By: OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer
As part of the legislative platform approved by the Board of Supervisors, several bills sponsored by Orange County were introduced by state legislators by last Friday’s bill introduction deadline.
“As a former state legislator, I understand how important it is to have locally-proposed legislation in the State Capitol,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “Local input is vital for reminding the Legislature of the needs of the people in the district, not just the ideas proposed by Sacramento lobbyists.”
Assembly Bill 2151 was introduced by Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine). AB 2151 will allow counties to bill a person for the cost of their own search or rescue if the person’s search or rescue was the result of their own wanton and reckless misconduct or for a violation of law.
“AB 2151 is a valuable tool to ensure that taxpayers are not stuck paying the bill for wanton and reckless behavior,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “Taxpayer-funded searches and rescues are designed for accidents, not for ‘on purposes’ that are a result of negligence or criminal activity.”
The County is sponsoring AB 2151 at the behest of Supervisor Spitzer. Last year, Costa Mesa residents Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, went missing in the Trabuco Canyon. After a massive search by the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, OC Parks, and several other agencies, including both paid personnel and unpaid reservists, Cendoya was found after four days and Jack after five days. OCFA reports that both admitted to being under the influence of drugs when they got lost in the canyon. Cendoya pled guilty in court to a criminal charge of possession of methamphetamine.
Senate Bill 1226 was introduced by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) and coauthored by Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa). This bill will allow Orange County to contract with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for the FPPC to enforce campaign finance and ethics rules in Orange County.
“Many people have called for an Orange County Ethics Commission to enforce campaign finance and ethics rules while others have expressed concern about creating a new government bureaucracy,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “SB 1226 is a critical government reform bill that gives us the best of both worlds by bringing in the expertise of the FPPC, which is the State’s existing Ethics Commission.”
Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Patricia C. Bates confirmed in meetings with the FPPC that the state commission will be able to enforce current TINCUP limits (TINCUP is the County’s existing campaign finance reform ordinance).
The County is sponsoring SB 1226 at the behest of a subcommittee formed by Chairman Shawn Nelson and Supervisor Spitzer, who investigated options for increased ethics enforcement in Orange County.
SB 1224 (Correa) and AB 2628 (Mansoor) were two other Orange County-sponsored bills introduced by the bill introduction deadline.
SB 1224 authorizes Medi-Cal reimbursements to federally qualified health centers for a maximum of two medical visits for one patient on the same day and also allows clinic primary care providers to make same day referrals for mental health treatment.
AB 2628 allows for the appointment of an alternate member on the Orange County Employees Retirement System Board.