State Bills Get Council’s Attention
Some Will Affect Culver City
A City Council subcommittee has been at work these past few months, studying proposed state and federal legislation. At the City Council meeting Monday night the subcommittee, composed of Council members Jim Clarke and Meghan Sahli-Wells, presented the first in an ongoing series of reports to keep the Council briefed on upcoming legislation.
“We felt it was important for the city to take a position on legislative issues that have an impact on the city,” said Clarke. “Other cities have been supporting legislation and we may be asked by neighboring cities to do that as well.”
Of course there are so many bills pending that “we can’t take a position on all bills,” Clarke continued. “So it’s important to prioritize.”
First priority will be California state legislative bills because they have a deadline. Bills for the 2013-2014 state legislative session must be introduced in either house of the state legislature by February 22. A bill must be passed in its house of origin by May 15 or it becomes a “two-year bill.”
City staff has compiled a list of pending bills, with summaries of each bill to explain why it would or would not have impact on Culver City.
“As we’ve seen with losing redevelopment funds and as we’re seeing with local oil fields, decisions made in Sacramento have a tremendous effect on how we do business in Culver City,” said Sahli-Wells.
Of more than 2,000 pending bills, the city’s list is composed of about 50. Sahli-Wells noted that of those bills, it would only be necessary for the Council to consider and vote on support for four bills at that night’s meeting.
These bills were AB 564 and AB 981, both dealing with redevelopment dissolution; SB 7, dealing with amending the labor code for public works employees, and SB 135, dealing with earthquake early warning systems.
The Council followed staff recommendation in supporting the first two bills and SB 135 but did not want to give support to SB 7. Sahli-Wells disagreed because of a clause involving prevailing wages. She requested that the Council have a “larger conversation about this” in the near future.
Mehaul O’Leary urged Sahli-Wells to join with the Council, saying it was “a state mandate on our local authority” and it was important for the Council to “oppose the state mandate on a local level.” He suggested the prevailing wage issue be discussed at a separate time.
“If this bill were to pass, how would it affect Culver City?” asked Mayor Andrew Weissman.
City Manager John Nachbar replied: “I believe this bill would require the city to pay the state prevailing wages on any construction project. There is an implication of increased costs of construction projects.”
Sahli-Wells agreed to go along with the Council’s decision.
All five Council members voted in favor of the staff’s recommendation and, in the case of SB 7, agreed to discuss the issue of prevailing wages at some time in the future.
The subcommittee on proposed legislation will continue to update the Council and information and updates will be posted on the Culver City web site.
In other actions the Council approved $7,711 in support of in-kind services for the annual Exchange Club Culver City Car Show, with the Exchange Club paying a maximum of $14,375 for other event-related services.