Update from Mike Dillon, CASA State Lobbyist
Legislature Scheduled to Debate Budget Trailer Bills Today
Today the Senate and Assembly are scheduled to consider the remaining Budget related “trailer bills” on the floors of both houses. While the Budget has been on the Governor’s desk since the June 15 constitutional deadline, over the past two weeks the Governor and Democratic Leaders have been working to remedy an unresolved $800 million deficiency and resolve some policy disputes, including the rejection of the $250 million RDA “pass-through” issue. While a few of the “trailer bills” will make changes to the 700-page Budget bill on the Governor’s desk, many will deal with issues only tangentially related to the Budget, if at all. For example, AB 1478 by the Assembly Budget Committee is 171 pages and was just amended and made available late yesterday. It includes 48 different issues ranging from the use of vacuums and suction dredge equipment in rivers, to inspection fees on milk producers. However, imbedded on page 164 of the bill is the final language relating to the restructuring of the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, which you will recall from our June 7 report to the field, changes the composition of the Boards, makes changes to the conflict of interest rules, etc.
We will report to the membership on this and other Budget idiosyncrasies after the Governor takes final action on the 2012-13 Budget in the coming days.
Caroll Mortensen Confirmed as Director of CalRecycle
On Wednesday, June 20, the Senate Rules Committee confirmed Caroll Mortensen as the Director of CalRecycle, a position she has been acting in since Governor Brown appointed her in October 2011. Caroll received a warm reception by the Commmittee after she was introduced by her former boss and Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, Senator Joe Simitian. After Caroll made some brief comments on her nomination and fielded several questions from the Committee members regarding her plans for the future of CalRecycle, CASA Lobbyist Mike Dillon, at the Direction of the CASA Executive Board and President Gary Darling, testified in favor of Ms. Mortensen’s appointment. Several other lobbyists representing various industries testified in support of her confirmation as well.