Transparency in government is a staple of American democracy. The Federal Freedom of Information Act and California’s Public Records Act are two examples of laws that are intended to provide transparency for government’s written information. But many (if not all) state and local governments have also enacted sunshine laws, which generally require that government meetings be open and public. In California, the Ralph M. Brown Act was passed in 1953. Yet, despite having been around for over half a century, many local governments find themselves accused of running afoul of its ...
Back in May, we provided an update on the status of AB2, the bill which would create Community Revitalization Investment Authorities, (see here). Things were relatively quiet over the summer but this month has the bill seeing a lot of action: It was passed by the state senate on September 9, passed by the assembly on September 12 and has been sent for final review before hitting the governor's desk for signature. As we discussed previously, Governor Brown vetoed the last iteration of this bill because the bill vested the program in redevelopment law, and the new bill does not. While he ...
It appears the state assembly is trying to get California back on the redevelopment wagon...again. (For a brief history lesson on redevelopment, see below.) Assembly Bill 2 (AB2), which passed the assembly earlier this month, would create new entities called Community Revitalization Investment Authorities that would have the same legal authority as redevelopment agencies, i.e., the power to issue bonds, provide low-income housing, prepare and adopt a plan for an area, and among others, acquire property using the power of eminent domain. The legislature explains that the ...
On October 5, 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 401 (Daly, D- Anaheim) into law. The new law grants Caltrans, Orange County Transportation Authority, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and other regional transportation agencies expanded authority to use design build for project procurement. You can view a summary of the new law here. Highlights include:
- Caltrans is now able to use design-build procurement for 10 projects on the state highway system;
- The Orange County Transportation Authority may now use design-build for improvements on the I-405;
- The Santa Clara ...
The House of Representatives has once again resurrected the "Private Property Rights Protection Act" (HR 1944), a bill that would limit the power of eminent domain on a nationwide scale. I say once again, because as we reported in 2012 (see January 26, 2012 post by Brad Kuhn), the House Judiciary Committee approved a nearly identical bill by an overwhelming 23-5 vote, only to have the bill languish on the House floor. The vote this time around, however, was nowhere near as emphatic, as the bill barely passed out of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice with a skimpy 5-3 ...
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