Public Law Section
News from the Section
2013 California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference
Join Us for a Reception for New Lawyers and Students
The Public Law Section’s Executive Committee is hosting two upcoming receptions for new lawyers and students, which will include complimentary refreshments.
Friday, April 12, 2013, 4-5:30 p.m.
The State Bar Offices, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA
Friday, June 7, 2013, 3-4:30 p.m.
Best, Best & Krieger, 655 W. Broadway, San Diego, CA
RSVP to Raven.Ogden@calbar.ca.gov
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet influential public officials and private attorneys
specializing in public law. Attendees who qualify will also receive:
- Free membership to the Public Law Section
- 10% discount on CEB programs co-sponsored by the Public Law Section, as well as discounts on select CEB publications
- Free subscription to the quarterly Public Law Journal, with free MCLE credit available in each issue
- Access to the Public Law Section’s Members Only pages of the State Bar website, including an archive of past issues of the Public Law Journal
- E-news Public Law Section updates
- MCLE programs offered at the State Bar Annual Meeting
- Webinars and a self-study online catalog offering MCLE credits throughout the year
- Discounted admission to the annual California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference
Send in Your Nominations for the 2013 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award!
The Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations from members of the Public Law Section, the State Bar and the public at large for the 2013 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award. The Public Law Section established this award to recognize a public law practitioner who has provided outstanding service to the public and possesses an exemplary reputation in the legal community and the highest of ethical standards. Recognizing a public law practitioner who has quietly excelled in his or her public service is a consideration of the Executive Committee in selecting the award recipient. In addition, the Executive Committee supports the goal of diversity in the membership and leadership of the State Bar. As such, promoting and achieving diversity is considered in selecting an outstanding member of the State Bar as the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year.
Send nomination form (new window) to the address below. Nominations and supporting materials must be received no later than March 18, 2013, by mail, e-mail or fax at:
Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award
Public Law Section, Attn: Raven Ogden
180 Howard Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
The Public Law Section seeks sponsors for the 2013 awards ceremony. For more information, contact State Bar section administrator Kristina Robledo at (415) 538-2467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Redevelopment Legislative Update - October 1, 2012
The deadline for Governor Brown to veto or sign bills was midnight on September 30, 2012. Here is a recap of important action taken related to Redevelopment:
Senate Bill 1156 (Steinberg). This major bill, dubbed “Redevelopment 2.0” by some, was vetoed by Gov. Brown. The bill would have allowed municipalities to create “Sustainable Community Investment Authorities” to finance projects within sustainable investment areas. The bill could have facilitated the development of housing near transit hubs and manufacturing centers that provide equipment for the clean energy industry. Author Senator Steinberg states he will reintroduce the bill again when the new legislative session begins in January.
Assembly Bill 2144 (Perez). Gov. Brown also vetoed Speaker Perez’s bill that would have allowed local agencies to establish “infrastructure and revitalization financing districts,” subject to 55% voter approval in the district. The bill would have allowed the use of property tax funds and bond revenue to acquire land and develop or renovate residential, commercial and industrial projects.
In his veto message for AB 2144, which is virtually identical to his veto message for SB 1156, Gov. Brown states:
"Expanding the scope of infrastructure financing districts is premature," Brown wrote in his veto message. "This measure would likely cause cities to focus their efforts on using the new tools provided by the measure instead of winding down redevelopment. This would prevent the state from achieving the General Fund savings assumed in this year's budget."
If the veto messages for AB 2144 and SB 1156 did not convey the Governor’s urgency to wind down all redevelopment efforts, his signing of Assembly Bill 1484 earlier in 2012 makes the point. Assembly Bill 1484 gives strict deadlines to Successor Agencies for dissolving assets and making payments to the state. AB 1484 also provides that if any Successor Agency did not make complete 2011-2012 pass-through payments, the amount of payments not made would be deducted from property tax distributions.
The Public Law Section of The State Bar of California honored Phyllis W. Cheng as the 2012 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year!
The Public Law Section honored Phyllis W. Cheng, Director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Friday, October 12, 2012, 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. in the Portola Room of the Portola Hotel & Spa, Monterey
Appointed in 2008, Cheng heads the largest state civil rights agency in the nation. She previously was of counsel at national employment and labor law firm Littler Mendelson; a senior appellate attorney for 2nd Court of Appeal Justice Laurie Zelon; a deputy attorney general in the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the California Department of Justice; and an associate at Hadsell & Stormer, where she practiced employment discrimination law. For more information, see Public Lawyer of the Year Award.
The Public Law Section wishes to extend its grateful appreciation to the sponsors of the 2012 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award and Reception Honoring Phyllis W. Cheng.
Platinum Sponsor: Chevron Corporation
- Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
- Hadsell Stormer Richardson& Renick LLP
- Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
- Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver& Wilson
- Southwestern Law School
- Stockwell Harris Woolverton Muehl
- Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP
- Best Best & Krieger LLP
- Carmel & Naccasha LLP
- Colantuono & Levin, PC
- Hanson Bridgett LLP
- Kramer Telecom Law Firm PC
- Littler Mendelson
- Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP
- Nordman Cormany Hair& Compton LLP
- Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP
- Richards Watson & Gershon
- Richardson Harman Ober PC
- California Political Law, Inc.
