2017 Bills Authored by Senator Ben Allen

SB 50 – Public Lands Protection Act  

This bill is part of a package of measures aimed at safeguarding California’s environment from federal rollbacks. The bill gives the State Lands Commission first right of refusal to purchase the property if the federal government chooses to sell or lease any federally owned public lands in California.  The bill would prohibit a county recorder from recording a change in title if the federal government does not offer the state the opportunity to purchase the property.

SB 79 – Electric Vehicle Incentives

This bill incentivizes the purchase of zero emission vehicles, particularly in disadvantaged communities, by eliminating the sales tax on used plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) for buyers trading in older used cars.

SB 140Promise Zones

The Promise Neighborhoods program is a United States Department of Education initiative that provides grant funding to designated distressed urban and rural areas to assist these communities in improving educational and health outcomes for students and youth.  California has six federally-designated Promise Neighborhoods which have realized improvement in educational outcomes through this program.  This bill would give priority to Promise Zone neighborhoods for receiving funds under the Learning Communities for School Success Program.

SB 150Building Sustainable Communities

This bill will ensure California’s landmark Sustainable Communities law (SB 375) is helping the state meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals by requiring transportation planning agencies and the Air Resources Board (ARB) to report on and monitor progress being made toward achieving vehicle miles travelled reduction targets. The bill would require those agencies not meeting their targets to prioritize funding to make better progress.

SB 162 – Marijuana Advertising Act

The bill would prohibit advertisement of marijuana products by licensed sellers on merchandise targeting youths, such as t-shirts and caps.

SB 235 – Judicial Ballot Designation Reform

This bill requires candidates for judicial office to use a ballot title that provides an accurate, unembellished, description of their occupation.

SB 249 – Off-highway Motor Vehicle Reauthorization

California’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Program, which seeks to ensure residents can enjoy this form of outdoor recreation in a sustainable and safe manner, is set to sunset at the end of 2017.  This bill will reform and reauthorize the OHMVR program by balancing user opportunities, resource protection, and available funding, and putting in place effective safeguards ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these resources.  The bill updates the restoration program to better ensure that while these park lands are managed for recreation, their natural and cultural resources are protected.

SB 402 – Marine Fisheries

This bill will ensure the state’s representatives to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council retain authority over state marine fisheries.

SB 424 – Environmental Education

The bill seeks to improve environmental education by expanding the work of the California Regional Environmental Education Community Network designed to connect teachers with nonformal resources, such as outdoor education providers, zoos, aquaria, to supplement and support what is being taught in the classroom.

SB 436 – California STEM Professional Teaching Pathway Act of 2017

The bill will address the teacher shortage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by establishing a state program to recruit, prepare, and support the transition of STEM professionals and military veterans into the teaching profession. 

SB 461 – Small Hotel and Motels

This bill permits alcohol manufacturers to also own hotels, provided they have at least 50 rooms.

SB 541 – Stormwater Guidelines for Schools

This legislation directs the State Water Resources Control Board and the Division of the State Architect to develop stormwater capture guidelines for school sites. This bill is supported by the cities working together to address stormwater.

SB 560 – Protecting Pensions from Climate Risk

This bill requires public pension funds to consider the potential risks posed to investments, or to potential investments, resulting from the impacts of climate change.

SB 602 – Pollinator Protection Act

This bill classifies neonicotinoids (neonics) as restricted pesticides and requires labeling of plants sold at the retail level that have been treated with neonics.

SB 651 – Petition Disclosure Act

This bill would require that petitions circulated by paid circulators to include a disclosure of the entities from which the committee received the 3 largest cumulative contributions of $50,000 or more in support of the measure.

SB 674 – Student Loan Refinancing

This bill provides California students with private loans the opportunity to refinance their loans at lower interest rates by expanding the California Student Loan Refinancing Program.

SB 692 – Renewable Energy Charges

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) operates the electricity transmission grid and assesses transmission access charges (TACs) to pay for the transmission system. In much of California, TACs are unfairly applied to energy from distributed generation (DG) resources, which are primarily renewable energy located close to homes and businesses and therefore do not use the transmission grid to deliver energy.  Because of the misapplied TAC charge, DG projects effectively subsidize less clean energy sources. This subsidy inflates the demand for new transmission facilities, which means ratepayers pay for much more transmission infrastructure than they need.  SB 692 corrects this inequity by preventing transmission fees from being charged on sources that do not use the transmission grid.

SB 705 – The Ocean Pollution Reduction Act

This bill prohibits food providers such as restaurants, grocery stores and supermarkets from selling food in disposable food containers that are made of polystyrene (Styrofoam).  Polystyrene is a major source of ocean pollution.

SB 768 – Accelerating Transportation Projects

SB 768 permits regional transportation agencies and CalTrans to enter into Public-Private Partnerships (P3s), with no restrictions on the number or type of projects that could be undertaken. The bill deletes a restriction in current law that prohibits any P3 lease agreements from being entered into after January 1, 2017.  Regional transportation agencies such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority are considering P3s as a means to accelerate delivery of high-demand transportation projects.

SB 777 – Arts Education Access Bill

This bill requires the State Department of Education to establish a statewide program to provide professional development training to assist school districts and county boards of education with offering instruction in visual and performing arts.