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CFRW Capitol Update, May 15, 2023

From the Desk of Mary Ervin, CFRW President Submitted by Jeanne Solnordal, Legislative Analyst May 15, 2023

Members, If you are interested in taking a position on a bill, you can do so by utilizing the resources at CA Legislature Info AB 14, as amended, Davies. Income tax: childcare savings and investment accounts. Personal Income Tax: credit: childcare costs.05/01/23In committee: Set, second hearing. Held under submission. The Personal Income Tax Law allows various credits against the taxes imposed by that law. That law, in modified conformity to federal income tax law, authorizes a credit for household and dependent care expenses necessary for gainful employment, as provided. This bill would allow a credit against those taxes for each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2025, and before January 1, 2030, in an amount equal to childcare costs, as defined, paid or incurred by the qualified taxpayer in this state. The bill would limit the total credit for each taxable year, as specified. Existing law requires any bill authorizing a new tax expenditure, as defined, to include tax credits, to contain, among other things, specific goals, purposes, and objectives that the tax credit will achieve, detailed performance indicators, and data collection requirements. This bill would include findings and reporting requirements in compliance with this requirement. This bill would take effect immediately as a tax levy. The Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law, in conformity with federal income tax law, generally define “gross income” as income from whatever source derived, except as specifically excluded. Those laws also provide various exclusions and deductions from gross income, including exclusions and deductions for specified contributions to health savings accounts and medical savings accounts, as defined. This bill would state the intention of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish similar tax-preferred savings and investment accounts for childcare expenses. AB 62, as amended, Mathis. Statewide water storage: expansion.05/10/23In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to suspense file. Existing law declares that the protection of the public interest in the development of the water resources of the state is of vital concern to the people of the state and that the state shall determine in what way the water of the state, both surface and underground, should be developed for the greatest public benefit. Existing law establishes within the Natural Resources Agency the State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards. Existing law requires the work of the state board to be divided into at least 2 divisions, known as the Division of Water Rights and the Division of Water Quality. This bill would establish a statewide goal to increase above- and below-ground water storage capacity by a total of 3,700,000 acre-feet by the year 2030 and a total of 4,000,000 acre-feet by the year 2040. The bill would require the state board, in consultation with the Department of Water Resources, to design and implement measures to increase statewide water storage Department of Water Resources, in consultation with the state board, to take reasonable actions to promote or assist efforts to achieve the statewide goal. goal, as provided. The bill would require the state board, department, beginning July 1, 2027, and on or before July 1 every 2 years thereafter until January 1, 2043, in consultation with the department, state board, to prepare and submit a report to the Legislature on the progress made in designing and implementing measures to achieve the statewide goal. SB 8, as amended, Blakespear. Civil law: firearms Firearms liability and insurance.04/26/23April 26 set for first hearing. Testimony taken. Further hearing to be set. Existing law prescribes various civil causes of action and the measure of damages for those actions. Existing law requires any person who purchases or receives a firearm, as specified, to possess a firearm safety certificate. Existing law requires the Department of Justice to develop a written test required for the issuance of a firearm safety certificate. Existing law makes the violation of specified requirements with regard to firearms a misdemeanor or a felony, as specified. This bill would, commencing on January 1, 2025, make a person who owns a firearm civilly liable for each incidence of property damage, bodily injury, or death resulting from the use of their firearm, as specified. This bill would provide that this liability does not apply if the owner of the firearm has reported their firearm as lost or stolen, as specified. The bill would additionally require a person who owns a firearm to obtain and continuously maintain in full force and effect a homeowner’s, renter’s, or gun liability insurance policy specifically covering losses or damages resulting from any negligent or accidental use of that firearm, including, but not limited to, death, injury, or property damage. This bill would require a person to keep written evidence of coverage in the place where a firearm is stored. The bill would also require the Insurance Commissioner to set the minimum coverage for a policy required by the bill and to develop a standardized form of evidence of liability coverage. SB 772, as amended, Dahle. Junior hunting licenses: age of eligibility.05/08/23May 8 hearing: Placed on APPR suspense file. Under existing law, a hunting license grants the privilege to take birds and mammals. Existing law requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue an annual hunting license upon payment of a specified fee that varies in amount depending on whether the applicant is a resident of the state. Under existing law, an annual hunting license is valid for a term of one year beginning on July 1 or for the remainder of the term if issued after July 1. Existing law requires the department to issue a reduced-fee annual hunting license, known as a junior hunting license, upon payment of a specified fee, to a resident or nonresident who is under 16 years of age on July 1 of the licensing year for which that person seeks a license. This bill would would, beginning July 1, 2024, and until July 1, 2029, increase the age of eligibility for an applicant for a reduced-fee junior hunting license from 16 to 18 years of age, as specified. The bill would require the Director of Fish and Wildlife to submit a report to the Legislature on or before October 1, 2027, that evaluates the effect of this change in the eligibility for the junior hunting license on participation in hunting. The bill would also make related conforming changes.

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