RBOC Urges Governor to Sign Vessel Operator Definition Fix

RBOC is urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign into law AB 1183 [Ramos], legislation that would enhance safety on the state’s waterways by clarifying that an adult is responsible for supervising the children he or she allows to operate the vessel.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1183 that would revise the definition of “operator” of a vessel to mean the person aboard a vessel who meets any of the following:

  • Is steering the vessel while underway;

  • Is responsible for the operation of the vessel while underway; or

  • Is at least 18 years of age and is attentive and supervising the operation of the vessel by a person 12, 13, 14, or 15 years of age.

AB 1183 is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs Association.

Two RBOC-supported Bills Pass Assembly - Office of Outdoor Recreation & 12-month Sport Fishing Licenses

Two RBOC-supported measures have just passed the Assembly with preliminary bipartisan support [and no “no” votes] and now proceed to the Senate:

AB 1111 [Friedman] – to establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) within the Office of the Governor.

AB 1387 [Wood] – to require the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to issue, in addition to calendar-year licenses, sport fishing licenses that expire 12 consecutive months after the date of issue.

RBOC Supporting Bill to Provide 365-day Sportfishing License

RBOC is supporting AB 1387 [Wood], legislation proposing a 365-day sportfishing license.

RBOC supports the objectives and provisions of the bill that would work to:

  •  Recruit, retain, and reactivate recreational anglers

  •  Increase revenues to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for conservation efforts, fishery management, and increased hatchery production

  • Provide economic benefits to the people of the state

By issuing 365-day sport fishing licenses, implementing a new Automated License Data System (ALDS) that has an auto-renewal feature and enables licenses and validations to be displayed on mobile devices such as smartphones, and establishing email communication with recreational anglers, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will drive sales and be able to proactively solicit prospective licensees to achieve the goals of the department’s recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) program.

Bill Authorizing Impoundment of Vessel Involved in BUI and Death Passes First Committee

Legislation providing another tool to law enforcement for vessels involved in boating under the influence passed its first legislative committee this week.

SB 393 [Stone] would authorize a court to order the impoundment of a vessel for up to 30 days, if the registered owner is convicted of a crime involving the operation of a vessel while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug and the conduct resulted in the unlawful killing of a person.

SB 393 was taken up in the Senate Public Safety Committee, was placed on the committee’s consent calendar, and passed committee with a unanimous bipartisan vote.

Bill to Create New Office of Outdoor Recreation Passes First Committee

AB 1111 [Friedman] to create a new state outdoor recreation office has passed the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife with bipartisan support, with no opposition, and without revisions.

The bill will next proceed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

AB 1111 would establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation [OREC] within state government.  The new office would be required to:

  • Support the outdoor recreation economy of the state and work towards equitable access to the outdoors.

  • Recommend policies and initiatives to enhance recreational amenities and outdoor experiences, and equitable and inclusive access.

  • Collaborate with various levels of government, tourism entities and economic development offices to promote and grow outdoor recreation.

  • Coordinate outdoor recreation policies across state and local government.

  • Foster communication between various government agencies, and companies, businesses, and others providing outdoor recreation products and services.

  • Work with state and local partners to identify current and potential climate change impacts on recreation resources.

The bill would also require the new office to create an advisory committee to provide advice, expertise, support and service to the office. The committee would be required to strive to reflect the diversity of all Californians. The committee would also be required to include members from specific government agencies and programs, as well as local and regional tourism organizations.

In its present form the bill does not propose a redirection of existing funds paid by recreational boaters. The bill would authorize the office to receive assistance and funds from public and private sources, and would require that the moneys received by the office pursuant to this provision or appropriated by the Legislature for purposes of the bill be deposited in the California Outdoor Recreation Account, which the bill would create. The author stated in committee that she envisioned OREC having a very small number of employees.

 RBOC is maintaining the following position on AB 1111: RBOC supports the goal of promoting sustainable outdoor recreation as well as economic development and job growth within the outdoor recreation economy provided the new entity does not tap into boater funds utilized for other important programs and services.

RBOC President Ray Durazo Presents at California Boating Congress

At the 4th Annual California Boating Congress, RBOC President Ray Durazo presented the concerns of the boating community with the overreaching enforcement efforts of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission [BCDC]. 

As explained by President Durazo, the organization is supporting the timely completion and publication of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s audit of BCDC that is investigating the commission’s enforcement activities, adherence to its mission, funding and operational needs and structure.

In addition, RBOC is advocating for a revision to BCDC’s statutory charter to recognize, protect and enhance recreational boating, and to reflect the structure of the Coastal Commission regarding the number and appointment of commissioners.

RBOC was a proud co-host of this year’s California Boating Congress.

