Kern County Builders' Exchange News

Date ArticleType
5/29/2015 Legislation
Bills Pared As Suspense Deadlines Pass

Bills Pared As Suspense Deadlines Pass

Friday, May 29, 2015

Also In This Update

  • California gas tax increase: Is this the year Jerry Brown pushes it through?
  • State Assembly approves plan to bring back Kelo-style redevelopment
  • News from the Energy Commission

Bills Pared As Suspense Deadline Arrives

Continuing my discussion from last week about deadlines, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees met yesterday and moved their ‘pet’ bills off of Suspense, while holding the others in committee (rendering them dead).   Yesterday’s actions set the stage for next week.  From Monday, June 1st until Friday, June 5th, the Legislature will be meeting only on the Floors of their respective houses in order to debate the remaining bills on their agendas.  All bills must pass out of their house of origin by next Friday.  Then starting the following Monday, June 8th, policy committees start hearing bills introduced from the opposite house; and, more deadlines ensue as the ‘process’ continues.

Also of note, the Legislature must approve the state budget by close of business on June 15th.    In years past budget deadlines were seldom met.  In fact, several years ago the budget debate dragged on into the fall.  Now, however, with the Democrats in strong control of both houses, coupled with the fact that the voters approved an initiative a few years back that links legislators’ pay to the passage of the budget by the June 15th deadline, this problem has ‘amazingly’ gone away!

The one possible ‘hiccup’ could be the liberals pushing for more funding of entitlement-type programs due to the significantly increased tax revenues that were generated this year; however, between the requirements mandating that a large percentage of these revenues must go to education, coupled with the recent voter-approved ‘rainy day’ fund requirement, there isn’t much more to pass around.  Plus, the governor has gone on record noting that any additional revenues the state has collected this year should be considered short-term; and as such, we must prepare for future downturns that are truly ‘just around the corner’ by not increasing program funds that cannot be sustained.   

Following are bills that I have recently reported on that survived Appropriations and are continuing through the legislative process.  For a complete list of all bills that I’m tracking which are still moving, please refer to the attached status report.

AB 566 (O’Donnell)  – Would apply to schools utilizing lease/lease-back arrangements for projects from $1 million and over.


AB 1185 (Ridley-Thomas)  Would establish a pilot program to authorize the Los Angeles Unified School District to use, before December 31, 2020, a best value procurement method for bid evaluation and selection for public projects that exceed $1 million.


AB 1358 (Dababneh)  – Would require all schools utilizing design/build or best value for projects over $1 million to comply with the PLA and “skilled and trained workforce” provisions.


AB 1431 (Gomez)A ‘variation of a theme’ by requiring that a contractor must be signatory to a Project Labor Agreement, this bill deals with job order contracting and would expand its provisions statewide until 2022 for schools with these type of projects costing over $25,000.


AB 251 (Levine) Establishing a Floor for Application of Prevailing Wage

This bill would provide that a project is not subject to prevailing wage if the public subsidy is de Minimis, which is defined as both less than $75,000 (the floor was raised from $25,000 as a concession to keep the bill alive) and less than 1% of the total project cost.  The bill would specify that those provisions do not apply to a project that was advertised for bid, or a contract that was awarded, before January 1, 2016.


AB 552 – (O’Donnell) – Consequential Damages on Public Works –

This bill would provide that a public works contract entered into on or after January 1, 2016, that contains a clause requiring a contractor to be responsible for consequential damages is not enforceable unless the consequential damages have been liquidated to a set amount and identified in the public works contract. Senate Rules for Assignment


AB 622 (Hernandez) – E Verify Program –

This bill would expand the definition of an unlawful employment practice to prohibit an employer or any other person or entity from using the E-Verify system to check the employment authorization status of an existing employee or an applicant who has not received an offer of employment, except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds. The bill would also require an employer that uses the E-Verify system to provide to the affected employee any notification issued by the Social Security Administration or the United States Department of Homeland Security containing information specific to the employee's E-Verify case or any tentative non confirmation notice. 

AB 852 (Burke) – Expansion of Prevailing Wage

Would expand the definition of "public works," for the purposes of provisions relating to the prevailing rate of per diem wages, to also include any construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under private contract on a general acute care hospital, as defined, when the project is paid for, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of conduit revenue bonds, as defined, that were issued on or after January 1, 2016. 

