Bill Text: CA SB454 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: State Water Resources Control Board: Administrative Hearing Office: fees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-19 - Set for hearing April 23. [SB454 Detail]

Download: California-2019-SB454-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 454


Introduced by Senator Caballero

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 1110 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 454, as introduced, Caballero. State Water Resources Control Board: Administrative Hearing Office: fees.
Existing law, operative July 1, 2019, creates within the State Water Resources Control Board an Administrative Hearings Office composed of attorneys qualified to act as hearing officers in adjudicative proceedings involving water rights matters. Existing law establishes the Water Rights Fund and provides that moneys in the fund are available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for, among other things, the administration of the board’s water rights program.
This bill would authorize the office to be supported in full or in part by fees assessed against parties that participate in a hearing conducted by the office and would prohibit the fees from being in an amount more than necessary to cover the reasonable costs of the burden imposed on the office by the individual fee payor. The bill would require the fees collected to be deposited into the fund.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1110 of the Water Code is amended to read:

1110.
 (a) There is within the board an Administrative Hearings Office. The board shall administer the Administrative Hearings Office as an independent organizational unit consistent with the role of the Administrative Hearings Office as a neutral, fair, and efficient forum for adjudications. The Administrative Hearings Office shall be overseen by a presiding hearing officer.
(b) The purpose of the Administrative Hearings Office is to provide qualified, impartial hearing officers, to ensure that water rights matters, including water-related cannabis enforcement matters, are resolved in a timely manner, and to provide the board flexibility to assign hearing officers to other matters, such as those involving water right change petitions and other matters concerning water right permits and licenses.
(c) The Administrative Hearings Office shall conduct adjudicative hearings pursuant to this chapter in accordance with Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. Except as otherwise provided in Section 1113 or the regulations of the board, this section does not limit the discretion of the board where Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code makes the applicability of a procedure or requirement discretionary.
(d) The Administrative Hearings Office may be supported in full or in part by fees assessed against parties that participate in a hearing conducted by the office. Fees assessed against a party for participation shall not be in an amount more than necessary to cover the reasonable costs of the burden imposed on the Administrative Hearings Office by the individual fee payor. Fees collected pursuant to this subdivision shall be deposited into the Water Rights Fund, established by Section 1550.

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