BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



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

          SB 734 (De León) - State lands acquisitions: public  
          transparency.
          
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          |Version: February 27, 2015      |Policy Vote: N.R. & W. 8 - 0    |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: May 11, 2015      |Consultant: Marie Liu           |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 


          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 734 would require the Natural Resources Agency  
          (agency) to maintain a database of lands and easements acquired  
          the agency, regardless of whether funding is allocated for this  
          purpose in the annual Budget Act. This bill would also require  
          that the agency allow at least 30 days for public comment  
          regarding proposed state land acquisitions.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  One-time costs of $150,000 and ongoing cost of $50,000  
          annually from the General Fund to the Natural Resources Agency  
          create, then manage the registry.

          Background: Existing law (Gov §12805.2) requires the secretary  
          of the agency to develop and maintain a database of lands and  
          easements that have been acquired by its departments and boards.  
          The departments, boards, commissions, and conservancies within  
          the agency are also responsible for annually providing the  







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          agency with general information regarding land acquisition  
          priorities and potential funding sources during the next fiscal  
          year. The agency is required to have a uniform open process to  
          ensure information is available to the general public regarding  
          potential acquisitions. These requirements are only in effect  
          for those fiscal years which funding is available. 


          Existing law requires the secretary to maintain a central  
          registry of all conservation easements held or required by the  
          state on or after 2000 (PRC §5096.520). 


          At least since 2006, the agency has been maintaining online  
          records of all bond spending, including for fee title  
          acquisitions and easements.




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill would require the agency to maintain a database of  
          lands and easements and to take various actions regarding future  
          potential purposes regardless of whether funding is appropriated  
          for this purpose. This bill would also require that the agency  
          allow at least 30 days for public comment regarding proposed  
          state land acquisitions. 


          Staff  
          Comments:  To consolidate the various databases of information  
          on acquisitions, the agency estimates that it would need  
          $150,000 for one-year with $50,000 annually to maintain the  
          central database.
          Staff estimates that providing at least 30 days of public access  
          to information about prospective purposes is likely to have  
          minimal, if any costs.


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