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

RBOC Leg Day 2019 Picture.JPG

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.”

Key Legislation Update - As Legislature Has Adjourned

This is an update on a number of key legislative issues now that the state Legislature has recessed the first year of the 2017-2018 legislative session. 

The deadline for the Governor’s consideration of the measures that passed the Legislature in the final days prior to adjournment is October 15.

Prohibition against drinking an alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger

SB 65 [Hill] – has been enacted into law after provisions of concern to RBOC were removed at the organization's request. Those provisions would have prohibited drinking an alcoholic beverage while operating a vessel. The current, extensive provisions of state law strike an effective balance that prevents boating under the influence [BUI], effectively enforces the BUI laws, and acknowledges the boating experience. 

Elimination of mortgage interest deduction on second homes

AB 71 [Chiu] – was not taken up on the Assembly Floor and may be considered in 2018. RBOC has advocated in opposition to this measure.

Expansion of vessels eligible to use distinctive blue lights to include fire department and fire protection district vessels while engaged in public safety activities

AB 78 [Cooper] – this RBOC-supported measure has been enacted and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Requirement that DBW, to the extent feasible, collaborate with the California Conservation Corps and use members of the corps in implementing its invasive aquatic plants control programs

SB 704 [Galgiani] – this RBOC-supported measure has been enacted into law and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Enactment of a 12 cents per gallon motor vehicle gasoline tax increase, and a 20 cents per gallon diesel fuel tax, with the portion of the new gasoline taxes attributable to boats placed in the State Parks and Recreation Fund

SB 1 [Hertzberg] – has been enacted into law, with the increase taking effect on November 1, 2017. At least one initiative to repeal the tax is being pursued.

Authorization for a court to impound, for up to 30 days, a boat used in a violation of the BUI laws if the owner is convicted and the conduct resulted in the unlawful killing of a person

SB 644 [Stone] – was vetoed by Governor Brown: “I do not see the need, in these tragic but narrow instances, to additionally expand the powers of government to impound private property as an added punitive measure. Because this bill will not act as a deterrent, and existing criminal and civil penalties are sufficient to address the conduct contemplated, I am returning this measure without my signature.”

Establishment of an infraction to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system

AB 725 [Levine] – has passed the Legislature and proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.

Establishment of an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a person to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system

SB 386 [Glaser] – has passed the Legislature and proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.

Establishment of an infraction to possess an alcoholic beverage in a vessel on portions of the Mokelumne River during a summer period for which the Board of Supervisors has banned consumption on land portions of the Stillman Magee County Park

AB 934 [Flora] – was not heard in the initial policy committee and may be considered next year.

Imposition of a quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee of up to $50 annually, on non-resident owners of vessels, to be paid before the vessel is placed in the state’s waterways

AB 1587 [Levine] – was held under submission in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Prohibition against the sale of a nonbiodegradable toxic chemical in a container that indicates that the chemical could be used in a chemical toilet, a waste facility of a recreational vehicle, or a waste facility of a vessel

AB 852 [Caballero] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Proposed $3.5 billion water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access bond measure – with potential funding for a Riverside County aquatic center

SB 5 [DeLeón] – has passed the Legislature and has proceeded to the Governor for possible placement before voters on the June 2018 statewide ballot.

Requirement that the lead agency provide information on costs for each water contractor and the benefits each contractor will receive from the proposed Delta water conveyance project prior to water contractors entering into specified agreements

AB 791 [Frazier] - was held under submission in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Prohibition against the Delta Stewardship Council granting a certification of consistency with the Delta Plan until completion of the update of the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta Estuary

AB 792 [Frazier] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Declaration of state policy that the existing state of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is recognized and defined as an integral component of California’s water infrastructure

AB 793 [Frazier] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Revision of the definition of a local emergency to include conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the territorial limits of a district established under the Harbors and Navigation Code

SB 531 [Galgiani] - did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

RBOC-supported Bill Encouraging Collaboration on Invasives Species Advances

The RBOC-supported SB 704 [Galgiani] to encourage collaboration on important state efforts to combat invasive aquatic species including water hyacinth will pass the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife when the committee concludes its actions today.

SB 704 would require the state Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW], to the extent feasible, to collaborate with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) in implementing its control programs for invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and Suisun Marsh.

The author's statement on the purpose of the measure:

"The California Conservation Corps is a critical and valuable state organization that provides educational and work opportunities for young adults seeking to improve and protect California’s natural resources.  Currently, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is facing a devastating infestation of water hyacinth that clogs waterways and harms natural ecosystems.  The collaboration between CCC and the Division of Boating and Waterways would help in the fight to control water hyacinth, as well as other aquatic weeds.  Although contracts currently exist, this bill would codify the relationship between CCC and DBW and encourage their continued partnership."

RBOC Is Supporting Legislation Placing Water Hyacinth Collaboration Into Law

RBOC is supporting SB 704 [Galgiani, D-Stockton], legislation that would place into law the collaboration between the Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW] and the Conservation Corps, and the use of members of the Conservation Corps in implementing its water hyacinth control programs.

