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SB-96 Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Fire Department Protection Act of 2021: elections.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 12/21/20 - Introduced Compare Versions information image


SB96:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 96


Introduced by Senators Dahle and Becker

December 21, 2020


An act to add Sections 61049 and 61108 to the Government Code, relating to community services districts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 96, as introduced, Dahle. Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Fire Department Protection Act of 2021: elections.
Existing law, the Community Services District Law, specifies the procedures for district formation and the selection of district governing board members. That law also requires a person to be a voter of the district in order to serve on its board of directors.
Existing law, the Uniform District Election Law, provides for landowner voting districts, in which each voter is required to be an owner of land located within the district. Existing law also provides for resident voting districts, which are districts other than landowner voting districts.
Under existing law, the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District is a resident voting district.
This bill would require the El Dorado County elections official, with the assistance of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, to conduct district elections pursuant to the Uniform District Election Law, except as otherwise provided in the bill. The bill, notwithstanding existing law, would provide that voters who are resident registered voters of the district, and voters who are not residents but either own a real property interest in the district or have been designated by the owner of a real property interest to cast the vote for that property, may vote in a district election in the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, as specified. The bill would require the designations of voters and authority of legal representatives to be filed with the El Dorado County elections official and the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District and maintained with the list of qualified voters of the district.
The bill also would authorize a voter who is not a resident of the district but owns a real property interest in the district to designate only one voter to vote on their behalf, regardless of the number of parcels in the district owned by the nonresident voter. The bill would prohibit a parcel from simultaneously having a designated voter and a resident voter or voters, as specified. The bill would require the El Dorado County elections official, with the assistance of the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, to notify each parcel owner regarding the right to designate a person to cast a vote at district elections, as provided. The bill would require the secretary to deliver to the El Dorado County elections official, and update, a preliminary list of eligible voters, as specified. By mandating a higher level of service on local government, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would provide that a person qualified to vote pursuant to these provisions is qualified to be a candidate for, and serve on, the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Board of Directors.
The bill would require the election of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Board of Directors to be held on the last Tuesday of August of odd-numbered years, unless the El Dorado County elections official determines the public interest is best served by holding the election on a different date.
Existing law provides penalties for prohibited acts relating to statewide and local elections.
This bill would subject violations of its provisions relating to voting and elections to those penal provisions. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law, the Community Services District Law, generally provides for the formation of community service districts that have specified general powers, including, among others, the power to adopt ordinances or enter into and perform contracts, in order to provide specified services authorized under that law.
This bill would prohibit the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District from providing any services or facilities except fire protection and medical services, including emergency response and services, as well as parks and recreation services and facilities.
This bill would make related findings and declarations.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District.
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 with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Fire Department Protection Act of 2021.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, located near South Lake Tahoe, funds the Fallen Leaf Fire Department which provides fire and emergency response services to the Fallen Leaf Lake area and sends firefighter strike teams to battle fires around the state.
(b) Over 90 percent of the calls to the fire department are from tourists and recreational enthusiasts visiting the Fallen Leaf Lake and Desolation Wilderness areas.
(c) Over the last five years, the Fallen Leaf Fire Department has sent strike teams to assist with over 70 fires around the state, including some of the state’s most destructive fires, including all of the following:
(1) Year 2020: Hog Fire with two engines; Badger Fire with one engine; Loyalton Fire with three engines; SCU Lighting Complex Fire with three engines; Butte Fire with two engines; North Complex Fire with three engines; August Complex Fire with one engine; Silverado Fire with one engine; and Glass Fire 1 Patrol with overhead assignment.
(2) Year 2019: Swedes Fire; Briceberg Fire; and Kincade Fire.
(3) Year 2018: Lane Fire in Tehama County; Pawnee Fire in Lake County; County Fire in Yolo County; Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County; Jacks Valley Fire in Nevada; Ferguson Fire in the Sierra National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, and Yosemite National Park; Carr Fire in Shasta County; Gorge Fire in Shasta County; Mendocino Complex Fire in Lake, Colusa, and Mendocino Counties; North Fire in San Bernardino County; Snell Fire in Napa County; Preposition Fire Standby in Placer and El Dorado Counties; and Camp Fire in Butte County.
(4) Year 2017: Winnemucca Fire in Nevada; Wall Fire in Butte County; Brenda Fire in Nevada Washoe Valley; Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County; TCU July Move Up Fire in Tuolumne County; Twist Fire in Tuolumne County; Whites Creek Fire in Nevada; Parker Fire in Modoc County; Micro Fire in Nevada Lyon County; Ponderosa Fire in Butte County; Slinkard Fire in Mono County; Salmon August Complex Fire in Yreka County; Mission Fire in North Fork, Sierra National Forest, Madera County; McCourtney Fire in Nevada County; Wind Complex Fire in Yuba County; Cascade Fire in Yuba County; Southern LNU Complex Fire in Napa and Solano Counties; Central LNU Complex Fire in Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba Counties; and Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
(5) Year 2016: Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado Counties; Soberanes Fire in Monterey County; Goose Fire in Fresno County; Cold Fire in Winters, Yolo County; Jackpot Fire in Nevada; Mineral Fire in Fresno County; Clayton Fire in Lake County; Cedar Fire in Kern County; Chimney Fire in San Luis Obispo County; Owens River Fire in Mono County; and Emerald Fire in South Lake Tahoe El Dorado County.
(d) The State Auditor recommended that this legislation be adopted in their July 2019 report: “To ensure that the district has an electorate of sufficient size from which it can elect a board, the Legislature should enact legislation to allow landowners and holders of Forest Service permits within the district, along with otherwise domiciled registered voters in the district, to vote on district matters and serve on the board.”
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Fire Department by passing this legislation, which will allow all cabin owners at Fallen Leaf Lake to vote on Community Services District matters, serve on the District Board, and to continue to fund the fire department.

