BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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

          Bill No:          SB 491            Hearing Date:     4/28/2015
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          |Author:   |Committee on Transportation and Housing               |
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          |Version:  |4/22/2015                                             |
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          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant|Alison Dinmore                                        |
          |:         |                                                      |
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          SUBJECT:  Transportation:  omnibus bill


          DIGEST:  This bill makes non-controversial changes to sections  
          of law relating to transportation.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, the cost of  
          producing a bill in 2001-2002 was $17,890.  By combining  
          multiple matters into one bill, the Legislature can make minor  
          changes to law in the most cost-effective manner.

          Proposals included in this transportation omnibus bill must  
          abide by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee policy  
          on omnibus committee bills.  The proponent of an item submits  
          proposed language and provides background materials to the  
          committee for the item to be described to legislative staff and  
          stakeholders.  Committee staff provides a summary of the items  
          and the proposed statutory changes to all majority and minority  
          consultants in both the Senate and Assembly, as well as all  
          known or presumed interested parties.  If an item encounters any  
          opposition and the proponent cannot work out a solution with the  
          opposition, the item is omitted from or amended out of the bill.  
           Proposals in the bill must reflect a consensus and be without  
          opposition from legislative members, agencies, and other  
          stakeholders.








          SB 491 (Committee on Transportation and Housing)  Page 2 of ?
          
          
          This bill makes non-controversial changes to sections of law  
          relating to transportation.  Specifically, the bill includes the  
          following provisions.  The proponent of each provision is noted  
          in brackets.

             1)        California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)  
               project delivery reports (Section 1).  Senate Bill (SB) 486  
               (2014) was a transparency bill that sought to provide  
               greater visibility of Caltrans operations by requiring more  
               reporting of capital and support budgets for the State  
               Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP).   
               Caltrans' amendments were taken incorrectly and the bill  
               mistakenly required Caltrans to report the projected  
               delivery date of the construction phase of a project.  It  
               is not feasible for Caltrans to report on the projected  
               delivery date of the construction phase of a SHOPP project  
               because this date is controlled by a contractor, not  
               Caltrans.  This requirement would not provide a reflection  
               or improvement of Caltrans' operations.  This bill removes  
               the requirement for the department to report the delivery  
               date of the construction phase of a project. [Submitted by  
               the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee]

             2)        State Transportation Improvement Plan (Sections 2,  
               5, and 6).  State law contains an outdated title for the  
               Federal Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and an  
               incorrect reference to federal law relating to that  
               program.  It also provides insufficient time for the state  
               to incorporate into the State Transportation Improvement  
               Plan and SHOPP all projects approved by the California  
               Transportation Commission.  This bill ensures that state  
               statute is in conformity with federal statute and allows  
               adequate time to incorporate these changes into state  
               plans. [Submitted by the California Department of  
               Transportation]

             3)        Public meetings to adopt project-selection criteria  
               (Section 3).  The Bay Area Air Quality Management District  
               (BAAQMD) administers the $4 vehicle registration surcharge  
               for projects that reduce vehicle emissions.  The California  
               Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 44241(d) requires the  
               BAAQMD to return 40% of the revenues to the county in which  
               the revenues are collected for allocation by a "program  
               manager."  Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority  
               (VTA) serves as the program manager for these funds in  








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               Santa Clara County.  HSC Section 44231(f) requires the  
               program manager to hold one or more public meetings at  
               least once a year for the purpose of:  1) adopting criteria  
               for expenditure of the funds, and 2) reviewing the projects  
               to be funded.  VTA feels it is not necessary to hold public  
               hearings and adopt the same criteria again, year after  
               year, if the criteria for project selection has not  
               changed.  This bill provides that hearings on project  
               selection criteria are only required if the criteria have  
               changed.  [Submitted by Santa Clara Valley Transportation  
               Authority (VTA)]

             4)        California State Transportation Agency reference  
               (Section 4).  Existing law, effective July 1, 2013,  
               replaces the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency  
               with the California State Transportation Agency and the  
               California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.  
                This bill replaces an outdated reference to the Secretary  
               of the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency with a  
               reference to the Secretary of Transportation.   [Submitted  
               by the Assembly Transportation and Housing Committee]

