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AB-291 California Sunset Review Commission.(2013-2014)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 291


Introduced by Assembly Member Nestande

February 11, 2013


An act to amend and repeal Sections 9147.7, 9148.50, 9148.51, and 9148.52 of, to amend, repeal, and add Section 9148.8 of, and to add Article 7.6 (commencing with Section 9147.9) to Chapter 1.5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 291, as introduced, Nestande. California Sunset Review Commission.
Existing law establishes the Joint Sunset Review Committee, a legislative committee comprised of 10 Members of the Legislature, to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies and to conduct a comprehensive analysis of every “eligible agency” for which a date for repeal has been established, to determine if the agency is still necessary and cost effective. Existing law requires each eligible agency scheduled for repeal to submit a report to the committee containing specified information. Existing law requires the committee to take public testimony and evaluate the eligible agency prior to the date the agency is scheduled to be repealed, and requires that an eligible agency be eliminated unless the Legislature enacts a law to extend, consolidate, or reorganize the agency. Existing law also requires the committee to review eligible agencies and evaluate and determine whether each has demonstrated a public need for its continued existence and to submit a report to the Legislature detailing whether an agency should be terminated, continued, or whether its functions should be modified.
This bill would abolish the Joint Sunset Review Committee on January 1 or an unspecified year. The bill would, commencing on that same January 1, establish the California Sunset Review Commission within the executive branch to assess the continuing need for any agency, as defined, to exist. The commission would consist of 10 members, with 8 members appointed by the Governor and 2 Members of the Legislature each appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly, subject to specified terms. The commission would be under the direction of a director appointed by the commission members. The bill would require the commission to meet regularly and to work with each agency subject to review to evaluate the need for the agency to exist, identify required statutory, regulatory, or management changes, and develop legislative proposals to enact those changes. The bill would require the commission to prepare a report, containing legislative recommendations based on its agency review, to be submitted to the Legislature and would also require the commission to meet certain cost-savings standards within 5 years.
This bill would require an agency to submit a specified self-evaluation report to the commission prior to its review. The bill would require the Legislative Analyst’s Office to provide the commission with an estimate of the staffing needed to perform the commission’s work.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 9147.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:

9147.7.
 (a) For the purpose of this section, “eligible agency” means any agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, conservancy, council, department, division, or office of state government, however denominated, excluding an agency that is constitutionally created or an agency related to postsecondary education, for which a date for repeal has been established by statute on or after January 1, 2011.
(b) The Joint Sunset Review Committee is hereby created to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. The purpose of the committee is to conduct a comprehensive analysis over 15 years, and on a periodic basis thereafter, of every eligible agency to determine if the agency is still necessary and cost effective.
(c) Each eligible agency scheduled for repeal shall submit to the committee, on or before December 1 prior to the year it is set to be repealed, a complete agency report covering the entire period since last reviewed, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The purpose and necessity of the agency.
(2) A description of the agency budget, priorities, and job descriptions of employees of the agency.
(3) Any programs and projects under the direction of the agency.
(4) Measures of the success or failures of the agency and justifications for the metrics used to evaluate successes and failures.
(5) Any recommendations of the agency for changes or reorganization in order to better fulfill its purpose.
(d) The committee shall take public testimony and evaluate the eligible agency prior to the date the agency is scheduled to be repealed. An eligible agency shall be eliminated unless the Legislature enacts a law to extend, consolidate, or reorganize the eligible agency. No eligible agency shall be extended in perpetuity unless specifically exempted from the provisions of this section. The committee may recommend that the Legislature extend the statutory sunset date for no more than one year to allow the committee more time to evaluate the eligible agency.
(e) The committee shall be comprised of 10 members of the Legislature. The Senate Committee on Rules shall appoint five members of the Senate to the committee, not more than three of whom shall be members of the same political party. The Speaker of the Assembly shall appoint five members of the Assembly to the committee, not more than three of whom shall be members of the same political party. Members shall be appointed within 15 days after the commencement of the regular session. Each member of the committee who is appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules or the Speaker of the Assembly shall serve during that committee member’s term of office or until that committee member no longer is a Member of the Senate or the Assembly, whichever is applicable. A vacancy on the committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Three Assembly Members and three Senators who are members of the committee shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of committee business. Members of the committee shall receive no compensation for their work with the committee.
(f) The committee shall meet not later than 30 days after the first day of the regular session to choose a chairperson and to establish the schedule for eligible agency review provided for in the statutes governing the eligible agencies. The chairperson of the committee shall alternate every two years between a Member of the Senate and a Member of the Assembly, and the vice chairperson of the committee shall be a member of the opposite house as the chairperson.
(g) This section shall not be construed to change the existing jurisdiction of the budget or policy committees of the Legislature.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 20__, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 20__, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Article 7.6 (commencing with Section 9147.9) is added to Chapter 1.5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  7.6. California Sunset Review Commission

