. 

          3. Article 6 of the proposed bond would allocate $300 million  
          for coast and ocean protection projects at the state coastal  
          conservancy, with the provisos that this funding include  
          projects to protect coastal agricultural resources as well as  
          projects to complete the California Coastal Trail. The existing  
          statute requires the conservancy to focus its conservation  
          efforts on agricultural lands threatened by development.  
          Additionally, $50 million would be allocated to the Santa Monica  
          Mountains Conservancy for the protection of coastal watersheds  
          of the Santa Monica Mountains. 

          4. The article entitled "Climate Resilience" would allocate $100  
          million to the Strategic Growth Council for a wide variety  
          projects that would reduce vulnerability to climate change  
          across the state's water, forest, and agricultural resources.  
          These funds could also be used to develop local greenprints  
          which are defined as those plans for providing parks,  
          greenspace, and urban forestry within an urbanized area to  
          enhance climate resilience, improve public health, and protect  
          open-space lands around a developed area to support an adopted  
          sustainable communities strategy. The Wildlife Conservation  
          Board would receive $150 million for protecting and expanding  
          wildlife corridors, for climate adaptation projects, and for  
          projects to protect and improve existing open space corridors  
          and trail linkages related to utility or transportation  
          infrastructure that provides habitat connectivity and public  
          access or trails. Finally, $30 million would go the Department  
          of Forestry and Fire Protection for urban forestry projects that  
          are not eligible for funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction  

          The final provisions of the bond contain the procedural  
          requirements that apply to the State Treasurer who would sell  
          these general obligation bonds, establish the committee that  
          will determine whether or not it is necessary or desirable to  
          issue bonds, and other fiscal provisions. 

          The very large list of supporters attests to the popularity of  
          this proposed bond. Several large coalitions and many other  
          single organizations are in support of this measure. 


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          There is widespread support for the focus on park-poor  
          communities that is the centerpiece of this bond. There is also  
          widespread support for the per capita program (which many wish  
          to see an increase in funding), as well as the deferred  
          maintenance projects at the Department of Parks. Another area of  
          the bond receiving significant mention in these letters are the  
          programs to support working landscapes, the funding of the state  
          conservancies, and the restoration of the Salton Sea. 

          Environmental Defense Fund supports the use of habitat exchanges  
          through which private landowners are compensated for making  
          measurable improvements to critical habitats while preserving  
          agricultural production and viability. 

          The Nature Conservancy supports the bond and encourages the  
          author to consider additional funding for the upper watersheds  
          in the Sierra Nevada. Several other organizations share this  
          concern and are identified as such in the list of supporters. 

          Other supporters suggested more funding for the Department of  
          Parks, although many letters were received prior the amendments  
          that provided the department $200 million for deferred  
          maintenance and $50 million for its enterprise activities. 

          None received

          The bill is a serious effort to establish a framework for a  
          parks bond that could be presented to the voters. It is clearly  
          not a finished product. Several aspects of the bill will require  
          additional work, which is not unexpected given that the bill is  
          being heard for the first time. 

          It is also clear that the author will be the recipient of many  
          requests to adjust the funding in the identified categories and  
          to create funding options for categories yet to come. That too  
          is not unexpected, especially at this early stage. In fact,  
          those requests will likely continue throughout the legislative  
          process for the lifespan of this measure.  The author, of  
          course, will also need to carefully calculate the size of the  
          bond, obtain support within the administration, and keep an eye  


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          on the likelihood of ultimate voter approval. 

          The Committee expects to remain active with this bill as it  
          proceeds through the legislative process and reserves the right  
          to re-hear it an appropriate time, which is a customary  

          The suggested amendments below are largely technical, and also  
          add co-authors. 

           Amendments 5 and 6 impose a cap on administrative expenses and  
          authorize up to 10 percent of a grant to be used for planning.  
          These same provisions were included in Prop 1. 

