BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1767
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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 1767 (Holden)
          As Amended  April 22, 2014
          Majority Vote 

           NATURAL RESOURCES   6-3         APPROPRIATIONS      12-5        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Chesbro, Garcia,          |Ayes:|Gatto, Bocanegra,         |
          |     |Muratsuchi, Skinner,      |     |Bradford,                 |
          |     |Stone, Williams           |     |Ian Calderon, Campos,     |
          |     |                          |     |Eggman, Gomez, Holden,    |
          |     |                          |     |Pan, Quirk,               |
          |     |                          |     |Ridley-Thomas, Weber      |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Grove, Bigelow, Patterson |Nays:|Bigelow, Donnelly, Jones, |
          |     |                          |     |Linder, Wagner            |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Increases the maximum fines imposed for specific  
          crimes conducted on lands owned or managed by the Santa Monica  
          Mountains Conservancy (Conservancy).  Requires fine revenues for  
          certain crimes to pay the costs of repairs and clean up related  
          to the damage caused by those crimes, with the remaining funds  
          going to the Conservancy for resource conservation and park  
          grants.  Specifically,  this bill:  

          1)Increases the maximum fine for illegal dumping; injuring,  
            defacing, or destroying property; and a violation of posted  
            conditions from $1,000 to $1,500.  For a violation of posted  
            conditions that is reduced from a misdemeanor to an  
            infraction, increases the $100 minimum fine to $250 and the  
            $500 maximum fine to $750.

          2)Requires revenues from fines collected for illegal dumping and  
            injuring, defacing, or destroying property to be deposited  
            into the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Fund, upon  
            appropriation, to pay the costs of any necessary property  
            repairs or clean up related to violations, with any remaining  
            funds to be used by the Conservancy to award specified  
            resource conservation and park grants.

           EXISTING LAW  :








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          1)Establishes the Conservancy within the Natural Resources  
            Agency to acquire and protect lands within the Santa Monica  
            Mountains Zone, which is an area of approximately 650,000  
            acres, generally encompassing the mountain areas of eastern  
            Ventura County, western Los Angeles County, and the mountain  
            areas surrounding the San Fernando, La Crescenta, and Santa  
            Clarita Valleys.

          2)Creates a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than  
            $1,000, or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than  
            six months, or both that fine and imprisonment for  
            unauthorized dumping on property owned or managed by the  
            Conservancy.

          3)Creates a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than  
            $1,000, or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than  
            six months, or both that fine and imprisonment for injuring,  
            defacing, or destroying any property owned or managed by the  
            Conservancy.

          4)Creates a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county  
            jail not exceeding 90 days, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000,  
            or by both that fine and imprisonment for violation of the  
            posted conditions of use on any property owned or managed by  
            the Conservancy.  Authorizes the judge, in considering the  
            recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, to reduce the  
            charged offense from a misdemeanor to an infraction.  Requires  
            any person convicted of the offense after such a reduction to  
            be punished by a fine of not less $100, nor more than $500.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, minor penalty revenue increases, likely less than  
          $10,000, resulting from the imposition of higher minimum and  
          maximum fines (Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Funds).

           COMMENTS  :  

          Author Statement.  According to the author:

               Fine levels for damage to property or the environment  
               have not increased at the Santa Monica Mountains  
               Conservancy in over a decade.  In the intervening ten  
               years, state budget cuts required the Conservancy to  








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               increasingly rely upon Bond funds approved through  
               various state ballot measures.  Many of these funds  
               contain strict limits on the use of their proceeds.   
               Because of these limits the Conservancy is limited in  
               the scope of funding for vital local projects.

               AB 1767 seeks to provide the Conservancy increased  
               revenue and flexibility by increasing the fines and  
               using the new revenue to first pay for the repairs of  
               any damage to the Conservancy property and then to  
               help fund grants.  The grant assistance is designed to  
               provide the Conservancy additional funding for  
               projects that do not fully meet the strict criteria  
               defined in a state ballot measure.

          Background.  The Conservancy was established by the California  
          State Legislature in 1980.  Since that time, it has helped to  
          preserve over 69,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and  
          urban settings, and improved more than 114 public recreational  
          facilities throughout Southern California.  Additionally, it has  
          given grants to nonprofit organizations for educational and  
          interpretation programs that have served hundreds of thousands  
          of children and other park visitors.
             
           In 1984, the Legislature established criminal penalties specific  
          to Conservancy property to address issues with dumping, property  
          damage, and violating posted rules.  The maximum fine for each  
          penalty was $500.  Eighteen years later, in 2002, the  
          Legislature increased the maximum fines to $1,000.  

          The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA),  
          which is a local government public entity established in 1985  
          pursuant to the Joint Powers Act, manages and provides ranger  
          services on Conservancy property.  The MRCA is who would  
          typically cite people for violations under the Conservancy's  
          statutes.

          According to the author's office, the most common types of  
          violations are:  a) dogs off leash and dogs in prohibited areas;  
          b) unauthorized barbeques; c) cigarette and marijuana smoking in  
          no-smoking areas; d) alcohol drinking; and, e) unauthorized  
          commercial uses, such as unpermitted filming, photography, and  
          dog walking services.
          According to Conservancy staff, there are a number of cases that  








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          involve graffiti, property destruction, and dumping.  In some of  
          these cases, the MRCA is able to identify the responsible party  
          and issue a citation.  

          Increasing the Maximum Fine Limits.  As stated above, the  
          maximum fine for each penalty under the Conservancy's statutes  
          was $500 in 1984.  Eighteen years later, in 2002, the  
          Legislature increased the maximum fine limits to $1,000, which  
          was a 100% increase.  Now, 12 years later, this bill proposes to  
          increase these maximum fine limits to $1,500, which is only a  
          50% increase.  


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Mario DeBernardo / NAT. RES. / (916)  
          319-2092


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