MOORLACH UPDATE — Thank you, Vin Scully — September 28, 2016

Vin Scully is retiring. I watched the series with the Colorado Rockies, and just about any other Dodger game this season when possible, just to listen to Vin Scully announce the games. The final home game was a glorious finish to his amazing career.

For some reason, I can still remember a vivid summer afternoon moment listening to him on a transistor radio when I was in my teenage years. He’s ubiquitous. He’s always been there.

So, Vin, thanks for an incredible career in Southern California. You are one class act. And, I am an appreciative fan. See http://district37.cssrc.us/content/sen-moorlach-supports-acr-195.

The Governor is holding back on signing or vetoing bills on about half of the "Worst Bills" of 2016 on his desk. He’s got a few days left. He is not doing a good job of vetoing the bills that really should be vetoed. Tomorrow he will hold a bill signing ceremony for SB 1234, a bill that would have California stray from its core mission, implement yet another bureaucracy, and manage the retirement accounts for possibly up to seven million residents. You can’t make this stuff up. Here’s my score sheet:

SB 32 (Pavley) More Unnecessary Costs to Mandate Greenhouse Gases Signed
AB 197 (E. Garcia) More Unnecessary Costs to Mandate Greenhouse Gases Signed
SB 654 (Jackson) Government Dictated Expanded Family Leave On Gov’s Desk
SB 959 (Lara) Restrictions on University of California Spending On Gov’s Desk
SB 1000 (Leyva) Adding Environmental Justice Requirements to General Plans Signed
AB 1066 (Gonzalez) More Overtime Pay = Less Agricultural Workers Signed
SB 1078 (Jackson) Eliminate Arbitrators & Increase Court Backlog Vetoed
SB 1094 (E. Hernandez) More Burden to Citizens, but with Union Exemption On Gov’s Desk
SB 1107 (Allen) Forced Public Campaign Financing Signed
SB 1146 (Lara) Restricting Religious Liberty in Higher Education On Gov’s Desk
SB 1167 (Mendoza) Overheating Employers for Hot Workers On Gov’s Desk
SB 1234 (De Leon) The California Mandated Retirement Plan On Gov’s Desk
SB 1241 (Wieckowski) More Red Tape for Employment Contracts Signed
SB 1383 (Lara) Air Pollution Judge, Jury & Executioner Signed
AB 1550 (Gomez) Empty Funding Promises to Disadvantaged Communities Signed
AB 1671 (Gomez) Killing the Whistleblower On Gov’s Desk
AB 1685 (Gomez) Heavy Fines for Selling Unapproved Cars Signed
AB 1843 (M. Stone) Hiding Applicant’s’ Criminal History from Potential Employers Signed
AB 1887 (Low) State Government Travel Bans Signed
AB 1889 (Mullin) High-Speed Robbery On Gov’s Desk
AB 1926 (Cooper) Prevailing Wages for Non-Working Apprentices On Gov’s Desk
AB 2153 (C. Garcia) A Battery of Taxes Signed
AB 2466 (Weber) County Jail Polling Booths On Gov’s Desk
AB 2492 (Alejo) Redevelopment 2.0 Signed
AB 2722 (Burke) Empty Funding Promises to Disadvantaged Communities Signed
AB 2748 (Gatto) The Lawsuit that Never Ends Vetoed
AB 2792 (Bonta) Handcuffing Law Enforcement of Illegal Immigrants On Gov’s Desk

Finally, SB 1463 is receiving a little more press. The OC Register, the Daily Pilot, and even IHeart Radio, provide their perspectives below. The OC Register had a great photo with their online version, so it is provided for your appreciation.

I want to thank Laguna Beach Councilman Bob Whalen for his numerous trips to Sacramento to testify on behalf of this bill. The author of a bill usually has two witnesses in attendance when presenting bills to various committees in both houses. A witness usually is given two to three minutes to testify. Councilman Whalen was usually one of those two witnesses. Flying all the way to Sacramento to speak for a few minutes is a very, very big deal. And I am most grateful. We would also be joined by Paul Smith, the Senior Legislative Advocate for the Rural County Representatives of California, as sister organization of the California State Association of Counties (of which I served on its Board and Executive Committee) and the Urban County Caucus (of which I had the privilege to Chair). Thank you Bob and Paul!

oe6zuj-b88806431z.120160927191837000gomj3ep7.10.jpgThe view looking up a power pole on Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.DAVID BRO, FOR THE REGISTER

Moorlach’s wildfire-risk bill vetoed by governor

By ERIKA I. RITCHIE
STAFF WRITER

A plan to bury utility lines to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire in Laguna Beach didn’t get the support it needed from Sacramento, but city officials say they will continue their efforts to protect the city.

