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Legislative Update: SB 268 and SB 649

Over the last two months, our legislative efforts centered around two bills–supporting SB 268 (Mendoza) and opposing SB 649 (Hueso).

SB 268 would create a mechanism to increase the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and allow for better representation of cities on the board. It would require the board to work with CCCA, the League of California Cities, and the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee to come up with a reorganization plan. If no such plan is agreed upon or implemented, the formula for representation on the board would revert to a statutory formula consisting of the five members of the Board of Supervisors, the mayor of Los Angeles, five Los Angeles City Council members and one public member appointed by the mayor, one member appointed by the Mayor of Long Beach, eight representatives from the other cities, and one nonvoting member appointed by the Governor. Either way, we believe that this bill will allow for greater and more proportionate representation on the Metro board by our member cities. SB 268 currently remains in committee.

SB 649 is the “small cell bill” that would require cities to treat small cell wireless facilities as permitted uses with only limited say over permits and fees. Even with amendments allowing cities to issue ministerial permits, we believe that the bill still constitutes a severe infringement on the rights of cities to set their own land use policies and prevent cities from working with telecommunications companies to deliver benefits to cities in return for flexibility in placing wireless facilities. SB 649 has passed through its policy committees and we will continue to oppose it in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Finally, we will be monitoring the “housing package” that Governor Brown and the leaders of the legislature have committed to completing in the remainder of the term. CCCA supports SB 3, the proposed housing bond to be placed on the 2018 ballot, as it will contain significant sources of funding for cities looking to build or preserve affordable housing. We will continue to oppose SB 35, the ministerial process for approval of affordable housing developments, as an infringement on local control over land use.

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