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City to take position on 3 bills

Proposed laws reviewed because of potential impact on Santa Clarita

Posted: April 20, 2013 10:48 p.m.
Updated: April 20, 2013 10:48 p.m.

Members of the Santa Clarita City Council are set to review state legislation that would grant additional protections to those who are homeless, bar the state from changing the payment schedule for redevelopment funds and change the way cities calculate their recycling.

All three proposed laws were reviewed by the City Council Legislative Subcommittee — made up of Mayor Bob Kellar and Councilman TimBen Boydston — during the subcommittee meeting Friday.

Kellar and Boydston decided to send the three bills to the full City Council for a recommendation to Sacramento. Two of the bills were recommended for endorsement, but the most controversial of the bills was sent to the council without a recommendation.

That is Assembly Bill 5, which lays out a homeless bill of rights to accompany other minority rights outlined in the state Constitution.

As amended on April 8, the bill would enact a Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act.

“The bill would require local law enforcement agencies to make specified information available to the public and report to the attorney general on an annual basis with regard to enforcement of local ordinances against homeless persons and compliance with the act, as specified, thereby imposing a state-mandated program,” the bill summary states.

It would also require the state Department of Public Health “to fund the provision of health and hygiene centers, as specified, for use of homeless persons in designated areas.”

The proposed law was introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.

The subcommittee reviews bills introduced to the Legislature that would have an impact, either positive or negative, on Santa Clarita and determines whether the city should support or oppose them, said Michael Murphy, the city’s intergovernmental relations officer.

The subcommittee decided to recommend the council support a bill that would prevent the state from changing the payment schedule of funds cities owe as a result of the state dissolving redevelopment districts.

Assembly Bill 564 would provide a “sense of security” for cities, Murphy said.

Subcommittee members also decided to recommend the council oppose another bill that would have an impact on the city’s recycling rate.

The bill, Assembly Bill 323, would prohibit cities’ “green” waste that is used as landfill cover from counting toward the city’s state-regulated diversion rate.

A diversion rate is the amount of garbage a city produces that does not go into a landfill.

Every city in California has a state-mandated diversion rate. By 2020 every city in California is supposed to have a diversion rate of 75 percent.

The City Council is set to vote on May 14 to determine the city’s official position on each of the bills, Murphy said.


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