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

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.

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.

RBOC Supporting Legislative Concept Addressing Abandoned Vessels - Wary of Revenue Source

RBOC testified today in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on AB 2441 [Frazier], expressing support for the concept of commercial interests being identified to financially support efforts to remove abandoned and derelict vessels from the state's waterways, and also noting the organization's caution that the bill in its final form not target recreational boaters to fund this important effort.

When the final vote is announced, the measure will pass committee and proceed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

In its current form, AB 2441 would require that rental income from surface uses for lands in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta be used for the removal of abandoned and derelict commercial vessels from lands and waterways, including tidelands and submerged lands within the Delta.

RBOC Directors Lobby 2018 Boating Issues in State Capitol

RBOC Board of Directors at California State Capitol on February 21, 2018

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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 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.