Legislative Priorities

Purpose
Under City Council direction, staff monitors proposed state and federal legislation that may affect the City of Poway, and advocates positions adopted by the City Council to members of the California State Legislature, Governor, and/or members of Congress.

The legislative priorities provide guidelines for the City of Poway’s legislative advocacy activities this year. The primary areas addressed through this slate include:
Throughout the legislative session, proposed state and federal legislation of interest to local governments is analyzed and brought to the City Council for consideration of a formal city position. Staff then advocates these positions to legislative representatives. The majority of legislation considered by the City of Poway will be addressed in this manner.

Communication
Occasionally, the legislative process requires almost immediate action in order to effectively communicate the city’s position. These established legislative priorities will enable staff to respond to legislation quickly as it moves through the process, without first seeking City Council direction. Under such circumstances, for bills that fit within the scope of the City Council-established legislative priorities, staff will communicate the City of Poway’s position. This tool will be used on a limited-basis only. All bills addressed by staff using the identified Legislative Priorities will be presented to the City Council as part of the next staff report on pending legislation for adoption of a formal City position, along with other bills for consideration without the same urgency.

Advocacy
Advocacy efforts include written correspondence signed by the Mayor, and in some cases, personal contact with legislative representatives’ staff. Copies of lobbying letters will be provided to the City Council to ensure they are informed of such actions. During and following the legislative session, reports will be provided to the City Council with updates on all legislation on which the City of Poway takes a position.

Items not covered through this slate will be brought to the City Council for consideration. These legislative priorities only address issues directly relevant to the provision of municipal services. The City of Poway will not address matters that are not pertinent to local government services and duties, such as socially divisive, partisan, and international issues.

Retain Local Control of Local Government Finances
  • Full reimbursement to cities for all state and federal government mandated programs
  • Protection of local government revenue from being taken, shifted, diverted, or otherwise used to fund state government operations and responsibilities, or for any purpose
  • Increased revenues to local governments to fund municipal services
  • Protection of critical local programs and services from state budget cuts
  • Protection of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and other federal funding sources
  • Advocacy for the inclusion of storm drain fees among the types of fees exempt from voting requirements imposed by Proposition 218
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Land Use
  • Protect local control of land use decision-making and oppose legislation that would hinder or threaten local control.
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Infrastructure, Resources & Environment
  • Develop and implement a long-range, Statewide infrastructure investment program with necessary state and federal funding
  • Retain control over public rights-of-way
  • Allow general law cities to use design-build or other delivery methods for constructing capital improvement projects
Transportation
  • Provide equitable state and federal funding for roads and highways and facilitate the timely construction of local transportation projects
  • Require use of Proposition 42 funding for transportation purposes, as intended by the voters, and seek timely repayment of Proposition 42 funds diverted to the state’s General Fund
Water
  • Support legislation intended to protect the existing water supply and facilitate development of future water sources to provide a stable water supply for Southern California
  • Encourage the use of water conservation techniques
  • Provide incentives and funding for desalination plants
  • Promote usage of reclamation and reclaimed water, including incentives to do so
Storm Drains
  • Oppose more stringent requirements for storm water pollution prevention programs, unless accompanied by either funding or mechanisms to provide necessary funding for any new mandates
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Redevelopment
  • Retain local discretion in the use of redevelopment funds
  • Protect redevelopment funding and authority, including the rare use of eminent domain to address the effects of blight, in a manner consistent with the Poway Redevelopment Agency Plan, which excludes residential zoned and used properties
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Housing
Housing Element
  • Support expansion of the housing supply consistent with local planning and environmental objectives
  • Oppose efforts to decrease local control and land use decision-making related to Housing Element requirements set forth by the State of California
Affordable Housing
  • Support efforts to develop state participation and financial support for creative programs to provide adequate, affordable housing (home ownership, and/or rental opportunities) for the elderly, disabled individuals, and/or low- and moderate-income persons
  • Support legislation that allows cities to meet State planning requirements for housing on a regional basis
  • Reduce the burden of prevailing wage requirements by increasing the financial thresholds that trigger the requirements and eliminating the prevailing wage requirement for low-income housing construction projects
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Public Safety
Law Enforcement
  • Support funding for local law enforcement equipment, services, or personnel
  • Protect the public from crimes committed by use of computer, Internet and identity theft
Fire Protection
  • Ensure local flexibility and discretion in the adoption and implementation of health and safety standards contained in the building and fire codes
  • Provide funding for local emergency operations including equipment, services, and personnel
Emergency Medical Care
  • Support municipal authority and discretion regarding the provision of emergency medical services, to ensure the most efficient and effective levels of service possible for the Poway community
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Employment Matters & Risk Management
  • Retain local control of labor relations for the City of Poway as an employer and minimize the increasing costs of mandated programs, such as workers’ compensation
  • Support legislation that limits local government exposure to lawsuits related to liability, including but not limited to areas such as unimproved natural conditions, design immunity, and hazardous recreational activities
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Telecommunications
  • Support open competition for telecommunications and video services in a “level playing field” environment
  • Support protection of existing local government franchise agreement authority, control of public rights-of-way, and equitable service levels
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