          1. Add Senator Pavley as principal co-author, and Senators  
          Allen, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Monning, and Wieckowski  
          as co-authors. 

          2. Page 3, line 15. Change "and" to "or." 

          3. 5880.5 (j) "Protection" means those actions necessary to  
          prevent harm or damage to persons, property, or natural and  
          cultural resources  , actions to improve access to public open  
          space areas  or  actions  to allow the continued use and enjoyment  
          of property or natural  ,cultural, and historic  resources, and  
          includes acquisition, development, restoration, preservation,  
          and interpretation.

          4. 5880.5 (k)"Restoration" means the improvement of physical  
          structures or facilities and, in the case of natural systems and  
          landscape features, includes, but is not limited to, projects  
          for the control of erosion, the control and elimination of  
          exotic species,  removal of waste and debris,  prescribed  
          burning, fuel hazard reduction, fencing out threats to existing  
          or restored natural resources, road elimination, and other plant  
          and wildlife habitat improvements to increase the natural system  
          value of the property. 

          5. Amend 5882.6:  The sum of two hundred million dollars  
          ($200,000,000) from the fund shall be available to the  
          department for grants for the restoration, preservation and  


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          protection of regional parks and parklands, including state  
          parks whose operation and management have been taken over by  
          local or regional agencies, and other parks  and parklands  
           operated by  regional park districts, counties, open space  
          districts and open space authorities, and parks and parklands  
          operated  through cooperative agreements or pursuant to joint  
          power authorities that include state and local agencies.

          6. 5882.7. Add cultural and historic resources at page 5, line  

          7. page 6, line 23.  Correct a cross reference to the Tahoe  
          Conservancy by substituting  Title 7.42 of the Government Code,  
          beginning with Section 66905, that furthers the goals and  
          purposes of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program  . 

          8. Amend 5885.1 : The sum of one hundred million dollars  
          ($100,000,000) from the fund shall be available to the Strategic  
          Growth Council for grants to develop or implement a regional or  
          local greenprint or climate adaptation plan, or update  or  
          develop a climate adaptation element for a general plan  ,  or add  
          climate adaptation to a general plan  and for the protection of  
          agricultural and open space resources that support adopted  
          sustainable communities strategies.

          9. 79703. An amount that equals not more than 5 percent of the  
          funds allocated for a grant program pursuant to this division  
          may be used to pay the administrative costs of that program. 

          10. 79704. Unless otherwise specified, up to 10 percent of funds  
          allocated for each program funded by this division may be  
          expended for planning and monitoring necessary for the  
          successful design, selection, and implementation of the projects  
          authorized under that program. This section shall not otherwise  
          restrict funds ordinarily used by an agency for "preliminary  
          plans," "working drawings," and "construction" as defined in the  
          annual Budget Act for a capital outlay project or grant project.  

           Double Referral  
          The Senate Rules Committee referred this bill to both the  
          Committee on Natural Resources and Water and to the Committee on  
          Governance and Finance.  Therefore, if this measure is approved  
          by this committee, the motion will include an action to re-refer  


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          the bill to the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance,  
          which will consider the issues within their jurisdiction.


          Amigos de Bolsa Chica
          Amigos de los Rios
          Anahuak Youth Sports Association
          Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association
          Association of California Water Agencies
          Audubon California
          Anza-Borrego Foundation
          Audubon California
          Benicia State Parks Association
          Benicia Tree Foundation
          Big Sur Land Trust
          Bolsa Chica Land Trust
          California Association of Local Conservation Corps
          California Climate and Agriculture Network
          California Council of Land Trusts
          California League of Conservation Voters
          California League of Parks Associations
          California ReLeaf
          California State Parks Foundation
          California State Railroad Museum Foundation
          California Tahoe Alliance
          California Trout
          California Urban Forests Council
          California Yacht Brokers Association
          Californians for Western Wilderness
          Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers
          Chino Hills State Park interpretive Association
          City of Benicia
          City of Encinitas
          Clean Water Action
          Common Vision
          Community Services Employment Training
          Conejo Recreation and Park District
          County of Placer
          Crystal Cove Alliance
          Defenders of Wildlife
          Ducks Unlimited
          Eco Farm


