Voter initiative ballot measures to impose special taxes do not need 2/3 voter approval

Summary In City and County of San Francisco v. All Persons Interested in Matter of Proposition C, 51 Cal. App. 5th 703 (2020), the California Court of Appeal held that San Francisco’s (“City”) Proposition C (“Prop C”) was validly passed by the electorate with a simple majority. Prop C was a voter-sponsored initiative that imposed […]

Local Government Relief Under the American Rescue Plan Act

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Act”), which created a fund to assist state and local governments that have suffered financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act places certain restrictions on the uses to which eligible agencies can put their relief funds.  This article provides a […]

Permissible Expenditures of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Summary On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Act”). The Act provides relief funding for states and local governments to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act requires disbursement to local agencies by the US Department of the Treasury (the “US DOT”) to cities with populations […]

Cities can be reimbursed by the State for certain costs associated with compliance with stormwater discharge permit requirements.

Summary In Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 546, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that city costs associated with installing and maintaining trash receptacles at transit stops in compliance with stormwater drain permits are reimbursable by the State of California, but costs associated with inspection […]

Increased Amounts for Bidding Public Projects under the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act

I. SUMMARY The Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (“UPCCAA”) provides public agencies with an optional, alternative and less-burdensome bidding procedure for public works projects that are valued at a certain amount. Assembly Bill 2249 (“AB 2249”) increased these amounts so that more public works contracts can be awarded using these relaxed bidding procedures. Agencies […]

New State Law Limits City Authority to Regulate Sidewalk Vendors

I. SUMMARY Intended to increase economic opportunities to low-income and immigrant communities, increase access to culturally significant food and merchandise, and to contribute to safe and dynamic public spaces, Senate Bill 946 (“SB 946”) limits local authority to regulate sidewalk vendors. Any local regulations on sidewalk vendors must comply with newly enacted state laws that […]

New State Law Imposes Procedural Protections Against Water Utility Shutoffs

I. SUMMARY Intended to minimize the number of Californians who lose access to water service due to their inability to pay, Senate Bill 998 (“SB 998”) provides additional procedural protections before residential water service can be discontinued. These protections apply to water service provided by an “urban and community water system,” a “public water system,” […]

New Law Treats Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations like Retail Food Establishments for Health and Sanitation Standards Enforcement

I. SUMMARY Effective January 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 626 (“AB 626”) expands the scope of retail food sanitation standards to include “microenterprise home kitchen operations.” Similarly, Assembly Bill 2178 (“AB 2178”) applies food sanitation standards to “limited service charitable feeding operations.” While cities have discretion to authorize or prohibit the permitting of microenterprise home kitchen […]