BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 355  


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          Date of Hearing:  July 8, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          SB 355  
          (Lara) - As Amended June 25, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill increases the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers  
          and Mountains Conservancy's (Conservancy) governing board to 15  
          voting members and 9 ex officio members. Specifically, this  
          bill: 








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          1)Expands the Conservancy's voting board members from 13 to 15  
            and specifies the two additional members will be appointed by  
            the Governor.  Specifies one member be a resident of a city  
            bordering the San Gabriel River and one member be a resident  
            of a city bordering the Lower Los Angeles River. 


          2)Expands the Conservancy's ex officio board members from seven  
            to nine. Requires the additional members to be: 





             a)   A member of the Senate, appointed by the Senate  
               Committee on Rules.



             b)   A member of the Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of  
               the Assembly.

          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Minor, absorbable state costs.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  The recently approved state water bond provides  
            millions of dollars in funding opportunities for the  
            revitalization of the Los Angeles River watershed,  
            including parks and open space along the river.   
            Opportunities for improvements to the Lower Los Angeles  
            River directly impact the communities that border the  








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            river.  


            This bill modifies the Conservancy board to include  
            representation from the cities that border the river in  
            order to provide a local perspective on plans and  
            developments.  


            The Author further notes that adding state elected  
            officials as non-voting board members in an advisory  
            capacity has proven successful at other state  
            conservancies.


          2)Background.  The Conservancy was created by the California  
            Legislature in 1999.  It is one of ten conservancies within  
            the California Resources Agency.  The Conservancy's mission is  
            to preserve open space and habitat in order to provide for  
            low-impact recreation and educational uses, wildlife habitat  
            restoration and protection, and watershed improvements within  
            its jurisdiction.  The territory of the Conservancy includes  
            the watersheds for the San Gabriel River and the lower Los  
            Angeles River, along with portions of the Santa Clara River  
            and the lower Santa Ana River.


          3)Bond Funding. Proposition 1 provides $30 million for the  
            Conservancy and $100 million for urban rivers and streams  
            including, but not limited to  the LA River and its  
            tributaries as defined in both the Conservancy Act and the  
            Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) Act.


          4)State Conservancies.  There are currently 10 state  
            conservancies located within the Natural Resources Agency: a)  
            Sierra Nevada Conservancy; b) California Tahoe Conservancy; c)  
            State Coastal Conservancy; d) San Joaquin River Conservancy;  
            e) Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy; f) Coachella  








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            Mountains Conservancy; g) San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles  
            Rivers Conservancy; h) Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; i)  
            Baldwin Hills Conservancy; and j) San Diego River Conservancy.





          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081