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RBOC Lobbies State Legislators on 2019 Boating Issues

Recreational Boaters of California [RBOC] held its annual legislative day in Sacramento on February 27, with attendees visiting and advocating on the 2019 state legislation in more than 40 meetings in the offices of Senators and Assembly Members in the State Capitol.

Constituent and issue-specific meetings with state legislators covered an array of policy issues directly impacting boaters including:

  • State Parks Reorganization Plan

  • Boater Funds Dedicated to Boater Programs

  • Regulatory Overreach [BCDC]

  • Copper-based Anti-fouling Paints

  • Boating and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta [California WaterFix]

  • Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation – AB 1111 [Friedman]

  • Statutory Definition of Boat Operator – AB 1183 [Ramos]

  • Vessel Impoundment – BUI – SB 393 [Stone]

  • Boater Rights Aboard Their Vessels – AB 1718 [Levine] and SB 8 [Glazer]

  • Chemical Toilet Deodorants – SB 317 [Caballero]

  • 12-Month Fishing Licenses – AB 1227 [Obernolte] and AB 1387 [Wood]

For the Boater Issue Update on these issues: click here

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RBOC Elects Ray Durazo as 2019 President

The Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), the statewide non-profit boater advocacy organization based in Sacramento, announced the election of a new president, Ray Durazo of Half Moon Bay.  Mr. Durazo succeeds the group’s 2018 president, John Marshall of Newport Beach.  Also elected to office for 2019 are Vice President - South Dan Hodge of Newport Beach, and Vice President – North Paul Clausen of Orangevale.

“I’m proud and excited to be leading this strong and effective organization in the coming year,” said Durazo.  “I encourage boaters and members of clubs throughout California to learn more about RBOC. You can do so at the organization’s website www.RBOC.org.”

Mr. Durazo has extensive experience in government relations and public policy.  Since 1970 he has worked in that capacity for trade associations, as a senior vice president for a major international consulting firm in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and as owner and operator of Durazo Communications, a public relations firm headquartered in Los Angeles.  He is a Fellow of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

He is an accomplished blue-water sailor, having sailed in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in the United States and in Mexico and the British Virgin Islands.  He has served as Commodore of the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club in Northern California and has been active in the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association (PICYA).  In addition, he is currently serving on the Boat U.S. National Advisory Council.

Mr. Durazo resides with his wife in Half Moon Bay, California.

RBOC works to protect and enhance the interests of the state’s recreational boaters before the legislative and executive branches of state and local government.  In 2019, RBOC is celebrating its 51st anniversary.

Governor Signs Legislation Expanding List of Mussel Infestation Prevention Grant Recipients

The Governor has just signed into law SB 790 [McGuire] that expands those eligible for the existing Division of Boating and Waterways grant program to be used for the reasonable regulatory costs of implementation of a dreissenid mussel infestation prevention plan to include any person or entity that manages any aspect of the water in a reservoir that is open to the public for recreational, boating, or fishing activities.

According to the Sonoma County Water Agency that sponsored this legislation, “SB 790 seeks to ensure that entities who play a critical role in co-managing reservoirs can qualify for funding associated with mandatory inspection programs, installing decontamination stations, and educational initiatives preventing the spread of invasive mussels.”

Governor Signs Legislation Addressing Abandoned Commercial Vessels

The Governor has just signed into law AB 2441 [Frazier] that requires the State Lands Commission, upon receipt by the commission of funds appropriated by the Legislature and any federal or private funds for this purpose, in consultation with other relevant state and local agencies directly involved in the removal of abandoned vessels, by July 1, 2019, to develop a plan for the removal of abandoned commercial vessels.

RBOC supports the concept of the measure to address abandoned commercial watercraft in the Delta without targeting the recreational boater-derived funds for commercial vessels.

The organization was engaged as the measure moved forward and was amended, testifying and advocating to ensure that recreational boaters were not assessed financially for efforts to address commercial vessels.

Governor Vetoes Proposed Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation

The Governor this afternoon vetoed AB 1918 [Garcia] that would have established the Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation.

The Governor’s veto message:

This bill establishes the Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation within the California Natural Resources Agency to support the outdoor recreation economy. 

The activities identified in this bill are important, but a new bureaucracy is not needed to accomplish the goal. Over the last few years the Department of Parks and Recreation has worked towards enhancing recreational opportunities throughout the state. In fact, Parks California, a support organization to the Department of Parks and Recreation, was recently created to promote outdoor recreation and is engaging in activities similar to those called for in this bill.

 

Governor Signs RBOC-supported Public Safety Measure AB 2175 [Aguiar-Curry]

Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law the RBOC-supported AB 2175 [Aguiar-Curry] that will enhance boating safety by clarifying law enforcement’s ability to remove and store vessels under specific circumstances.

