Wednesday, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) announced his leadership members and nominees for Senate standing committee chairs for the 2015-2016 Regular Session of the Legislature. The full list of committee assignments is available online here.
Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) announced her appointment of committee members for the 2015-16 Regular Session. The full list of committee assignments is available online here. The Senate will convene for floor session on Monday, January 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm. The Assembly will convene the same day at 1:00 pm.
Our best wishes for a happy and safe holiday!
The 2016 “Headwaters to Ocean (H2O) Conference”
The H2O Conference organizers wish to thank past participants, sponsors and exhibitors for supporting the conference. On several occasions since the event was first held in 2003, we have taken a year off to review conference venues and secure a location for the next conference.
An H2O Conference will not be held in 2015, but, as in the past, the conference organizers will solicit individual proposals as well as complete sessions to create a compelling 2016 H2O Conference. We look forward to hearing about and sharing the latest developments in coastal science and policy at the 2016 H2O Conference. We expect to circulate a Call for Presentations next fall and we will announce the dates and location of the 2016 conference as soon as possible.
In the meantime, information about previous H2O conferences is available online.
The lowest previous turnout percentage of registered voters in a non-presidential general election was 51% in 2002. Many pundits said low voter turnout resulted in Republicans picking up enough legislative seats in the state Senate and (possibly)the Assembly to deny Democrats the two-thirds supermajority they achieved in 2012 until earlier this year when three Democrats in the Senate were swept up in political scandals.The GOP victories will make it difficult for Democratic lawmakers to extend the tax increase California voters approved in 2012, among other priorities.
One of this week’s biggest winners was Proposition 1, a $7.5billion water bond, which won by well more than a 2:1 margin. Prop 1 will fund drought resiliency projects, including water treatment, watershed management and water storage, and it couldn’t have passed at a better time since, according to a first-of-its kind report issued earlier this week by the State Water Resources Control Board, most regions of the state are falling well below the 20% water conservation benchmark set by the governor last January when he declared a drought emergency.
The “Emergency Regulation Update,” which was based on mandatory reporting from roughly 400 water suppliers, will be updated regularly and a workshop will be held next month in Southern California to increase compliance and enforcement. According to the report, 87% of urban water suppliers have implemented mandatory restrictions on water use.
Expect regulators to push for more mandatory measures since, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, and the Climate Prediction Center’s El Niño Watch, California's record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify this winter, with little or no help from an El Niño event - if one occurs.
There is a lot news about climate change and sea level rise
in this week’s issue of the WAVE, so we thought this was a good time to
review what’s being done at the state level and where information
about climate change and sea level rise can be found on state websites.
The Climate Action Team is comprised of state agency secretaries and the heads of other agencies, boards and departments, led by the Secretary of Cal/EPA. The Climate Action Team has developed an online resource known as the Climate Change Portal, which contains a wealth of information on climate change, sea-level rise and related issues.
The Climate Change Portal contains a wealth of information, including three climate change assessments and aClimate Adaptation Strategy. In addition, the portal has links to the state’s Adaptation Planning Guide, Cal-Adapt, California Local Energy Assurance Planning
Many cities, counties, and regional agencies have begun to address the challenges of sea level rise. Numerous efforts have been completed or are underway, including studies, modeling, mapping, cost-benefit analyses, and vulnerability assessments. The information that exists is not centrally located, but found piecemeal among many agencies and entities.
A recent law, AB 2516 (Gordon) (Ch. 522, Statutes of 2014), requires the Natural Resources Agency, in collaboration with the Ocean Protection Council, to create, update biannually, and post on an Internet website a Planning for Sea Level Rise Database describing steps being taken throughout the state to prepare for, and adapt to, sea level rise.
AB 2516 was drafted after the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the Economy held a number of public hearings. The database will be created on or before January 1, 2016.
Have a happy and safe Halloween!
Last week we reported that Gov. Brown approved the nation's first
statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags by signing SB 270
and that opponents of SB 270, including the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA), are in the process of gathering signatures for an initiative that would overturn the new law.
Roughly 505,000 signatures must be collected over the next few months in order to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot. If the initiative qualifies, the provisions of SB 270 would be automatically postponed until at least November 2016. Proponents of the new law are coordinating a 90-day public awareness campaign to prevent the initiative from qualifying. We'll keep everyone posted as developments occur.