9147.9.
 This article may be cited as the California Sunset Review Commission Act.

9147.11.
 For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Agency” means any agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, conservancy, council, department, division, or office of state government, however denominated, excluding an agency that is constitutionally created or an agency related to postsecondary education.
(b) “Commission” means the California Sunset Review Commission.
(c) “Act” means the California Sunset Review Commission Act.

9147.13.
 The California Sunset Review Commission is hereby created within the executive branch of state government. The commission shall be located in Sacramento.

9147.15.
 (a) The commission shall consist of 10 members.
(1) The Governor shall appoint 8 members to serve a term of four years.
(2) The Senate Committee on Rules shall appoint one Member of the Senate to serve a term of two years or until that Member is no longer a Member of the Senate, whichever is applicable.
(3) The Speaker of the Assembly shall appoint one Member of the Assembly to serve a term of two years or until that Member is no longer a Member of the Assembly, whichever is applicable.
(b) The commission shall appoint a chairperson from its members appointed pursuant to paragraph (1).
(c) The Members of the Legislature appointed to the commission shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing power and shall participate in the activities of the commission to the extent that the participation is not incompatible with their respective positions as Members of the Legislature.
(d) A vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(e) (1) The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, except that each member appointed by the Governor shall receive fifty dollars ($50) for each day’s attendance at a meeting of the commission.
(2) Each member shall be allowed actual expenses incurred in the discharge of his or her duties, including travel expenses.

9147.17.
 (a) The commission shall be under the direction of a director appointed by the commission members.
(b) The director shall employ sufficient staff to carry out the commission’s responsibilities.
(c) The Legislative Analyst’s Office shall estimate the staffing needed to manage the workload of the commission.

9147.19.
 (a) The commission shall serve in an advisory capacity and shall meet regularly to assess and review the continuing need for an agency to exist.
(b) Prior to the commission’s review of an agency, the commission staff shall work with each agency to evaluate the need for the agency to exist, identify required statutory, regulatory, or management changes, and develop recommendation for legislative proposals to enact those changes. The commission shall also consult with interest groups, affected agencies, and other interested parties in reviewing an agency.
(c) In carrying out its duties pursuant to this section, the commission shall evaluate an agency pursuant to the following criteria, as applicable:
(1) The efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s operations.
(2) Whether the agency has been successful in achieving its mission, goals, and objectives.
(3) Whether the agency performs duties that are not statutorily authorized and, if so, identify the authority for those activities and whether those activities are needed.
(4) Whether the agency has any authority related to fees, inspections, enforcement, and penalties.
(5) Whether the agency’s functions and operations could be less burdensome or restrictive while still serving the public.
(6) Whether the functions of the agency could be effectively consolidated or merged with another agency to promote efficiency in government.
(7) Whether the agency’s programs and jurisdiction duplicate those of other state agencies.
(8) Whether the agency promptly and effectively addresses complaints.
(9) Whether the agency utilizes public participation for rulemaking and decisions and, if so, whether it is done in an effective manner.
(10) Whether the agency complied with federal and state requirements regarding equal employment, privacy rights, and purchasing guidelines for underutilized businesses.
(11) Whether the agency effectively enforces rules regarding the potential conflicts of interest of its employees.
(12) Whether abolishing the agency would cause federal government intervention or loss of federal funds.
(13) Whether the agency’s statutory reporting requirements effectively fulfill a useful purpose; and whether there are reporting requirements of this agency that are duplicative of other agencies or can effectively be combined or consolidated into another agency that has similar requirements.
(d) The commission shall take public testimony from agency staff, interest groups, and affected parties relating to whether an agency should continue in existence.
(e) (1) The commission shall prepare a staff report to be submitted to the Legislature. The report shall include, but not be limited to, specific recommendations to the Legislature to enact legislation to do the following:
(A) Repeal unnecessary, outdated, or unnecessary statutes, regulations, and programs.
(B) Develop reorganization plans that abolish and streamline existing agencies, if needed. 
(2) A report to the Legislature pursuant to this section shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.
(3) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 10231.5

9147.21.
 Prior to review by the commission, an agency shall submit a self-evaluation report to the commission. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the criteria described in subdivision (c) of Section 9147.19.

