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AB-2249 High-speed rail: legislative oversight.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/13/2020 09:00 PM
AB2249:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2249


Introduced by Assembly Member Mathis

February 13, 2020


An act to amend Section 9149.22 of, and to add Article 7.7 (commencing with Section 9147.20) to Chapter 1.5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, to add Section 185031 to the Public Utilities Code, and to add Section 2704.79 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to high-speed rail.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2249, as introduced, Mathis. High-speed rail: legislative oversight.
The California High-Speed Rail Act creates the High-Speed Rail Authority to develop and implement a high-speed rail system in the state, with specified powers and duties. Existing law requires the authority, on or before March 1, 2017, and every 2 years thereafter, to provide a project update report, approved by the Secretary of Transportation as consistent with specified criteria, to the budget committees and the appropriate policy committees of both houses of the Legislature, on the development and implementation of intercity high-speed train service, as provided.
This bill would create the Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight consisting of 3 Members of the Senate and 3 Members of the Assembly and would require the committee to ascertain facts, review documents, and take action thereon, and make recommendations to the Legislature concerning the state’s programs, policies, and investments related to high-speed rail, as specified. The bill would require the authority and any entity contracting with the authority to give and furnish to the committee upon request information, records, and documents as the committee deems necessary and proper to achieve its purposes. The bill would require the authority to submit to the committee on a monthly basis certain information relating to the authority’s ongoing operations in the development and implementation of intercity high-speed train service, as provided.
Existing law prohibits an employee, as defined, from directly or indirectly using or attempting to use the official authority or influence of the employee for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding, or attempting to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or command any person for the purpose of interfering with the right of that person to disclose to a legislative committee improper governmental activities, as defined.
This bill, for those purposes, would expand the definition of “employee” to include an employee of an entity contracting with the authority, and would expand the definition of “improper governmental activity” to apply to certain activities of an entity contracting with the authority.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 7.7 (commencing with Section 9147.20) is added to Chapter 1.5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  7.7. Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight

9147.20.
 (a) The Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight is hereby created. The committee shall ascertain facts, review documents, and take action thereon, and make recommendations to the Legislature concerning the state’s programs, policies, and investments related to high-speed rail. Those recommendations shall be shared with other appropriate legislative standing committees, including the Assembly Committee on Transportation and the Senate Committee on Transportation. The committee has a continuing existence and may meet, act, and conduct its business at any place within this state, during the sessions of the Legislature or any recess thereof, and in the interim period between sessions.
(b) The committee shall consist of three Members of the Senate and three Members of the Assembly who shall be selected in the manner provided for in the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly. The committee shall elect its own chairperson. Vacancies occurring in the membership of the committee between general sessions of the Legislature shall be filled in the manner provided for in the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly. A vacancy shall be deemed to exist as to any member of the committee whose term is expiring whenever that member is not reelected at the general election.
(c) The committee may make rules governing its own proceedings and create subcommittees from its membership and assign to such subcommittees any study, inquiry, investigation, or hearing which the committee itself has authority to undertake or hold. Rule 36 of the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly relating to investigating committees applies to the committee and it shall have those powers, duties, and responsibilities as the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly shall from time to time prescribe, and all the powers conferred upon committees by Section 11 of Article IV of the California Constitution.
(d) In accordance with the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly, the committee may summon and subpoena witnesses, require the production of papers, books, accounts, reports, documents, records, and papers of every kind and description, issue subpoenas, and take all necessary means to compel the attendance of witnesses and to procure testimony, both oral and documentary.
(e) The High-Speed Rail Authority and any entity contracting with the authority shall give and furnish to the committee upon request information, records, and documents as the committee deems necessary and proper to achieve its purposes.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9149.22 of the Government Code is amended to read:

9149.22.
 For the purposes of this article, the following words have the following meanings:
(a) “Committee” means any investigating committee of the Legislature.
(b) “Employee” means any individual appointed by the Governor or employed or holding office in a state agency, as defined by Section 11000, including the California State University and the University of California, or any public entity as defined by Section 7260, or an entity contracting with the High-Speed Rail Authority, or any agency of local government, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 8 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
(c) “Improper governmental activity” means any activity by a governmental agency agency, by an entity contracting with the High-Speed Rail Authority, or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties, whether or not that action is within the scope of his or her their employment, and that (1) is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, corruption, malfeasance, bribery, theft of government property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse of government property, or willful omission to perform duty, or (2) is economically wasteful, or involves gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency.
(d) “Person” means any individual, corporation, trust, association, any state or local government, or any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing.
(e) “Use of official authority or influence” includes promising to confer, or conferring, any benefit; effecting, or threatening to effect, any reprisal; or taking, or directing others to take, or recommending, processing, or approving, any personnel action, including, but not limited to, appointment, promotion, transfer, assignment, performance evaluation, suspension, or other disciplinary action.

SEC. 3.

 Section 185031 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

185031.
 The authority shall submit to the Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight on a monthly basis all of the following:
(a) A summary and description of new contracts, and change orders or amendments to any existing contract, lease, real property acquisition agreement, or memorandum of understanding, including a justification for either of the following:
(1) Time extensions granted by the executive director.
(2) Increases in the dollar amount of any contract approved by the executive director.
(b) Complete copies of new executed change orders on construction contracts, including all supporting documents.
(c) A description of each use of contingency contained in the program baseline and program budget.
(d) Contingency balance trending information.
(e) Copies of any new nonmonetary agreements executed, such as memoranda of understanding, cooperative agreements, interagency agreements, or other agreements or instruments with federal, state, or local partners.
(f) Copies of any new grant agreements executed, where the authority is the grantee, with federal, state, or local grantors.
(g) A summary and description of any new fund transfers between line items within the authority’s authorized annual budget.
(h) A summary and description of all new procurements issued or amended.
(i) A summary of any new agreements negotiated related to planning, development, construction, mitigation, and implementation of agreements for facilities, physical improvements, or station or track infrastructure, including, but not limited to, management, repairs, and operations.
(j) A summary of any new agreements negotiated related to the necessary construction, removal, or relocation of highways, roadways, overpasses, or grade separations, and rail track relocation.
(k) A summary of any new funding agreements negotiated relative to high-speed train station area development.
(l) A summary and description of any new settlements for lawsuits, alternative dispute matters, and claims that the authority must defend.
(m) A description of any revisions to a state-preferred alternative or proposed project within an environmental document.
(n) A summary of any new litigation initiated to secure access and acquire real property for high-speed rail purposes.
(o) A summary of real property sold or exchanged.
(p) A summary of any new leases executed for right-of-way parcels.
(q) A description of any new contracts, compensation, apportionment of obligations, and settlement of claims or actions related to right-of-way relocation or removal related to publicly or privately owned utilities and utility facilities.
(r) A description of new lawsuits filed by, on behalf of, or against the authority, and an update on the status of ongoing litigation.
(s) An update on planned and actual expenditures for construction contracts.
(t) A list of parcels that must be acquired for construction contracts, the expected date each parcel will be acquired, and a justification for any new parcels added.
(u) A list of structures and guideway segments for each construction contract, the cost allocation for that portion of the contract, and the anticipated dates that each structure or guideway segment will be cleared for construction and substantially complete.
(v) A list of third-party agreements that must be completed for each construction contract, and the estimated date of completion.
(w) A list of incidental take permits that must be issued for each construction contract, and the anticipated date of approval.
(x) A list of environmental clearances that must be obtained for Phase 1, and the anticipated date of completion.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2704.79 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, immediately following Section 2704.78, to read:

2704.79.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(a) Issues identified by the Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight, with the concurrence of the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, be referred to the California State Auditor for further investigation pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 2704.04.
(b) Funds appropriated by the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04 be released in installments, and only upon a finding by the Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight that the authority has achieved benchmarks set forth in the annual Budget Act.
(c) The Joint Legislative Committee on High-Speed Rail Oversight review and approve any funding plan submitted pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 2704.08 before the Legislature appropriates bond proceeds for eligible capital costs on a corridor.