On September 12, 2013, SB1 was ordered to Inactive File at the request of its author, Senator Darrell Steinberg. Strange development, but perhaps an interesting move, considering Senator Steinberg is hoping for Governor Brown's favorable reception of two other of his bills: Bill Prohibiting Detachable Magazines on Rifles (SB 374), and CEQA Modernization Bill (SB 743).
The bill was ordered on September 4 to a third reading in the Assembly, after passing Committee with 12 Yes and 5 No on August 30. SB1 may not turn out to be the slam-dunk Steinberg may have been hoping for. Even if it eventually passes the Legislature, it needs the approval of Governor Brown. By way of background, in 2011 Governor Brown led the push to dismantle the California Redevelopment Agency, based on the Agency's dubious cost effectiveness. But bureaucrats never cease in their efforts to bring this monster back from the dead. SB1 is the latest effort.
Earlier, on August 21, 2013, SB1 was referred to the Suspense File to be evaluated again at a later date. The Bill had passed Assembly Committee on August 14, 2013. Votes were YES 6 (Levine, Alejo, Bradford, Gordon, Mullin, and Rendon), and NO 3 (Achadjian, Melendez, and Waldron).
SB1, “Sustainable Communities Investment Authority,” written by CA Senators Darrell Steinberg and Mark DeSaulnier, is scheduled to be heard in California Assembly Local Government Committee On August 14, 2013, 1:30 pm (See Update above).
We have been speaking out against Plan Bay Area for a couple of years. SB1 is PBA’s major funding mechanism.
An August 1 editorial from the Contra Costa Times, titled "BART strike is unwarranted, but it is likely", opines on the sad regularity of BART labor disputes. The Times notes that the strikes and threats of strikes are essentially posturing. On one side, a union with extremely well-paid employees and a protected-strike allowance, rare in the transit space. On the other, management that has an abysmal history on stewardship of taxpayer funds: hiking salaries and building costly extensions (over the objections of residents, no less) as the core system crumbles.
The Times article cuts straight to the point:
Quite predictably, the Bay Area is on the precipice of another disabling BART strike... [I]t seems the primary purpose of the negotiating teams is to attend news conferences and call the other side liars. We find it irritating and tiresome.
One paragraph, though, is a real jaw-dropper. It exposes how out-of-touch the unions are with economic realities of the residents they portend to serve, and how BART management's weak financial controls have further facilitated the exploitation of Bay Area taxpayers:
On October 1, 2013, AB351 was appoved by Governor Brown.
As of September 3, 2013, AB351 passed both houses of Legislation. The next step is for Governor Brown to sign it into law. Please call or write the Governor to show support for his signing the bill. To call: (916) 445-2841.
On August 12, 2013, AB351 was ordered for a third reading in the State Senate. So, the Bill is still alive, but needs your help in getting it passed. Please call the legislators listed at the end of this article to express your views.
BACKGROUND AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ACTION:
California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly's AB351, a bill which starts the process of stopping "Indefinite Detention" under the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), has passed the State Assembly by a vote of 71 - 1, and the State Senate Public Safety Committee as well. The next step is a hearing and vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where the bill is scheduled to be heard on August 12, 2013. (See Update above)
On February 26, 2013, thanks to efforts of groups opposing the "Indefinite Detention" clause of the NDAA, including the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, the San Francsico Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a Resolution declaring San Francisco's opposition to the clause. The same can be accomplished at the California Legislature's level.
At their meeting of “July 18”, after several hours of listening to public comments, the joint Executive Boards of ABAG/MTC started the voting to determine adoption of Plan Bay Area -- at around 12:15 am. Although some public comments at this meeting were positive, most used terms that ranged from “unconstitutional” to “abomination.” However, the Plan was adopted, as expected.
At least one member of the public who offered a comment indicated that lawsuits were being filed against Plan Bay Area. The Post Sustainability Institute/Democrats Against UN Agenda 21 and Freedom Advocates are launching a legal challenge to Plan Bay Area, pointing to several violations of the Plan, such as those against the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution (taking of private property without just compensation), the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution (equal protection clause), the voter-approved Urban Growth Boundary ordinances (plans encouraging growth in the periphery of cities), etc. Visit the Post Sustainability Institute website for details of the lawsuit, and to pitch in to help fund the lawsuit should you agree with its premise; see link below.
Although the vote to adopt Plan Bay Area sailed through, some Commissioners expressed concern about funding for the two key features of the Plan, housing and transportation. Those concerns are well warranted! The 28-year horizon and the projected revenues of the Plan are both on the ambitious side.
Another Pride Celebration has just gone by and we were there. A collaboration of Outright Libertarians, Golden Gate Liberty rEVOLution, The Libertarian Party of San Francisco, and The Libertarian Party of Alameda made our exhibitor booth happen. We are grateful for the hundreds of visitors who stopped by our booth, to take the Word’s Smallest Political Quiz, to browse or collect literature, to rummage the display basket for buttons and stickers (the favorite button by far was Rosie the Riveter appropriated to deliver the libertarian message “Tax this!”), and most importantly to talk to us. Some stopped by just to say hello; some to ask questions, accompanied by puzzled looks as to who we were; yet others to share concerns about unequal treatment of families, education, jobs. We welcomed the opportunity to listen, and often to battle the stranglehold of a government posing as the sole provider of personal well being. Interestingly, on the plus side, we all agreed that this year there were more stickers on the libertarian quadrant of the of the World Smallest Political Quiz!