             5)        Highway relinquishments (Section 7, 8).  This bill  
               deletes state highway route segment descriptions from the  
               code given that the highway segments have been relinquished  
               by the California Transportation Commission to local  
               jurisdictions. [Submitted by the Office of Assemblymember  
               Ridley-Thomas]

             6)        Separated bikeways (Section 9). Caltrans worked  
               extensively with the author and sponsor of Assembly Bill  
               (AB) 1193 to shape the bill into something that technically  
               worked well for both Caltrans and local governments.  One  
               of the technical amendments that Caltrans proposed was to  
               change the word "protected" in the definition of cycle  
               tracks to "separated" in Streets and Highways Code Section  
               890.4(d).  While this change was accepted by the author's  
               office, the sponsor (California Bicycle Coalition), the  
               League of California Cities, the California State  
               Association of Counties, and the Consumer Attorneys of  
               California, it did not make it fully into the bill.  This  
               bill changes the word "protected" to "separated" in the  
               Streets and Highway Code. [Submitted by the California  
               Department of Transportation]









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             7)        Driver license suspensions (Section 10).  Vehicle  
               Code Section1808(c) requires the DMV to make available or  
               disclose suspensions and revocations of the driving  
               privilege while the suspension or revocation is in effect,  
               and for three years following termination of the action or  
               reinstatement of the privilege.  Driver license suspension  
               actions taken pursuant to Welfare and Institutions (WI)  
               Code Sections13202.6 and 13202.7, 256, or 11350.6 shall be  
               disclosed only during the actual time period in which the  
               suspension is in effect.  WI Code Section 11350.6 requires  
               the DMV to suspend the driver license of an individual who  
               has failed to pay their required child support.  In 1999,  
               WI Section 11350.6 was repealed and renumbered to Family  
               Code Section 17520.  This bill adds the appropriate  
               reference to the Family Code.  References to the repealed  
               WI sections should remain in Vehicle Code Section 1808, as  
               some drivers suspended in the past will continue to show  
               the repealed WI section as a conviction on their driver  
               license record.  Additionally, it is possible for a driver  
               to continue to be suspended under WI Code Section 11350.6  
               because they did not reinstate their license for any number  
               of reasons, including incarceration.  It is necessary for  
               the DMV to track and disclose both sections.  [Submitted by  
               the Department of Motor Vehicles]

             8)        DMV Employer Pull Notice program (Section 11).  The  
               Employer Pull Notice (EPN) program was established to  
               provide employers and regulatory agencies with a means to  
               ensure driver safety through the ongoing review of driver  
               records.  As a result of a drafting error contained in AB  
               1047 (Linder, Chapter 649, Statutes of 2013), drivers of  
               buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds  
               or less were excluded from Vehicle Code Section 1808.1(k),  
               and therefore no longer required to be enrolled in the EPN  
               program. AB 1047 was intended to bring California's  
               commercial driver license program into compliance with  
               Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations to  
               ensure that California can continue to operate its  
               Commercial Driver License program, receive federal highway  
               funds, and be eligible for federal safety grants.  This  
               bill clarifies that any driver license endorsement issued  
               pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 15278 is required to be  
               enrolled in the Department of Motor Vehicles Employer Pull  
               Notice program. [Submitted by the California Highway  
               Patrol]








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             9)        Administrative hearings for suspension or  
               revocation (Section 12).  Vehicle Code Section 13557  
               specifies the DMV's authority and requirements for  
               administrative hearings for drivers whose privileges are  
               suspended or revoked for driving under the influence and  
               other offenses. Vehicle Code Section 13558 authorizes any  
               person who has received a suspension or revocation notice  
               for specified offenses, including driving under the  
               influence offenders, to request an administrative hearing  
               within 10 days of receipt of the notice of suspension or  
               revocation.   The 2011 maintenance of the codes bill (AB  
               1023, Wagner, Chapter 296, Statutes of 2011) made technical  
               changes to Vehicle Code Section 13557, which included the  
               renumbering of Vehicle Code Section 13357(b)(2) to Vehicle  
               Code Section 13557(b)(3).  However, the bill did not make  
               necessary conforming changes to Vehicle Code Section 13558  
               to provide the new paragraph reference.  This bill corrects  
               the code section reference error in Vehicle Code Section  
               13558, which incorrectly refers to Vehicle Code Section  
               13357(b)(2), when it should refer to Vehicle Code Section  
               13557(b)(3).  [Submitted by the Department of Motor  
               Vehicles]

