Government

The California Department of Finance has now posted a weblink to the form cities can use to request American Rescue Plan Act funds here. Both City’s designated contact person for State-issued Coronavirus Relief Funds and the City Manager should receive a unique username and password to log into the Department of Finance’s webform application. The application must include the information some basis information about the city, including: City name, Taxpayer ID Number, DUNS Number, and Address; Authorized representative name, title, and email; Contact person name, title, phone and email; Financial institution information. In addition, the City must sign and…
After a marathon 10-hour meeting on June 3, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board has approved revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. (8 C.C.R., §§ 3205 et seq.) Most notably, all employees must still wear face coverings when indoors or when outdoors and less than six feet from another person, regardless of vaccination status. There are only limited circumstances when employees are not required to wear face coverings, including new exceptions for vaccinated employees either: (1) when all persons in a room are fully vaccinated and not displaying…
The Legislature continues its efforts to increase the state’s housing supply, regardless of local land use policies and priorities. Senate Bill 9, introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, will require cities to approve by right through ministerial action up to four units on existing single-family parcels.  Senate Bill 9 has passed the State Senate and is now pending in the Assembly. The bill is opposed by many cities and Cal Cities. Senate Bill 9 would require up to four residential units to be allowed per existing lot in most single-family residential zones statewide, without any discretionary…
In 2017, the Court decided California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, a dispute over an initiative to allow marijuana dispensaries in that city. It concluded that an initiative is not subject to some of Proposition 218’s limits on taxes proposed by city councils and county boards of supervisors. Its broad language opened the door to the possibility that a special tax proposed by initiative could be immune from the requirement for two-thirds voter approval. Three Court of Appeal decisions have now walked through that door, concluding that initiative special taxes can be approved by simple majorities of votes…
Ski lodge owners in the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom to prevent him and other government officials from enforcing a raft of COVID-19-related orders. The complaint, filed in the Eastern District, alleges that the measures violate their constitutional rights. The suit was filed by short-term lodging owners Cindy and Timothy Abshire and Alan and Monica Butts, along with lodging manager Nomadness Corp. and the Mammoth Lakes Business Coalition. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was also named in the suit, along with state and Mono County public health officers and Mammoth Lakes town officials, alleging they have…
Over 50 Bay Area restaurants and wineries served Gov. Gavin Newsom with a lawsuit Tuesday asking that he take back his order for regional bans on outdoor dining. The class action suit brought by the Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening seeks to enjoin Newsom’s December ban on outdoor dining and wine tasting. Public Health Director Tomás J. Aragón is also named in the complaint. The complaint requests that the outdoor dining ban be rescinded for the entire Bay Area region, or just Napa and Sonoma Counties. Newsom’s order divided the state into regions and imposed strict regulations in regions…
Secretary of State Alex Padilla will replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the Senate, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday. Padilla will become the first Latino senator in California. “His appointment will make history. But the @AlexPadilla4CA I know is far more interested in changing history — especially for the working men and women of our state and country. I can think of no one better to represent the state of California as our next United States Senator,” Newsom tweeted. The tweet included a video of Padilla agreeing to take the position, saying “I will make you proud and California…
All four federal court districts in California have announced that they will be canceling the majority of in-person hearings due to heightened COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state. Cases will be stayed and hearings will take place online or via phone, according to the courts. The changes took effect Wednesday and will last until at least Jan. 8, according to statements released by the courts. Hearings in the Central District of California have been canceled except for hearings on criminal duty matters, all courts are currently closed to the public, and grand jury proceedings are also suspended, District Court Executive Kiry…
CHW’s quarterly newsletter on public law topics is out. You can see it here. This issue has articles on: A landmark Court of Appeal decision reducing the number of votes required to adopt an initiative special tax; A new statute governing redistricting after 2020 Census data are available next March; and, A recent win for a public agency in a dispute with a utility about the cost to relocate utility lines to facilitate a public works project. We also touch on the firm’s current webinar offerings. You can see that listing here. Check it out!…
Civil service commissions handle employee discharge appeals in most California counties and many cities. A recent case from the Second Appellate District, Deiro v.  Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission, clarified the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission when an employee is both discharged and takes disability retirement. The plaintiff in Diero was a deputy sheriff injured on duty in 2012. In 2015, he applied to LACERA for service-connected disability retirement. Shortly after his application was granted, but before his retirement began, the Sheriff’s Department discharged the deputy for bad conduct.  The deputy appealed to the…