SB 119 (Hill) - Protection of Subsurface InstallationsThis is the bill I have repeatedly written about that deals with, among other things, the requirements of excavators calling 811 (Dig alert) prior to excavating.  Senator Hill took concessions to get the bill off of Suspense.  The main concession was that the bill now returns Cal Trans to exempt status from the provisions of the bill (huh??).  It also creates a new fund that will come from, among other things, fines assessed to violators who do not call before they excavate.


Watching this ‘newfangled bureaucratic monster’ grow, the following proposed amendments (in summary form) were sent to me today:


Underground Facility Safe Excavation Advisory Committee

  • Create the Underground Facility Safe Excavation Advisory Committee.  The advisory committee shall exist under the purview of the Contractor's State License Board, and shall be staffed by CSLB employees.


  • Board composed of seven members, which include Gov appointees (3 utilities, of which one muni, 1 non-utility locator, 1 one-call center), CSLB appointees (non-utility contractors), Speaker (labor), and Senate Rules (landowner).


  • The advisory committee has three purposes:


?      Coordinate education and outreach.  The advisory committee shall do so by means of the following:

?      Annual meeting/conference with stakeholders to coordinate efforts and determine areas of grant funding for the upcoming year. (starting Spring 2016)

?      Grants for education, outreach, marketing, and training to reduce damages to underground facilities, which may go to the one-call centers and other non-profits. (starting 2017)


?      Develop and recommend standards.  The advisory committee shall develop standards to address the following:

?      Standards of evidence for demonstrating compliance which the one-call law (i.e. taking pictures, etc.)

?      Recommended practices for locators when upon notification of a possible mismark.

?      Recommended practices for communication in the subcontracting process.

?      Recommended sanctions for specific violations of the one-call law.

?      Etc.

?      (First standards complete late 2016)


?      Investigate complaints of violations of the one-call law.  Upon receipt of a complaint, the advisory committee shall:

?      Determine whether sufficient evidence has been presented to determine the claim's validity.

?      Investigate complaint.

?      If a violation is found, present findings and recommend enforcement action to agency with jurisdiction over the violator (e.g. CPUC, CSLB, OSFM, local governments).

?      (Investigations begin early 2017)


Funding (Up to $500,000)

  • The Safe Infrastructure and Excavation Fund is created in the treasury.  Funds shall be allocated by the CPUC for the following purposes:

?      Operational expenses of the Underground Facility Safe Excavation Advisory Committee.

?      Grants for education, outreach, marketing, and training to reduce damages to underground facilities, to be allocated by the Underground Facility Safe Excavation Advisory Committee upon approval of the CSLB.

?      Recruitment and training for CPUC gas and electric safety staff.

  • Moneys collected in excess of that required by the Safe Infrastructure and Excavation Fund, with an appropriate reserve, shall revert to the General Fund.




  • CPUC-regulated gas utilities maintain list of claims filed for damages.


  • Once a complaint has been filed with the advisory board, the complainant cannot file suit in court for damages before the advisory boards makes its determination pertaining to fault, or before 120 days of filing the complaint with the advisory board, whichever is sooner.


  • Complainant must notify advisory board if filing suit in court for damages if the advisory board had determined the defendant was not at fault for the damage. 


California gas tax increase: Is this the year Jerry Brown pushes it through?

Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown has helped to resolve some of California's toughest fiscal challenges -- mainly huge structural deficits and old, forgotten debts.

But this year he appears ready to take on Mission Impossible -- getting Democrats and Republicans to agree to increase the state's gas tax to fix California's crumbling roads and bridges.


Hiking the gas tax has always been politically risky, especially in a state where cars are still king and that -gave birth to the anti-tax revolution in the late '70s.


But hell might be about to freeze over: For the first time in decades, even anti-tax Republicans are open to raising prices at the pump to start cutting into the state's $59 billion backlog of roadway maintenance.


To read the full article please go to:


State Assembly approves plan to bring back Kelo-style redevelopment

Redevelopment agencies would once again have the power to seize private property for big developers under a bill that passed the California State Assembly earlier this month.

Assembly Bill 2, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, would give local governments the power to create new entities that would have the same legal authority as redevelopment agencies. These new Community Revitalization Investment Authorities would have the power to issue bonds, award sweetheart deals to businesses and “acquire and transfer property subject to eminent domain,” according to the legislative analysis of the bill.