RBOC concurs with Senator Galgiani that the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is threatened by water hyacinth which obstructs waterways and marinas, consumes valuable water resources, creates human health and safety hazards, and damages natural ecosystems by crowding out native plants and wildlife.

DBW is the appropriate and engaged lead agency for eradicating and controlling invasive aquatic plants, and has entered into agreements with the Conservation Corps to perform work in the Delta to help control water hyacinth.

Governor Brown Re-appoints Two to Boating and Waterways Commission

Governor Jerry Brown has re-appointed David Livingston and Virginia Madueno to the Boating and Waterways Commission.

From the Governor's press release:

David Livingston, 52, of Danville, has been reappointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission, where he has serviced since 2012. Livingston has been sheriff-coroner for Contra Costa County since 2011. He served as chief of police for the City of Concord from 2005 to 2011, City of Pleasant Hill from 2002 to 2005 and for the City of Fremont from 1987 to 2002. Livingston earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Livingston is registered without party preference.

Virginia Madueno, 51, of Riverbank, has been reappointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission, where she has served since 2013. Madueno has been president at Imagen LLC since 2001. She was a member of the Riverbank City Council from 2005 to 2012, serving as mayor from 2009 to 2012. She was a community organizer at Clean Water Action from 2009 to 2011, a marketing manager officer at the Stanislaus County Department for Employment and Training from 1990 to 1997 and was a public information officer at the Stanislaus Chief Executive Office and Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services from 1997 to 2001. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Madueno is a Democrat.
 

GOVERNOR SIGNS RBOC-SUPPORTED BUI CLARITY MEASURE INTO LAW

California Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law AB 1829 [Levine], legislation supported by RBOC and sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association that clarifies current state law pertaining to boating under the influence [BUI].

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1829 that update the boating under the influence [BUI] law as part of a continued effort to increase safety on our state’s waterways.

Addressing BUI remains important.  According to the 2013 report of the state Division of Boating and Waterways, 32% of all boating fatalities in the state involved alcohol during the period 2009 to 2013.

AB 1829 clarifies existing law and removes obsolete language regarding the arrest of a person suspected of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The measure amends Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655.1. The revision clarifies that an officer who arrests a person on suspicion of operating a vessel or watercraft while under the influence shall inform the person that:

  • A criminal complaint may be filed against him or her for operating a mechanically propelled vessel or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.

  • He or she has a right to refuse chemical testing.

  • An officer has the authority to seek a search warrant compelling the arrested person to submit a blood sample.

  • He or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to the chemical testing, before deciding which chemical test or tests to take, or during the administration of the chemical test or tests chosen.

This advisement provision replaces the obsolete provision in the current law. That provision requires an officer to inform a person arrested for a BUI that his or her refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, the required chemical testing may be used against the person in a court of law and that the court may impose increased penalties for that refusal or failure, upon conviction. Neither of those statements is accurate.

The provisions of the measure will take effect on January 1, 2017.

RBOC-supported Legislation for Oversight of Invasive Aquatic Plants Efforts Passes Assembly Committee

RBOC-supported legislation SB 223 [Galgiani] that would establish an advisory and oversight committee to evaluate and monitor the activities of the Division of Boating and Waterways relating to the management and control or eradication of invasive aquatic plants will pass the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee following today's hearing. RBOC testified in support of the bill.

The provisions of SB 223 would enhance the existing laws that designate the Division of Boating and Waterways within the Department of Parks and Recreation as the lead agency of the state for purposes of cooperating with other state, local, and federal agencies in identifying, detecting, controlling, and administering programs to manage invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and the Suisun Marsh, and that prescribes the duties of the division with regard to the management and control or eradication of those plants.

The increasing infestations of aquatic invasive plants, especially throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, confirm the critical need to accomplish increased effectiveness and efficiencies. SB 223 is in furtherance of this objective.

RBOC-supported Marine Debris Legislation Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

RBOC-supported AB 1323 [Frazier, D-Oakley] to enhance the removal of marine debris from the state's waterways will pass the Senate Committee on the Judiciary following today's hearing in the Capitol. The measure next proceeds to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

This legislation would provide authority for any state, county, city, or other public agency having jurisdiction over a given location, or having authority to remove marine debris or solid waste, to remove and destroy marine debris that is floating, sunk, partially sunk, or beached in or on a public waterway, beach, or on state tidelands or submerged lands, subject to specific conditions:

  1. The marine debris meets the definition provided in the Harbors and Navigation Code and the value of the debris does not exceed the cost of removal and disposal.
  2. If the debris cannot be identified belonging to an individual, a peace officer or authorized public employee securely attaches to the marine debris a notice stating that the marine debris shall be removed by the public agency if not claimed or removed within 10 days.
  3. If the debris can be identified as belonging to an individual, a 10-day notice is attached to the marine debris, and sent to the owner of the marine debris, if known, at the owner's address of record with the Department of Motor Vehicles, by certified or first-class mail. 
  4. The marine debris is not removed prior to the ten day notification period.