- Jackson Lewis LLP
- Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation
- Jones Day
- Yvette M. Abich Garcia
- Law Offices of William R. Seligmann
- Bryan Schwartz Law
- 142 law-related educational courses among three education tracks
- Up to 18.5 hours participatory continuing legal education credit in all required MCLE subfields: elimination of bias, ethics, and detection & prevention of substance abuse
- Legal specialization credit in most practice areas, including legal malpractice
The Public Law Section is Now on Facebook and Twitter
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California Supreme Court Decides in California Redevelopment Association et al. v. Matosantos et al.
On December 29, 2011, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos, the case which challenged the validity of recent legislation (ABX1 26 and ABX1 27) passed as part of the State’s budget compromise that sought to dissolve and reenact with changes the framework for redevelopment agencies in California. The Court unanimously upheld ABX1 26, allowing the dissolution of redevelopment agencies to proceed, but in a 6-1 decision, invalidated ABX1 27, the “voluntary” buy-back program that would have allowed redevelopment agencies to continue to operate if payments were made to state funds benefitting schools and special districts.
Regarding ABX1 26, the Court reasoned that because redevelopment agencies (or “RDAs”) were created by the Legislature, the Legislature could also eliminate them: “A corollary of the legislative power to make new laws is the power to abrogate existing ones. What the Legislature has enacted, it may repeal.” As such, the Court concluded that "Assembly Bill 1X 26, the dissolution measure, is a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state Constitution."
With respect to ABX1 27, the Court felt differently. All but Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye concluded that the “voluntary payment” portions of ABX1 27 ran afoul of Proposition 22, adopted by voters in November 2010. The Court concluded that ABX1 27 was substantively indistinguishable from earlier efforts by the State to shift property tax increment from RDAs to the State’s educational revenue augmentation funds (or “ERAFs”) – the very circumstance that Proposition 22 sought to prevent. The Court therefore concluded that “Proposition 22 expressly forbids the Legislature from requiring such payments."
The Court further concluded that based upon specific provisions in the respective legislation, the Legislature intended ABX1 26 to be severable and to act independent of ABX1 27,whereas the remaining provisions in ABX1 27 were not severable from the improper payment provisions. Consequently, with respect to the issue of severability, the Court upheld ABX1 26 in its entirety, and struck down ABX1 27, also in its entirety.
Finally, the Court examined the implementation of ABX1 26 in light of the Court’s earlier partial stay and the passage of time that has rendered some of the law’s original time frames impossible. The Court concluded that it had the power to reform the law, and chose a relatively simple solution in reforming the original time frames within the law: all initial dates in ABX1 26 which fall before May 1, 2012 are shifted by four months, representing the time period during which the Supreme Court’s partial stay was in place.
For example, ABX1 26 originally required RDAs to cease operation and dissolve by October 1, 2011, unless the counties or cities that established the RDAs agreed to reduced funding (by way of committing to the payment provisions in ABX1 27). With ABX1 27 now declared invalid, only the dates in ABX1 26 remain applicable, subject to the four-month court extension for dates arising before May 1, 2012. As a result, the deadline of October 1, 2011 for redevelopment agencies to be dissolved and successor agencies to be established (such successor agencies would be responsible for continuing to make payments due for enforceable obligations of the former redevelopment agency), is shifted now by four months, to February 1, 2012.
However, for any time frames in ABX1 26 that occurred after May 1, 2012 or that span multiple fiscal years, the Court did not reform the deadlines. This means, for example, that for the distributions from the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund required to be made by the County Auditor-Controller on January 16 and June 1 every year, the January 16, 2012, distribution is shifted by four months and is now due May 16, 2012, but the June 1, 2012, distribution (and all future distributions) remain due as set forth in ABX1 26.
The Supreme Court’s decision in California Redevelopment Assn. v. Matosantos is expected to have significant impacts on development projects depending on or expecting to receive funds or other benefits from a RDA, if the expected funds or benefits are not due pursuant to an “enforceable obligation” under AB 1X 26. In addition, the dissolution of RDAs may cause confusion and delays as municipalities restructure certain regulatory and housing-related activities from RDAs to other departments or agencies.
The full opinion can be found at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S194861.PDF.
The Spring 2012 Public Law Journal Was Recently E-mailed to Members
Volume 35, Number 2 - Posted in the Members Only Area
Legal Issues in Automated Photo Enforcement Cases: Two Published Decisions Place Spotlight on Red Light Camera Prosecution
By Melissa Crosthwaite, Page 1
A Message from the Chair
By Sheryl Bratton, Page 10
Public Law Section to sponsor 7 MCLE programs at State Bar Annual Meeting
There’s Still Time to Enter the Public Law Section Student Writing Competition – Deadline May 18
Off-Site Public Improvements as a Map Condition: Negotiating an Off-Site Acquisition Agreement and Litigating the Developer-Funded Eminent Domain Case
By Alan A. Sozio and Thomas D. Jex, Page 14
Can A Lawful Arrest Be Negligent?
By Michael R. Linden and Justin B. Atkinson, Page 19
By Doug Haubert, Page 22
Litigation & Case Law Update
By Scott Dickey, Page 26
Online CLE & Podcasts Available for Public Law Section Programs
A growing catalog of courses from the Public Law Section is available for purchase online. The programs offer participatory CLE credits. To view current offerings, go to www.calbar.org/online-cle and click on Public Law.
Save Money with CEB
Continuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Public Law Section, you're eligible for:
- 10% off selected CEB print or online books
- A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket
A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.
The Public Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639