FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2014
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Governor Signs Huff Measure to Save Taxpayer Money
SB 1251 Helps Local Cities Adopt Joint Powers Authorities
SACRAMENTO: Legislation that will allow cities to share valuable resources that will save taxpayer money has been signed into law in California. SB 1251, authored by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), will allow the cities of Brea and Fullerton to enter into a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) agreement by removing roadblocks that prevented these cities from taking advantage of this cost-sharing model.
Joint powers are created when two or more agencies agree to share resources and establish a joint approach to provide a public service through a new legal entity. JPAs are used for services like road construction, bus services, airport management, sanitation districts, stadium construction or police and fire services. An example of one of the largest JPAs in Orange County is the Orange County Fire Authority, which serves nearly 1.8 million residents in 23 cities and unincorporated areas from 71 fire stations.
“The formation of JPAs are important tools for many cities in California because they are more effective and save valuable taxpayer money,” said Senator Huff. “It’s important that we remove the obstacles that prevent cities from forming more of these agreements and I’m pleased that the Governor agreed with this needed change.”
Senator Huff agreed to author SB 1251 after the cities of Brea and Fullerton attempted to form a JPA, only to discover that JPA laws were not aligned with recently passed public pension reforms. Employees who would have transferred from one agency to the newly formed JPA would have been penalized with a loss of benefits they had already earned.
“With the signing of SB 1251, we will build on the success of our 2011 agreement with Fullerton to share fire resources through the formation of a JPA,” said City of Brea Mayor, Brett Murdock. “We can now move forward with this innovative approach to contain costs and preserve public safety services in our two cities. We very much appreciate Senator Huff’s support in this effort.”
The changes signed into law by the governor will allow the cities of Brea and Fullerton to form a JPA while retaining employees and their current benefits.
“The City of Fullerton is appreciative of the opportunities afforded by the signing of Senator Huff’s bill by Governor Brown,” said Fullerton City Council Member Jennifer Fitzgerald. “The bipartisan support for this legislation recognizes our local efforts to continue to achieve efficient models of local government, creating real savings for taxpayers.”
Senator Huff serves as the Senate Republican Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.