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          Empire Mine Park Association
          Environment California
          Environmental Defense Fund
          Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
          Fiesta de Reyes
          Fort Tejon Historical Association
          Friends of Balboa Park
          Friends of China Camp
          Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma
          Friends of Mt. Tam
          Friends of Palomar State Park
          Friends of Pico State Park
          Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
          Friends of Sutter's Fort
          Friends of the Folsom Powerhouse Association
          Friends of the Urban Forest
          Hills for Everyone
          Hollywood Beautification Team
          Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association
          Huntington Beach Tree Society
          John Marsh Historic Trust
          Just one Tree
          Keep Eureka Beautiful
          Koreatown Youth and Community Center
          Land Trust of Santa Cruz County
          Los Angeles Conservation Corps
          Malibu Creek Docents
          Marina Recreation Association
          Marin Agricultural Land Trust
          Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association
          Mojave River Natural History Association
          Mono Lake Committee
          Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority
          Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District
          National Marine Manufacturers Association
          National Parks Conservation Association
          National Trust for Historic Preservation
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          Nature Conservancy
          North East Trees
          Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
          Our City Forest
          Outdoor Outreach
          Pacific Forest Trust


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          Palos Verdes South Bay Audubon
          Paradise Recreation and Park District
          Peninsula Open Space Trust
          Pine Ridge Association
          Plumas-Eureka State Park Association
          Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association
          Poppy Reserve/Mojave Desert Interpretive Association
          Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
          Richmond Trees
          Roseville Urban Forest Foundation
          Sacramento Tree Foundation
          Santa Ana River Trail and Parkway Partnership
          Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
          Save Our Forest
          Save Our Shores
          Save the Bay
          Save the Redwoods League
          Sea and Desert Interpretive Association
          Shasta historical Society
          Sierra Club California
          Sierra State Parks Foundation
          Solano Advocates Green Environments
                                                                 Sonoma County Trails Council
          Sonoma Ecology Center
          Sonoma Land Trust
          South Yuba River Citizens League
          Southern California Mountains Foundation
          Sports Leisure Vacations, LLC
          Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
          Sustainable Tahoe
          Tahoe Resource Conservation District
          Team Sugarloaf
          The Malibu Adamson House Foundation
          The Trust for Public Land
          Topanga Canyon Docents
          Torrey Pines Association
          Tree Davis
          Tree Foundation of Kern
          Tree Fresno
          Tree Lodi
          Tree Musketeers
          Tree Partners Foundation
          Tree People
          Tree San Deigo


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          Trout Unlimited
          Urban Conservation Corps of the Inland Empire
          Urban ReLeaf
          Urban Tree Foundation
          Valley of the Moon Observatory Association
          Victoria Avenue Forever
          Waddell Creek Association
          West Hollywood Tree Preservation Society
          West Marine Environmental Action Committee
          Western Chapter, international Society of Aboriculture
          Will Rogers Ranch Foundation
          Woodland Tree Foundation
          Worldwide Boaters Safety Group
          Your Children's Trees

           Support in Concept or with Concerns
           Bear Yuba Land Trust
          California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and  
          Board Members
          California Association of Recreation and Park Districts
          California Park and Recreation Society
          Carbon Cycle Institute
          County of Kern
          County of Santa Clara
          East Bay Regional Park District
          Latino Outdoors
          Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
          OutDoor Afro
          Placer Land Trust
          San Francisco Parks Alliance
          San Francisco Recreation and Park District
          Sequoia Riverlands Trust
          Sierra Business Council
          Sierra Foothill Conservancy
          Sonoma County Regional Parks
          State Park Partners Coalition
          Truckee Donner Land Trust
          Watershed Conservation Authority
          Western Region, Tail-to-Trails Conservancy

          None Received


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