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AB-1789 Electrical corporations: high firethreat areas: electrical grid monitoring equipment.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/25/2019 09:00 PM
AB1789:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1789


Introduced by Assembly Member Flora

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 1808.1 of the Vehicle Code, relating to the Department of Motor Vehicles. add Section 768.2 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1789, as amended, Flora. Department of Motor Vehicles: records: pull-notice system. Electrical corporations: high firethreat areas: electrical grid monitoring equipment.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law requires each electrical corporation to construct, maintain, and operate its electrical lines and equipment in a manner that will minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire posed by those electrical lines and equipment. Existing law authorizes the commission to prescribe the installation, use, maintenance, and operation of appropriate safety or other devices or appliances.
This bill would require each electrical corporation to install monitoring equipment on transmission and distribution lines in high fire threat areas as designated by the commission by December 31, 2020. The bill would require that the monitoring equipment be installed between each set of poles or towers, generate raw data on line temperature, ambient temperature, electrical current, line movement, and barometric pressure, access satellite communication for connectivity, and be noninvasive at point of installation.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill are within the act and require action by the commission to implement their requirements, a violation of which would be a crime, these provisions would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Existing law requires an employer of a driver who drives a specified vehicle to participate in a pull-notice system, which is a process for the purpose of providing the employer with a report showing the driver’s current public record, and any subsequent convictions, failures to appear, accidents, driver’s license suspensions, driver’s license revocations, or any other actions taken against the driving privilege or certificate, added to the driver’s record while the employer’s notification request remains valid and has not been canceled. Existing law also requires the employer of the driver to obtain a periodic report from the department at least every 12 months. Existing law provides that for purposes of the pull-notice system and periodic report process, an owner, other than the owner-operator, employer, family member, and volunteer who drives a vehicle shall be enrolled as if they were an employee. A violation of these provisions is a crime.

This bill would require, if an owner-operator has a family member or a volunteer driver who drives the specified vehicle, the owner-operator to also be enrolled as if they were an employee. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 768.2 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

768.2.
 (a) By December 31, 2020, each electrical corporation shall install monitoring equipment on transmission and distribution lines in high fire threat areas as designated by the commission. The monitoring equipment shall be installed between each set of poles or towers and shall generate raw data on line temperature, ambient temperature, electrical current, line movement, and barometric pressure. The monitoring technology shall access satellite communication for connectivity and be noninvasive at point of installation.
(b) Monitoring equipment installed pursuant to this section shall be installed and maintained by the utility workforce, or by workers who are paid the prevailing wage for all installation- and maintenance-related work. The Director of Industrial Relations shall determine the prevailing wage in accordance with the standards set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 1770) of Chapter 1 of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code. A nonutility enterprise installing or maintaining monitoring equipment shall submit wage schedules to the commission as a condition for recovery of expenses and shall make all payroll records available to the commission for enforcement purposes pursuant to this part. Certified payrolls submitted to the commission shall be public records.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 1808.1 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
1808.1.

(a)The prospective employer of a driver who drives a vehicle specified in subdivision (k) shall obtain a report showing the driver’s current public record as recorded by the department. For purposes of this subdivision, a report is current if it was issued less than 30 days before the date the employer employs the driver. The report shall be reviewed, signed, and dated by the employer and maintained at the employer’s place of business until receipt of the pull-notice system report pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c). These reports shall be presented upon request to an authorized representative of the Department of the California Highway Patrol during regular business hours.

(b)The employer of a driver who drives a vehicle specified in subdivision (k) shall participate in a pull-notice system, which is a process for the purpose of providing the employer with a report showing the driver’s current public record as recorded by the department, and any subsequent convictions, failures to appear, accidents, driver’s license suspensions, driver’s license revocations, or any other actions taken against the driving privilege or certificate, added to the driver’s record while the employer’s notification request remains valid and has not been canceled. As used in this section, participation in the pull-notice system means obtaining a requester code and enrolling all employed drivers who drive a vehicle specified in subdivision (k) under that requester code.

(c)The employer of a driver of a vehicle specified in subdivision (k) shall, additionally, obtain a periodic report from the department at least every 12 months. The employer shall verify that each employee’s driver’s license has not been suspended or revoked, the employee’s traffic violation point count, and whether the employee has been convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153. The report shall be signed and dated by the employer and maintained at the employer’s principal place of business. The report shall be presented upon demand to an authorized representative of the Department of the California Highway Patrol during regular business hours.