9147.23.
 In order to ensure accountability, the commission shall demonstrate a 5-to-1 cost savings within the first five years of sunset review hearings, and every five years thereafter. For every dollar it costs to run the commission, five dollars ($5) shall be saved in streamlining the government process and eliminating unnecessary agencies.

9147.25.
 This article shall become operative on January 1, 20__.

SEC. 3.

 Section 9148.8 of the Government Code is amended to read:

9148.8.
 (a) The appropriate policy committee of the Legislature may evaluate a plan prepared pursuant to Section 9148.4 or 9148.6. The chairperson of a policy committee may alternatively require that the Joint Sunset Review Committee evaluate and provide recommendations on any plan prepared pursuant to Section 9148.4 or 9148.6, or any other legislative issue or proposal to create a new state board.
(b) The Joint Sunset Review Committee shall provide to the respective policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature any evaluation and recommendations prepared pursuant to this section.
(c) If an appropriate policy committee does not evaluate a plan prepared pursuant to Section 9148.6, then the Joint Sunset Review Committee shall evaluate the plan and provide recommendations to the Legislature.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 20__, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 20__, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 4.

 Section 9148.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:

9148.8.
 (a) The appropriate policy committee of the Legislature may evaluate a plan prepared pursuant to Section 9148.4 or 9148.6. The chairperson of a policy committee may alternatively require that the California Sunset Review Commission evaluate and provide recommendations on any plan prepared pursuant to Section 9148.4 or 9148.6, or any other legislative issue or proposal to create a new state board.
(b) The California Sunset Review Commission shall provide to the respective policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature any evaluation and recommendations prepared pursuant to this section.
(c) If an appropriate policy committee does not evaluate a plan prepared pursuant to Section 9148.6, then the California Sunset Review Commission shall evaluate the plan and provide recommendations to the Legislature.
This section shall become operative on January 1, 20__.

SEC. 5.

 Section 9148.50 of the Government Code is amended to read:

9148.50.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California’s multilevel, complex governmental structure today contains more than 400 categories of administrative or regulatory boards, commissions, committees, councils, associations, and authorities.
(b) These administrative or regulatory boards, commissions, committees, councils, associations, and authorities have been established without any method of periodically reviewing their necessity, effectiveness, or utility.
(c) As a result, the Legislature and residents of California cannot be assured that existing or proposed administrative or regulatory boards, commissions, committees, councils, associations, and authorities adequately protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 20__, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 20__, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 6.

 Section 9148.51 of the Government Code is amended to read:

9148.51.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that all existing and proposed eligible agencies, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 9147.7, be subject to review to evaluate and determine whether each has demonstrated a public need for its continued existence in accordance with enumerated factors and standards as set forth in Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 9147.7).
(b) If any state board becomes inoperative or is repealed in accordance with the act that added this section, any provision of existing law that provides for the appointment of board members and specifies the qualifications and tenure of board members shall not be implemented and shall have no force or effect while that state board is inoperative or repealed.
(c) Any provision of law authorizing the appointment of an executive officer by a state board subject to the review described in Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 9147.7), or prescribing his or her duties, shall not be implemented and shall have no force or effect while the applicable state board is inoperative or repealed.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 20__, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 20__, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 7.

 Section 9148.52 of the Government Code is amended to read:

9148.52.
 (a) The Joint Sunset Review Committee established pursuant to Section 9147.7 shall review all eligible agencies.
(b) The committee shall evaluate and make determinations pursuant to Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 9147.7).
(c) Pursuant to an evaluation made as specified in this section, the committee shall make a report which shall be available to the public and the Legislature on whether an agency should be terminated, or continued, or whether its functions should be revised or consolidated with those of another agency, and include any other recommendations as necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency. If the committee deems it advisable, the report may include proposed legislative proposals that would carry out its recommendations.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 20__, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 20__, deletes or extends that date.