SEC. 3.

 Section 61049 is added to the Government Code, immediately following Section 61048, to read:

61049.
 (a) The El Dorado County elections official, with the assistance of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, shall conduct district elections pursuant to the Uniform District Election Law (Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code), except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, qualified voters at district elections in the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District shall be any of the following:
(1) Voters who are resident registered voters of the district.
(2) Voters who are not residents of the district, but meet either of the following:
(A) Own a real property interest within the district.
(B) Have been designated by the owner of a real property interest to cast the vote for that property.
(c) (1) A real property interest shall include both of the following:
(A) Ownership within the district of a fee simple interest in real property.
(B) Ownership of a United States Forest Service Recreation Permit for land within the district.
(2) The last equalized county assessment roll shall be conclusive evidence of ownership of a real property interest within the district.
(d) (1) If the real property interest is owned in joint tenancy, tenancy in common, or any other multiple ownership, the owners of the real property interest shall designate in writing the person qualifying as a voter.
(2) If the real property interest is held in the name of a trust, the trustee shall designate in writing which trustee or beneficiary shall be the owner of the real property interest for purposes of qualifying as a voter.
(3) (A) If the real property interest is held in the name of a corporation, company, or an estate, the legal representative may vote on behalf of the corporation, company, or estate or may designate another person to be the voter.
(B) As used in this section, legal representative means an official of a corporation or company owning the real property interest or a guardian, executor, or administrator of the estate of the holder of title to the real property who is:
(i) Appointed under the laws of this state.
(ii) Entitled to the possession of the estate’s real property interest.
(iii) Authorized by the appointing court to exercise the particular right, privilege, or immunity which they seeks to exercise.
(iv) Before a legal representative votes at a district election, they shall present to the El Dorado County elections official and the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District a certified copy of their authority which shall be maintained with the list of voters qualified to vote in elections of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District.
(4) If the real property interest is held in the name of an individual, that person will be the voter, unless that person designates another person in writing to be the voter.
(e) If a person other than a legal representative or a person or entity listed on the last equalized county assessment roll is to be the voter, the designation of that person by the person or entity listed on the assessor’s roll shall be in writing, include the signature of the person so designated, filed with the El Dorado County elections official and the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, and maintained with the list of voters qualified to vote in elections of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District. All designations shall be submitted at least 60 days before the election.
(f) Regardless of the number of parcels owned by a voter who is not a resident of the district but owns a real property interest in the district, that voter may designate only one person to vote on their behalf at district elections.
(g) (1) A parcel shall not simultaneously have a designated voter and a resident voter or voters.
(2) If a voter registers as a resident voter at a parcel, the El Dorado County elections official shall immediately disqualify and remove from the list of voters qualified to vote at district elections any designated voter for that parcel.
(3) If more than one parcel is owned by a voter registered as a resident voter, the El Dorado County elections official shall immediately disqualify and remove from the list of voters qualified to vote at district elections any designated voter for any of those parcels.
(h) The Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District and any entity the district controls shall not be permitted to designate a voter for itself if it is a property owner.
(i) The El Dorado County elections official, with the assistance of the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, shall notify each parcel owner regarding the parcel owner’s right to designate a person to cast a vote at district elections. When the ownership of parcels changes, the El Dorado County elections official, with the assistance of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District, shall notify new parcel owners regarding the right to designate a person to vote at district elections. Notification may be made either:
(1) Individually, at the time each parcel changes ownership.
(2) Together, all parcel owners that are new since the last notification, once every two years.
(j) A voter who is a resident of the district shall not designate anyone else to vote at district elections.
(k) (1) (A) At least 125 days before a district election, the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District shall deliver to the El Dorado County elections official, in a form prescribed by the elections official, a preliminary list of eligible voters determined by the district as meeting the requirements of this section, including voters who are residents of the district and designees for voters who are not residents but who own real property.
(B) The secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District shall update the preliminary list of eligible voters at least 45 days before the election.
(C) When a petition for a recall, referendum, or initiative is filed with the El Dorado County elections official, the secretary of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District shall update the preliminary list of eligible voters within 10 days of being notified by the elections official that a petition has been filed.
(2) The El Dorado County elections official shall have sole responsibility for certifying the eligibility of voters pursuant to this section and shall make a copy of the official list of eligible voters available to the district.
(3) At least seven days before the district election, the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District shall conspicuously post a copy of the official list of eligible voters in the office of the district in a place where the public generally has access and shall make the list available on the district’s internet website.
(l) The election of the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Board of Directors shall be held on the last Tuesday of August of odd numbered years, unless the El Dorado County elections official determines the public interest is best served by holding the election on a different date.
(m) A person qualified to vote pursuant to this section is qualified to be a candidate for, and serve on, the Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District Board of Directors.
(n) Violations of this section are subject to the penal provisions of Division 18 (commencing with Section 18000) of the Elections Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 61108 is added to the Government Code, immediately following Section 61107, to read:

61108.
 The Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District shall not provide any of the services or facilities set forth in this chapter except fire protection and medical services, including emergency response and services, as well as parks and recreation services and facilities.

SEC. 5.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique need to ensure that property owners have an equal opportunity to vote in Fallen Leaf Lake Community Services District elections and serve as members of the district’s board.

SEC. 6.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, 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.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.