August 29, 2012
TO: CLA Members/ Systems/ Network Contacts
FROM: Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist
Christina DiCaro, CLA Lobbyist
RE: News From the Capitol
GOVERNOR SIGNS CLSA “STREAMLINING” BILL DURING END OF SESSION CRUSH
The California State Legislature is currently racing to complete their work for the year, with the end of the 2011-12 Legislative Session quickly approaching, and the official adjournment scheduled for midnight on Friday, August 31, 2012. The Senate and Assembly are working through a daunting list of hundreds of pieces of legislation, several of them controversial in nature, and some are still being developed on major subject matters as the clock is ticking down. One major issue, “Pension Reform,” was addressed last night when the six-member Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions adopted its conference report. The Conference Committee Report, contained in AB 340, has been sent to the Assembly and Senate Floors and will be voted on sometime Friday. Unlike other bills that can be amended on the Floor of the Assembly or Senate, Conference Committee Reports can only be voted up or down and cannot be altered once they are approved by the Conference Committee – in other words, this is the final product. For those of you interested in the detail, a copy of AB 340 is available here
. **Note, AB 340 is 60 pages in length. Additionally, here
is a summary of the Conference Committee Report, prepared by the Committee Consultants.
Another major issue getting attention is a reform proposal relating to workers compensation, where, on Tuesday morning, close to 100 lobbyists jammed the hearing room and halls for an informational hearing on the subject. Meanwhile, as of this writing, lobbyists such as yours truly, line the hallways at the Capitol, sharing notes and the latest rumors.
SB 1044-Liu – Libraries: administration
One highlight of the 2012 session was the strong bi-partisan support of a measure important to the library community, authored by Senator Carol Liu, which seeks to streamline the California Library Services Act law. Senator Liu is the Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, which has the State Library and general library funding issues under her committee’s purview. A year ago, the Senator hosted an initial workshop in her district, inviting library directors to discuss ways in which the California Library Services Act could be streamlined. The Senator wondered, in light of the state’s inability to fund CLSA at its appropriate levels, would there be areas within the Act that could be revised, eliminated, etc. to provide for greater efficiencies.
After the initial workshop was held in Southern California, the State Librarian Stacey Aldrich then conducted a series of meetings, including a most impressive event on January 17 in Sacramento, coordinated by a professional facilitator, and over 130 public libraries represented in the discussions. The outcome of that stakeholder session produced the contents of legislation, SB 1044 by Senator Liu. The bill, among other things, eliminates references in the Education Code to the “Library of California Act,” which was a shared resources program that was signed into law in 1998 but never implemented due to its significant $60 million annual cost to the state. References to “Library System Advisory Boards” were also stricken from the Code, as they are a duplicate function of “System Administrative Councils.”
The bill, which was sponsored by CLA, received strong, bi-partisan support in each of its policy and fiscal committees in the Senate and Assembly, and on the Floors of the two houses. It was sent to the Governor for his consideration on August 16th and the Governor signed the measure early this afternoon. The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2013, and is Chapter 219, Statutes of 2012.