As per the author:

“AB 2175 will help create parity between the Harbors and Navigation Code and the Vehicle Code by allowing peace officers and harbor patrol officers the authority to remove a vessel from public property when they have probable cause to believe that the vessel was used as the means of committing a crime or when the officers believe that the vessel is itself evidence, or that it contains evidence, which cannot readily be removed.

“This bill will create consistency between the two code sections and will help clarify the ability to appropriately remove and store vessels, while also increasing boating safety by removing vessels so they are out of the public’s way.”

AB 2175 is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs’ Association.

Legislation Addressing Abandoned Commercial Boats in the Delta Passes Senate Policy Committee

Legislation to provide funding for the removal of abandoned commercial vessels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has passed the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water.

RBOC supports the concept of the measure to address abandoned commercial watercraft in the Delta, and it is closely monitoring the measure as it moves forward to ensure that recreational boaters are not assessed financially for efforts to address commercial vessels.

As described in the official committee analysis, AB 2441 [Frazier] would:

  • Create the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Abandoned Vessel Removal Account in the General Fund.
  • Direct all rental income from surface uses for lands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the account.
  • Provide that moneys in the account shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the commission for expenditure for purposes related to the removal of abandoned commercial vessels from lands and waterways including tidelands and submerged lands, within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
  • Require the commission to deposit any moneys recovered from commercial vessel removal actions undertaken to remove unattended vessels moored, docked, beached or made fast to land in a position to obstruct the normal movement of traffic of otherwise create a hazard, into the account.
  • Require the commission, in consultation with other relevant state and local agencies directly involved in the removal of abandoned vessels, by July 1, 2019 to develop a plan for the removal of abandoned commercial vessels using moneys in the account.

Proposed Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Passes Senate Policy Committee

Legislation to establish a new Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation has passed the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water.

RBOC testified in committee in support of AB 1918 [Garcia]. The organization supports the measure provided that the measure is not amended or implemented in a manner that would redirect state boating fees and taxes from programs and services that benefit the states’ recreational boaters.

RBOC acknowledges and supports the objective of AB 1918 to promote sustainable outdoor recreation as well as economic development and job growth within the outdoor recreation economy.

California offers remarkable, extensive and unique recreational opportunities. Californians – including recreational boaters - understand and appreciate the intrinsic value of outdoor recreation, its contributions to the economy including jobs and tourism, and the opportunities to grow each of these values. 

This perspective has already become integrated into the very fabric of state government in many ways. A decision to establish a new entity in government is properly predicated upon the foundation established by these significant initiatives, respects the tremendous financial commitments that our citizens continue to contribute each year, and focuses on clear new objectives that cannot be achieved through existing efforts.

RBOC-supported Measure Addressing Vessels Used in Crimes Passes Committee

RBOC-supported legislation to authorize a peace officer or marine safety offer to remove a vessel from public property when the vessel has been used in a crime or provides evidence of a crime has passed the Senate Public Safety Committee with unanimous, bipartisan support and now proceeds to the Senate Floor [Senate Third Reading] for consideration.

The provisions of AB 2175 [Aguiar-Curry] as per the committee analysis would allow a peace officer or marine safety officer to impound a vessel in either of the following circumstances:

  • When the vessel is found on public property and the officer has probable cause to believe that it was used in the commission of a crime; or 
  • When the vessel is found on public property and the officer has probable cause to believe that the vessel itself provides evidence that a crime was committed, or it contains evidence of a possible crime and the evidence cannot be easily removed from it.

The bill states that a lien shall not attach to a vessel impounded under this section unless it is determined that it was used in the commission of a crime with the express or implied consent of the owner.  

The bill also allows the court to order a person convicted of a crime involving the use of the impounded vessel to pay for the costs of towing and storage, as well as any administrative charges related to the removal, impoundment, storage, or release of the vessel.

Finally, the bill defines “vessel” for the purposes of the section to include both the vessel and any trailer used by the operator to transport the vessel.

AB 2175 has already passed the Assembly. It is sponsored by the California State Sheriff's Association.

Assembly Fiscal Committee Places Vessel Impoundment Bill "On Suspense"

The Assembly Appropriations Committee today placed AB 2175 [Aguiar-Curry] "on suspense" until it determines whether there is sufficient state monies to cover the projected state costs associated with its implementation.

AB 2175 is the RBOC-supported measure that would enhance boating safety by clarifying law enforcement’s ability to remove and store vessels under specified circumstances.

The bill would allow peace officers and harbor patrol officers to remove a vessel from public property when the officer has probable cause to believe that the vessel was used as the means of committing a crime and when the officers believe that the vessel is itself evidence, or that the vessel contains evidence which cannot easily be removed.

