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CAPITOL UPDATE #5 – February 1, 2024

 February 1, 2024

Golden State Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the GSRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Valerie Evans,
Lou Ann Flaherty and Elaine Freeman, 

AB 1851, as introduced, Holden. Drinking water: school sites: lead testing pilot program.

Existing law, the California Safe Drinking Water Act, requires the State Water Resources Control Board to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health. The act requires the state board to establish a grant program, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to award grants to local educational agencies for the purposes of improving access to, and the quality of, drinking water in public schools serving kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and preschools and child daycare facilities located on public school property.

This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to contract with a nonprofit technical assistance organization, for purposes of a pilot program applicable to unspecified school districts, to sample all potable water system outlets on the campuses of the school district for lead contamination, except as provided, and to identify and remediate any potable water system outlet emitting water containing lead levels in excess of 5 parts per billion.

The bill would require the nonprofit technical assistance organization, if sampling results show lead levels in excess of 5 parts per billion for any potable water system outlet, to take immediate steps to shut down all potable water system outlets where excess lead levels may exist and to work to ensure that a lead-free source of drinking water is provided for pupils at each potable water system outlet that has been shut down.

The bill would require the nonprofit technical assistance organization to notify the school district of the sampling results, and would require the school district to notify the parents and guardians of pupils enrolled at a school in which a water sample of a potable water system outlet contains lead levels in excess of 5 parts per billion, as provided. By increasing the duties on school districts, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the nonprofit technical assistance organization to report the sampling results for all potable water system outlets to the Superintendent and to any other state agency that requests the information.

The bill would also require the nonprofit technical assistance organization, on or before January 1, 2028, to perform an analysis of the remediation methods employed during the pilot program and provide recommendations to the department for remediating lead in drinking water in schools.

SB 961, as introduced, Wiener. Vehicles: safety equipment.

Under existing law, the Department of the California Highway Patrol regulates the safe operation of specified vehicles, including motortrucks of 3 or more axles that are more than 10,000 pounds, truck tractors, trailers, semitrailers, and buses. Existing federal law regulates required safety equipment on vehicles, including rear impact guards on certain large trucks to prevent rear underrides in collisions with passenger vehicles.

This bill would require certain trucks and trailers to also be equipped with side guards, as specified. The bill would also require the department to adopt rules and regulations requiring driver inspections of side guards and requiring the department to inspect side guards that have been involved in collisions.

Existing law prohibits a person from driving a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than the speed limit.

This bill would require certain vehicles, commencing with the 2027 model year, to be equipped with an intelligent speed limiter, as specified, that would limit the speed of the vehicle to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. The bill would exempt emergency vehicles from this requirement and would authorize the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to authorize the disabling of the system on other vehicles based on specified criteria.

A violation of either of these prohibitions would be punishable as a crime.

SB 960  as introduced, Wiener. Transportation: planning: transit priority projects: multimodal.

Existing law requires the Department of Transportation to improve and maintain the state’s highways, and establishes various programs to fund the development, construction, and repair of local roads, bridges, and other critical transportation infrastructure in the state. 

This bill would require all transportation projects funded or overseen by the department to provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities unless an exemption is documented and approved.

Existing law requires the department, in consultation with the California Transportation Commission, to prepare a robust asset management plan to guide selection of projects for the state highway operation and protection program. 

This bill would require the asset management plan to prioritize the implementation of comfortable, convenient, and connected facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users on all projects in the program.  This bill would require the department’s plain language performance report to include a description of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities on each project.

Next week: Update on Proposition 1 for March Primary ballot

2024 California Presidential Primary

  • Your county elections office will begin mailing ballots by February 5, 2024.

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 RW or GSRW) 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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