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CAPITOL UPDATE #35 August 26, 2021

August 26, 2021

California Federation of Republican Women
Sue Blair, President

        Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
  Gretchen Cox, Elaine Freeman, Lou Ann Flaherty,
Val Emick, and Theresa Speake


AB 148 (Budget) – The budget public resources trailer bill – Includes a program for distributing just under $1 billion for water and wastewater for those in the arrears on their bills. Eligibility includes: Forgiveness of residential and commercial customers in arrears; water enterprise revenue shortfalls to cover the costs of those customers who cannot pay their bills and that during the eligible pandemic relief period from 3/4/20 through 6/16/21 specifies that the pandemic relief period is inclusive of any customer billing period that includes these dates.

There are specific provisions for the State Water Resources Control Board to adhere to when establishing the funding program. A community water system will need to estimate based on its billing frequency, the total amount of outstanding past due bills that have accumulated during the COVID pandemic bill relief period. Calculations must include documentation to support the amount of outstanding customers in the arrears incurred.

AB 135- (Budget) – A budget trailer bill that includes statutory language for distributing almost $1 billion for past due electric and gas utility bills. Eligibility includes both residential and commercial energy utility customers. There is a process that must be followed via documentation. An energy company cannot disconnect utility service regardless of the balance owed once funds have been applied for.


AB 338 – California is home to the greatest number of Native Americans living in the United States. They are the first population to inhabit California. Existing law provides for various memorials and monuments on the grounds of the State Capitol and requires the Department of Finance to acquire all acts necessary to erect and maintain a monument of Father Junipero Serra on the grounds of the State Capitol.

This bill would delete the requirement relating to the monument of Father Junipero Serra thereby negating any recognition of this person. The bill would, instead, authorize tribal nations in the Sacramento, California region to plan, construct and maintain a monument to the California Native peoples. The bill would also require the building and maintenance of the monument to be funded exclusively through private funding from the tribal nations in the Sacramento, California region.

Status: This bill was introduced January 28, 2021, referred to the Senate on May 28, 2021, and is currently in its third reading in the Senate.


SB 727- INFRASTRUCTURE-TITLE: Labor-related liabilities: direct contractor. Existing law limits a direct contractor’s liability under those provisions to extend only to any unpaid wage, fringe or other benefit payment or contribution, including interest owed and provides that liability does not extend to penalties or liquidated damages. This bill would extend, for contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2022, the direct contractor’s liability to penalties, liquidated damages, and interest owed by the subcontractor on account of the performance of the labor except as provided. It would REMOVE the limitation of liability.

Housing shortages are caused by onerous laws; this bill will make doing business in the state more difficult of general contractors by forcing them to pay penalties and damages when their subcontractors fail to pay their own employees. These penalties and damages could be worth up to 15 times the actual cost of what they pay the subcontractor forcing many general contractors to go bankrupt.

For further information on any of the bills mentioned here, click the Bill # in the email. Or you can CLICK HERE and simply enter the bill # or keywords where designated.

Find/contact your local Legislators, click HERE to inquire about or let them know your opinion about bills or issues.

To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Listen to hearings on bills that interest you –

Calif. Legislative Portal links- Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RWF or CFRW)- click here, or the bill’s author- click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”

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