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AB-1617 Department of Fish and Wildlife: Fish and Game Commission: funding: strategic vision.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/16/2017 04:00 AM
AB1617:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 15, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1617


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Chiu)

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 710.7 of the Fish and Game Code, and to amend Section 12805.3 of the Government Code, relating to fish and wildlife.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1617, as amended, Bloom. Department of Fish and Wildlife: funding. Fish and Game Commission: funding: strategic vision.
Existing law makes legislative findings that the Department of Fish and Wildlife continues to be inadequately funded to meet its mandates and that the department must secure a significant increase in reliable funding, in addition to user fees. Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature that the department cooperate with the Legislature, recreational users, conservation organizations, the commercial fishing industry, and other interested parties to identify and propose new alternative sources of revenue to fund the department’s necessary marine conservation, restoration, and resources management and protection responsibilities. Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature to identify new funding sources and to secure those sources to adequately fund the department’s activities directed at protecting and managing wildlife for the people of the state.
Existing law requires the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to convene a committee to develop and submit to the Governor and Legislature, before July 1, 2012, a strategic vision for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Game Commission that addresses specified matters relating to state fish and wildlife resource management. Existing law requires the Governor or the committee to appoint a “blue ribbon” citizen commission or task force, a stakeholder advisory group, and any other group that the Governor or the committee deems necessary or desirable to assist in developing the strategic vision.
This bill would require the department, in cooperation with the above-mentioned parties and additional specified parties, to identify and propose new sources of revenue to fund the department’s necessary wildlife, land, and marine conservation, restoration, and resources management and protection responsibilities. The bill would require the department, by an unspecified date, to identify and propose new funding sources to adequately fund its activities directed at protecting and managing wildlife for the people of the state. Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to appoint a stakeholder advisory group to report to the Governor and Legislature, before July 1, 2018, on the progress made toward the implementation of the strategic vision. The bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to direct the department to evaluate and implement program efficiencies as part of its strategic planning effort and to establish a high-level task force that reviews and makes recommendations regarding Fish and Game Commission and department mandates, efficiencies, and funding, as described in specified recommendations contained in the strategic vision.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 710.7 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

710.7.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The department continues to face serious funding instability due to revenue declines from traditional user fees and taxes and the addition of new and expanded program responsibilities.
(2) Historically, the hunting and sport fishing communities, the commercial fishing industry, and the General Fund have provided substantial funding for much of the department’s fishery and wildlife management activities.
(3) As the state’s population grows and development changes historic land uses, fish and wildlife continue to be depleted, necessitating a significant portion of the department’s activities to be directed toward protecting fish and wildlife for the benefit of the people of the state.
(4) The California Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision released in April 2012 determined that “[s]uccessful natural resource stewardship depends upon stable, adequate funding.”
(b) The department shall, in cooperation with the Legislature, the hunting and sport fishing communities, the commercial fishing industry, conservation and wildlife protection organizations, and other interested parties, identify and propose new sources of revenue to fund the department’s necessary wildlife, land, and marine conservation, restoration, and resources management and protection responsibilities.

(c)The department shall identify and propose new funding sources to adequately fund its activities directed at protecting and managing wildlife for the people of the state by ____.

(c) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall direct the department to do both of the following:
(1) Evaluate and implement program efficiencies as part of its strategic planning effort, as described in recommendation number two of the “Mandates, Funding and Efficiencies Recommendations” portion of the strategic vision report submitted to the Governor and Legislature pursuant to Section 12805.3 of the Government Code.
(2) Establish a high-level task force that reviews and makes recommendations regarding commission and department mandates, efficiencies, and funding, as described in recommendations number three and number four of the “Mandates, Funding and Efficiencies Recommendations” portion of the strategic vision report submitted to the Governor and Legislature pursuant to Section 12805.3 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12805.3 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12805.3.
 (a) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall convene a committee to develop and submit to the Governor and the Legislature, before July 1, 2012, a strategic vision for the Department of Fish and Game Wildlife and the Fish and Game Commission.
(b) The committee members shall include all of the following:
(1) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency.
(2) The Director of Fish and Game. Wildlife.
(3) The president of the Fish and Game Commission.
(4) The chair of the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.
(5) A representative of the University of California.
(6) Representatives of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, if they choose to participate.
(c) The strategic vision shall address all of the following matters:
(1) Improving and enhancing capacity of the department and the commission to fulfill their public trust responsibilities to protect and manage the state’s fish and wildlife for their ecological values and for the use and benefit of the people of the state.
(2) Comprehensive biodiversity management, including conservation planning and monitoring.
(3) Sustainable ecosystem functions, including terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitat.
(4) Opportunities for sustainable recreational and commercial harvest of fish and wildlife.
(5) Permitting, regulatory, and enforcement functions.
(6) Science capacity and academic relationships, including strategies to protect and enhance the independence and integrity of the science that forms the basis for department and commission policies and decisions.
(7) Education, communication, and relations with the public, landowners, nonprofit entities, and land management agencies.
(8) Reforms necessary to take on the challenges of the 21st century, including, but not necessarily limited to:
(A) Climate change and adaptation.
(B) Meeting California’s future renewable energy needs while protecting sensitive habitat.
(C) The restoration of the state’s native fish species.
(D) Implementing and updating the state’s Wildlife Action Plan.
(9) The development and deployment of technology to meet the department’s mission, including data modeling, collection, and online reporting.
(10) Budget and fiscal development, accounting, and management.
(11) Coordination among state agencies.
(12) Recommendations for institutional or governance changes, including clarification of the roles of the commission and the department.
(13) Strategies for identifying stable funding options to fulfill the mission of the department while reducing dependency on the General Fund.
(14) Other recommendations deemed desirable by the committee.
(d) The committee shall seek input from elected officials, governmental agencies, and interested parties, and shall review existing reports and studies on the functioning of the department and other state models for fish and wildlife governance.
(e) For the purposes of carrying out this section, the committee may also seek input from other policy and resource leaders.
(f) (1) The committee, its members, and state agencies represented on the committee may contract for consultants to assist in the preparation of the strategic vision.
(2) Contracts entered into pursuant to paragraph (1) shall terminate no later than December 31, 2011.
(3) Contracts entered into pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be exempt from Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.
(g) The Governor or the committee shall appoint a “blue ribbon” citizen commission or task force, a stakeholder advisory group, and any other group that the Governor or the committee deems necessary or desirable to assist in carrying out this section. A stakeholder advisory group appointed pursuant to this section shall be broadly constructed to represent a diverse range of interests affected by state policies that govern fish and wildlife, including, but not necessarily limited to, persons representing fishing and hunting interests, nonprofit conservation organizations, nonconsumptive recreational users, landowners, scientific and educational interests, and other interests or entities dedicated to habitat conservation and protection of public trust resources. The committee convened pursuant to subdivision (a), in developing the strategic vision, shall take into account the recommendations of any group appointed pursuant to this subdivision.
(h) (1) The requirement for submitting the strategic vision imposed under subdivision (a) is inoperative on January 1, 2015, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, or on the date that the strategic vision is submitted, whichever date is later.
(2) The strategic vision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(i) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall appoint a stakeholder advisory group, consistent with the appointment requirements for the stakeholder advisory group described in subdivision (g), to report to the Governor and the Legislature before July 1, 2018, on the progress made toward implementation of the strategic vision. The report required pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.