Today, the bill was placed “on suspense” as anticipated due to the projected state fiscal impact:: "Unknown, potentially significant costs (various funds) for the California Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Parks and Recreation for towing and impoundment costs. Costs are likely to be in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, potentially exceeding $150,000."

The committee will decide just prior to the Memorial Day Weekend whether this and the numerous other measures placed on suspense will pass through the Appropriations Committee an on to the Floor for consideration.

The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.

Senate Fiscal Committee Places BUI Expansion Measure "On Suspense"

The Senate Appropriations Committee today placed SB 1247 [Gaines] "on suspense" until it determines whether there is sufficient state monies to cover the projected state costs associated with its implementation.

SB 1247 is the measure that would expand the ability of a peace officer, who lawfully arrests a person for boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs [BUI], to request that the arrested person submit to a chemical test.

The bill would extend this authority to persons operating any vessel, rather than mechanically-propelled vessels.

Today, the bill was placed “on suspense” as anticipated due to the projected state fiscal impact: “Unknown, potential state incarceration costs for longer commitments to state prisons for persons found guilty of BUI while doing an act forbidden by law that causes bodily injury to another."

The committee will decide just prior to the Memorial Day Weekend whether this and the numerous other measures placed on suspense will pass through the Appropriations Committee an on to the Floor for consideration.

 

Assembly Fiscal Committee Considers Legislation Addressing Abandoned Commercial Vessels

AB 2441 [Frazier] was taken up in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today and as anticipated was placed "on suspense" due to its projected state costs.

AB 2441 is the measure that would require rental income received from surface uses of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta lands under the jurisdiction of the State Lands Commission to be used for the removal of commercial abandoned and derelict vessels.

As also discussed in the analysis of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, the bill would:

  • Require the SLC to develop a plan that prioritizes removal based on risk to the Delta.
  • Authorize the SLC to recover costs for removal actions.
  • Define the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to mean lands within the boundaries of the counties of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo.

Today, the bill was placed “on suspense” as anticipated due to the projected state fiscal impact: “This bill annually shifts approximately $6.9 million General Fund to the SLC for removal of commercial ADVs in the Delta.”

The committee will decide will know just prior to the Memorial Day Weekend whether this and the numerous other measures place on suspense will pass through the Appropriations Committee an on to the Floor for consideration.

RBOC’s position on AB 2441 is in support of the concept of the measure to address abandoned commercial watercraft in the Delta, and it is closely monitoring the measure to ensure that recreational boaters are not assessed financially for efforts to address commercial vessels.

Legislation Extending BUI Chemical Testing to Non-motorized Vessels Passes First Committee

Legislation will pass the Senate Public Safety Committee today to amend California's Boating Under the Influence [BUI] law that authorizes an officer to request a person arrested for BUI to submit to chemical testing.

SB 1247 [Gaines] would delete the requirement that the vessel be mechanically propelled.

Following is the author's stated rationale for the measure [from the policy committee analysis]:

"The Harbors and Navigation Code contains no definition of "machinery" and a vague definition of "mechanically propelled." California Boating Law gives an officer authority to request the operator of a "mechanically propelled vessel" submit to the chemical testing of their blood, breath, or urine if lawfully arrested for operating a vessel or other equipment while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  The problem is an operator of a 30-foot sailboat with no motor, operating under sail at 20 knots, with an BAC level .10% stopped for a boating violation and arrested can refuse the officer's request for a chemical test since there is question as to whether the sailboat is a "mechanically propelled vessel.”

"Law enforcement should be able ask an arrested person to provide a chemical test of an operator of a sailing craft that could cause major damage, injure someone, or cause death.  Boating officers are under the assumption that a sail is "machinery" just as an "oar" is for a canoe or kayak.  There is a lack of clarity as to whether operators of vessels or craft using a sail, paddle, etc. can be asked to submit to chemical testing. Sailing vessels with or without motors piloted by a person under the influence create a safety issue for all boaters."

SB 1247 next proceeds

The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs’ Association.

 

RBOC-supported Boating Safety Law Enforcement Measure Passes Committee

The RBOC-supported AB 2175 [Aguiar-Curry] that would enhance boating safety law enforcement efforts has passed the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 2175 that would enhance boating safety by clarifying law enforcement’s ability to remove and store vessels under specified circumstances. The bill would: 

  • Authorize a peace officer or marine safety officer, while engaged in the performance of official duties, to remove a vessel from, and, if necessary, store a vessel removed from, public property within the territorial limits in which the officer may act, under specified circumstances relating to the use of the vessel in the commission of a crime.
  • Authorize a court to order a person convicted of a crime involving the use of a vessel that is removed and impounded pursuant to these provisions to pay the costs of towing and storage of the vessel and any related administrative costs imposed in connection with the removal, impoundment, storage, or release of the vessel.

The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.