(d)Upon the termination of a driver’s employment, the employer shall notify the department to discontinue the driver’s enrollment in the pull-notice system.

(e)(1)For purposes of the pull-notice system and periodic report process required by subdivisions (b) and (c), an owner and an employer who drives a vehicle described in subdivision (k) shall be enrolled as if they were an employee. A family member and a volunteer driver who drives a vehicle described in subdivision (k) shall also be enrolled as if they were an employee.

(2)For purposes of the pull-notice system and periodic report process required by subdivisions (b) and (c), an owner-operator, as defined in Section 34624, shall not be required to enroll in the pull-notice system. However, if an owner-operator has a family member or a volunteer driver who drives a vehicle described in subdivision (k), the owner-operator and the family member or volunteer driver shall also be enrolled as if they were an employee.

(f)An employer who, after receiving a driving record pursuant to this section, employs or continues to employ as a driver a person against whom a disqualifying action has been taken regarding their driving privilege or required driver’s certificate, is guilty of a public offense, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by confinement in a county jail for not more than six months, by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that confinement and fine.

(g)As part of its inspection of bus maintenance facilities and terminals required at least once every 13 months pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 34501, the Department of the California Highway Patrol shall determine whether each transit operator, as defined in Section 99210 of the Public Utilities Code, is then in compliance with this section and Section 12804.6, and shall certify each operator found to be in compliance. Funds shall not be allocated pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 99200) of Part 11 of Division 10 of the Public Utilities Code to a transit operator that the Department of the California Highway Patrol has not certified pursuant to this section.

(h)(1)A request to participate in the pull-notice system established by this section shall be accompanied by a fee determined by the department to be sufficient to defray the entire actual cost to the department for the notification service. For the receipt of subsequent reports, the employer shall also be charged a fee established by the department pursuant to Section 1811. An employer who qualifies pursuant to Section 1812 shall be exempt from any fee required pursuant to this section. Failure to pay the fee shall result in automatic cancellation of the employer’s participation in the notification services.

(2)A regularly organized fire department, having official recognition of the city, county, city and county, or district where the department is located, shall participate in the pull-notice program and shall not be subject to the fee established pursuant to this subdivision.

(3)The Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun, and its port agent shall participate in the pull-notice system established by this section, subject to Section 1178.5 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, and shall not be subject to the fees established pursuant to this subdivision.

(i)The department, as soon as feasible, may establish an automatic procedure to provide the periodic reports to an employer by mail or via an electronic delivery method, as required by subdivision (c), on a regular basis without the need for individual requests.

(j)(1)The employer of a driver who is employed as a casual driver is not required to enter that driver’s name in the pull-notice system, as otherwise required by subdivision (a). However, the employer of a casual driver shall be in possession of a report of the driver’s current public record as recorded by the department, before allowing a casual driver to drive a vehicle specified in subdivision (k). A report is current if it was issued less than six months before the date the employer employs the driver.

(2)For the purposes of this subdivision, a driver is employed as a casual driver if the employer has employed the driver less than 30 days during the preceding six months. “Casual driver” does not include a driver who operates a vehicle that requires a passenger transportation endorsement.

(k)This section applies to a vehicle for the operation of which the driver is required to have a class A or class B driver’s license, a class C license with any endorsement issued pursuant to Section 15278, a class C license issued pursuant to Section 12814.7, or a certificate issued pursuant to Section 12517, 12519, 12520, 12523, 12523.5, or 12527, a passenger vehicle having a seating capacity of not more than 10 persons, including the driver, operated for compensation by a charter-party carrier of passengers or passenger stage corporation pursuant to a certificate of public convenience and necessity or a permit issued by the Public Utilities Commission, or a permitted taxicab company as described in Section 53075.5 of the Government Code.

(l)This section does not change the definition of “employer,” “employee,” or “independent contractor” for any purpose.

(m)A motor carrier who contracts with a person to drive a vehicle described in subdivision (k) that is owned by, or leased to, that motor carrier, is subject to subdivisions (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), (j), (k), and (l) and the employer obligations in those subdivisions.

(n)Reports issued pursuant to this section, but only those for a driver of a taxicab engaged in transportation service, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 53075.5 of the Government Code, shall be presented upon request, during regular business hours, to an authorized representative of the administrative agency responsible for issuing permits to taxicab transportation services pursuant to Section 53075.5 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.