Property rights advocates warn that the bill’s language contains no restrictions on eminent domain and could resurrect the abuses made possible by the Supreme Court’s controversial Kelo decision.


“It brings back the right of governments to exercise eminent domain against some private parties in order to resell their property to other private parties,” cautioned Howard Ahmanson, Jr., a property rights advocate and founder of Fieldstead and Company. “Only new and wealthy suburbs would be potentially spared from ‘redevelopment,’ the lower middle class and poor would not.”


To read the full article, please go to:




News from the Energy Commission

Possible Adoption of 2016 Proposed Building Energy Efficiency Standards

Notice of Hearing for Possible Adoption of 2016 Proposed Building Energy Efficiency Standards and Negative Declaration Based on the Initial Study; Availability and Opportunity for Comment on the 15-Day Language and Additional Documents Relied Upon



The California Energy Commission will conduct a hearing during its regularly scheduled May Business Meeting to consider adopting the proposed update to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 6, the Appendices1 to Part 6, and the associated administrative regulations in Part 1 (collectively also known as the California Energy Code).


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

10:00 a.m.


1516 Ninth Street

1st Floor, Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room

Sacramento, California

Wheelchair Accessible


Concurrent with this notice, the Energy Commission has published modifications to the proposed Building Energy Efficiency Standards in Title 24, Parts 1 and 6, and portions of the Green Building Code in Part 11 (also known as CALGreen), that were previously made available for public comment, and identified additional documents it will rely upon for adoption of these Standards. The modifications to the proposed Standards are known as the "15-Day Language" and are the proposed revisions to the California Energy Code and CALGreen that the Energy Commission will consider adopting.



For more information:

(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)


Staff Webinar to Improve the California Whole-House Home Energy Rating System


California Energy Commission staff will conduct a webinar to obtain information from stakeholders interested in improving the California Whole-House Home Energy Rating System. In late 2012, the Commission opened the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Order Instituting Informational (OII) Proceeding, Order No. 12-1114-6, to identify potential procedures and other actions to improve the HERS program. Information gathered through the OII process will eventually lead to a rulemaking specific to the Whole-House Home Energy Rating System.


In August 2009, the Commission adopted revised California HERS regulations and the HERS Technical Manual1 to include Whole-House Home Energy Ratings in the HERS program2. Within the Whole-House Home Energy Rating System, a home is rated on a scale from 0 to 250 to show its efficiency relative to a reference home built to meet the 2008 Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

The webinar will be held on:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific)

Remote Access Available by Computer or Phone via WebEx




TELECONFERENCE OPTION: Parties and the public may attend the Public Workshop in person at the above location or by telephone and/or by computer via our "WebEx" web conferencing system. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the notice at:


WebEx and Conference Call-in-toll-free number: 1-866-469-3239 Please go to


Access code: 928 219 047

Meeting Password: meeting@1


For more information:

(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)





Version 4 was approved by the Energy Commission this week.  New features include:


- Improved compliance processing speed - almost twice as fast as Version 3c, for typical projects

- Accounts for dedicated boilers for hydronic space heating

- Accounts for refrigerant charge test for ductless (mini-split) heat pumps

- Define notes for documentation and notes to be printed on the CF1R

- Accounts for insulated roof tile systems by Green Hybrid Roofing

- Accounts for ducts located in specific attic conditions






Versions 3, 3b1, and 3c can still be used to show compliance, until August 1, 2015.

All approved computer compliance programs can be viewed at:


Version 4 of the CBECC-Res 2013 compliance software is now available for download.  ALL PERMIT APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED ON OR AFTER AUGUST 1, 2015 MUST USE CBECC-RES 2013 VERSION 4, AS ALL OTHER VERSIONS WILL EXPIRE ON JULY 31. 


Note that other currently approved residential compliance software programs (Right-Energy Title 24 and EnergyPro) will be decertified after July 31, unless they have been modified and approved to be used for permit applications on and after August 1.  Should either become decertified, you will be able to use CBECC-Res Version 4 to close out your permit applications.





If you need general help with the software, please check the CBECC-Res FAQs, Quick Start Guide and User Manual, which can all be downloaded from:


The Quick Start Guide and User Manual can also be accessed by clicking on the program's Help menu. If you need additional technical assistance with the software, please email CBECC-Res Support at (if you send an .ribd file, please mention the CBECC-Res version number).