City Manager John Pietig announced Monday that Gov. Jerry Brown had vetoed legislation during the weekend that would have required the state to identify areas most at risk for wildfires and would have required the California Public Utilities Commission and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to develop enhanced plans to prevent fires from utility and power lines.

SB1463 was authored by state Sen. John Moorlach on behalf of Laguna Beach. Brown vetoed the legislation, which had passed on unanimous votes in the Assembly and Senate.

In vetoing the bill, Brown said the issues that the legislation addressed should be raised in the fire-safety regulatory process ongoing at the CPUC.

“I believe the vetoing of this much-needed bill continues to put our public safety at risk,” Moorlach said in a statement. “SB1463 would have ensured that the concerns of local communities were incorporated into crucial decisions regarding fire safety. This critical change has now slipped away, and local communities will have to fight to be heard through the process.”

Laguna Beach City Councilman Bob Whalen, who traveled to Sacramento several times to testify before committees regarding the legislation, was disappointed. “It is a very common-sense piece of firesafety legislation and deserved the governor’s signature,” he said.

City officials called for citywide undergrounding of utilities following a 15-acre wildfire in July 2015 that started when trees fell into utility wires, causing a power surge that sparked flames. Whalen said the city “dodged a bullet” with that fire thanks to favorable winds and firefighters’ efforts. He said he immediately contacted Southern California Edison and urged the utility company to partner with the city to reduce imminent threat of fire.

Whalen said the bill would have provided direction to the CPUC in its current regulatory process concerning fire safety and overhead utility lines.

Laguna Beach is the only city in the state to make a formal appearance in the CPUC fire-safety proceedings. Laguna Beach Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse has testified at commission proceedings urging that Laguna Beach be reclassified to a high fire hazard area.

Whalen and other city officials met with Southern California Edison several times. But Pietig said the city chose the legislative route once it became obvious that city officials were not getting “meaningful assistance” from SCE to bury the power lines.

“We can no longer risk the public safety of Laguna Beach by allowing aboveground utilities,” Whalen said then. “A major fire disaster caused by power lines is only a matter of time.”

Gov. Brown vetoes Moorlach’s wildfire-risk bill

Bryce AldertonBryce Alderton Contact Reporter

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed a bill spearheaded by Laguna Beach Councilman Bob Whalen that would have required the state to identify areas most at risk of wildfires caused by overhead utility wires.

SB 1463, authored by state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), also would have required the California Public Utilities Commission and the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, to identify steps that cities must take to prevent fires from overhead electrical equipment, according to the bill.

In a written statement explaining his decision, Brown said a process that began in May 2015 with the utilities commission and Cal Fire is already in place for addressing issues present in SB 1463. The two groups examine fire-threat maps and fire safety regulations on areas with overhead utilities facilities, he wrote.

"This deliberative process should continue, and the issues this bill seeks to address should be raised in that forum," Brown said.

"Clearly, this is a major disappointment to the city and the other cities and counties that had stepped forward to endorse the bill," Whalen said in a statement. "This bill would have provided important direction to the [commission] in its current regulatory process concerning fire safety and overhead utility lines."

Whalen said he remains undeterred.

"We will continue to press the [commission] to hold the utilities accountable for fire safety in areas like Laguna Beach," he said.

Laguna Beach has experienced four fires sparked by utility lines in the last 10 years, the most recent on July3, 2015, in Laguna Canyon.

bryce.alderton

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

Governor Brown Vetoes Wildfires Safety Bill

(Sacramento, CA) — A California state senator is not too happy about Governor Brown’s veto of a wildfire safety bill. Senator John Moorlach of Costa Mesa authored SB 1463. The bill would have given local governments more say in fire-prevention efforts through the current Public Utilities Commission.

SB 1463 passed the Legislature 75-to-zero on the Assembly floor and 39-to-zero on the Senate floor, but the governor vetoed it on Saturday. Senator Moorlach says SB 1463 would have safeguarded communities like Laguna Beach, which has seen four fires sparked by utility lines in the last ten years.

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