             10)       Low-Cost Auto Insurance (LCAI) program extension  
               (Sections 13 and 14). Vehicle Code Sections 16020.1 and  
               16020.2, beginning January 1, 2016, create an exemption for  
               drivers in the county of Los Angeles and the city and  
               county of San Francisco from providing proof of financial  
               responsibility as part of the vehicle registration renewal  
               process or to law enforcement.  These sections were  
               developed as part of a conference committee compromise  
               during the establishment of the Department of Insurance's  
               LCAI program (SB 171, Escutia, Chapter 794, Statutes of  
               1999 and SB 527, Speier, Chapter 807, Statutes of 1999).  
             
               The operative date of Vehicle Code Sections 16020.1 and  
               16020.2 is the same as the sunset date of the LCAI program.  
                Generally, the operative date of these sections is  
               extended along with the sunset date of the LCAI program.   
               However, due to an oversight, the operative date of the  
               exemptions was not extended along with the sunset date  
               during the last legislative session (SB 1273, Lara, Chapter  
               487, Statutes of 2014).  Failure to extend this date means  
               that unlike the rest of Californians, drivers in the county  








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               of Los Angeles and the city and county of San Francisco  
               will not have to show proof of insurance to register their  
               vehicles or to law enforcement entities, beginning next  
               year. This bill rectifies the oversight of SB 1273 and  
               prevents any operational issues for DMV by extending the  
               operative dates of Vehicle Code Sections 16020.1 and  
               16020.2 from January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2020.   
               [Submitted by the Department of Motor Vehicles]
             
             11)       Federal conformity (Sections 15-22, 24, 25).  The  
               state of California was audited by members of the United  
               States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier  
               Safety Administration (FMCSA) unit.  The purpose of this  
               audit was to review California's Motor Carrier Safety  
               Assistance Program (MCSAP) for compliance with federal  
               mandates.  During their audit, the FMCSA identified  
               specific sections of the Vehicle Code as lacking  
               consistency or compatibility with existing federal  
               regulations and recommended these sections be considered  
               for revision to gain uniformity with federal statute.  This  
               bill brings California's statutes in line with those  
               required federally in Title 49 of the United States Code of  
               Federal Regulations (CFR). [Submitted by the California  
               Highway Patrol]

             12)       Earbud use (Section 23).  Statute prohibits wearing  
               of headsets or earplugs while operating a motor vehicle or  
               bicycle, with specified exceptions such as emergency  
               responders or hearing aid wearers.  Statute does not  
               explicitly prohibit wearing of earbuds, such as those used  
               with a smartphone or iPod.  This bill explicitly prohibits  
               earbud use while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.   
               [Submitted by the Senate Transportation and Housing  
               Committee]




           COMMENTS:

             1)   Purpose of this bill.  The purpose of omnibus bills is  
               to include technical and non-controversial changes to  
               various committee-related statutes into one bill.  This  
               allows the legislature to make multiple, minor changes to  
               statutes in one bill in a cost-effective manner.  The  








          SB 491 (Committee on Transportation and Housing)  Page 7 of ?
          
          
               Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing insists that  
               its transportation omnibus bill be a consensus measure.  If  
               there is no consensus on a particular item, it cannot be  
               included.  There is no known opposition to any item in this  
               bill.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:                 Appropriation:  No    Fiscal  
          Com.:             Yes          Local:          Yes


           POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          April 22, 2015.)

          SUPPORT:  

          None received

          OPPOSITION:

          None received


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