Monday, September 12, 2011


End of CA Legislative Season. Many Good Bills Head to Governor's Desk

Photo: Matthew Hendricks 
This was an exciting legislative season.  The Surfrider Foundation co-sponsored a piece of legislation that was authored by Senator Lowenthal.  SB 568 also known as The Sustainable Take-out Food Packaging Bill is geared toward phasing out Styrofoam food containers.  Styrofoam is one of the biggest sources of litter on our beaches and in our oceans.  The bill was put on hold and officially became a "2-year bill" (meaning it will come back during the next legislative season).  It's fairly common for bills to become "2-year bills".  Typically bills are put on hold to ensure enough votes are garnered from both houses to pass.

Assmblymember Lownethal said it best:
"I'm disappointed we were not able to get SB 568 off the Assembly floor this year.  The money and effort spent to kill this bill was too great to overscome.  We simply ran out of time.  However, I'm confident that given the rest of the year to educate a few more members...we will be successful".  
Read more about SB 568 here.

Good Bills Heading to Governor's Desk

AB 42 (Huffman)--is a bill that would allow nonprofit organizations to help operate state parks that might otherwise close.  This bi-partisan bill comes at dire times when the state is slated to close 25% of our state parks.  To send a message to the Governor asking him to sign the bill, sign this action alert created by our friends at the CA State Park Foundation here:

SB 833 (Vargas)-- is a much needed bill that would halt the development of a new landfill at Gregory Canyon in San Diego.  This horrible project would threaten drinking water for tens of thousands of residents, and would ruin adjacent Native America sites.  This bill also contains other wonder elements such as increased recycling, new technologies and the expansion of existing landfills.  Contact the Governor and tell him you support SB 833 here.

AB 376 (Fong and Huffman)--received copious media attention during the legislative season.  This bill   would help end the practice of shark finning by prohibiting sale, possession, or trade of shark fins in California.  Read more about it here.

The legislature will return in Janurary 2012.  Stay tuned as Surfrider will re-double our efforts to pass the Sustainable Take-out Food Packaging Bill.

AB 1319 (Pavley and Butler)-- is a much needed bill that would ban the use of BPA (a horrible chemical that has been linked to cancer and hormone disruption) in the use of baby bottles and sippy cups.  If Governor Brown signs the bill California will be the 11th state to ban BPA and will follow suit of other countries around the world.  Our friends at Environmental Working Group have this action alert, please sign it.

AB 1112 (Huffman)-- is a bill that authorizes the Office of Spill and Prevention and Response to temporarily increase the per barrel fee on oil from 5-cents to 6.5 cents beginning January 1 2012. The increase will prevent the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fund (OSPAF) from going into insolvency and helps ensure the OSPAF continues its critical oversight on oil extraction in our precious waterways.    

AB359 (Huffman)--this bill would require local groundwater agencies, as a condition of receiving state grants or loans for groundwater projects to include in their groundwater management plans a map identifying groundwater recharge areas.  These maps will identify areas that significantly contribute to the replenishment of the local groundwater supply.  This bill would also expand public notification when preparing and approving the groundwater plan, including the notification to organizations representing landowners within the identified prime recharge areas.      

The legislature will return in Janurary 2012.  Stay tuned as Surfrider will re-double our efforts to pass the Sustainable Take-Out Food Packaging Bill.


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