Gov. Brown Commutes Potential Death Sentence for Boating and Waterways Commission

California’s Credit Union Advisory Committee and the state Boating and Waterways Commission gained at least a temporary reprieve Oct. 3 when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that could have eliminated the two.

The Democratic governor objected to one legislative body – the 10-member Joint Sunset Review Committee – making decisions on the size of the executive branch.

“This bill delegates solely to a legislative committee decisions on whether and for how long certain state commissions should exist,” Brown wrote in his veto message.

“I don’t think this is the best way to eliminate boards and commissions. I will work with the author to fashion a better process.”

The author of the bill, AB 656, is Assemblywoman Alyson Huber, an El Dorado Hills Democrat who was also the author of AB 1659, the 2010 measure creating the Joint Sunset Review Committee.

Huber’s new committee took the place of the Joint Committee on Boards, Commissions and Consumer Protection, which had no members appointed to it since 2006.

Sunseting is placing a termination date on a program or agency.

Prior to that termination date, a review is conducted to see if the entity is operating efficiently and whether it should continue.

As of 2010, approximately 35 states engage in some form of sunset review.

State law calls for an every-four-years review of existing and proposed state boards to determine whether they have outlived their usefulness. That review starts with a “Self Evaluation Report” in which thea gency set for possible elimination justifies its existence.

A 10-year review of the 32 boards that regulate everything from doctors to barbers housed in the Department of Consumer Affairs was completed in 2005. Most boards had their sunset date extended.  

Under Huber’s 2010 bill, lawmakers can prolong the life of a board or other agency, regardless of the sunset review committee’s recommendations.

The bill Brown vetoed would have deleted the January 1, 2013 sunset date for the State Race Track Leasing Commission and extended its life indefinitely.

Members of the commission are the directors of the state Departments of Food and Agriculture, Finance and General Services and three persons named by the governor who are also members of the board of the 22nd District Agricultural Association.

The commission may “enter into leases or other agreements for the use of the Del Mar Race Track and any other property owned or controlled by the 22nd District Agricultural Association which the commission shall deem necessary to provide horseracing at Del Mar Race Track.”

Absent a review by the sunset committee, the Credit Union Advisory Committee and the Boating and Waterways Commission would have ceased to exist January 1, 2014 under Huber’s bill.




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