EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Skinner Focuses on Energy Conservation and Taxes in Slew of New Bills

Asm. Nancy Skinner
PHOTO/East Bay EDA
ASSEMBLY//LEGISLATIVE UPDATE | Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner produced 20 new bills this month covering a wide swath of topics, but three ringed true to the Berkeley representative's traditional focus on energy conservation and another three on taxes. Skinner also added another bill related to firearms in addition to her well-publicized firearms bill she introduced last month.

Skinner made headlines when she proposed AB 48 that seeks to crack down on ammunition and guns by banning clip capacities larger than 10 rounds and require any person selling ammunition to be licensed and the buyer to show I.D. Skinner produced another bill, AB 1296, related to firearms to amend section 26800 of the penal code to revoke the license of a dealer of firearms if he or she breaches prohibitions or requirements required of a firearms dealer.

But Skinner’s history of activism and legislative experience is filled with energy conservation and renewable efficiency advocacy. Following that history Skinner produced a trio of new bills that seek to further her energy goals.

AB 489 states that existing law requires a regulatory proceeding to “develop a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in the state’s existing residential and nonresidential building stock”. Furthermore, the Energy Commission is required to fund these activities from the Federal Trust Fund consistent with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But Skinner’s bill wants to repeal this provision requiring the commission to fund these activities by this method.

AB 1131 is only a minor adjustment for extending a reporting date for the implementation of the Clean Energy Upgrade Program that seeks to help reduce costs for property owners that seek to implement renewable energy improvements. Current law requires authority to submit a report to the Legislature regarding the implementation of such programs by January 1, 2015 and Skinner wants to extend it to 2017.

As for AB 1258 Skinner wants to require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to open a new proceeding or expand the scope of an existing proceeding to determine the potential use of hydroelectric facilities and pump storage facilities. California is the second largest hydroelectric producer in the U.S.

Skinner also has a trio of tax bills that speak to her liberal cred. One would disallow the use of net operating loss carrybacks by individuals and corporate taxpayers. This bill, if passed, would result in paying a higher tax and therefore will require a two-thirds majority vote.

Another tax related bill deals with corporate punishments if corporations fail to pay delinquent taxes or penalties. The bill states “subject foreign non registered limited liability companies to contract voidability where the foreign non registered limited liability company is subject to suspension or forfeiture for failure to file a tax return or for failure to pay delinquent taxes, penalties, or interest.”

The third tax bill merely requires the minimum contribution taken from an individuals tax liability, that they voluntarily designated on their return, to be given to the California Breast Cancer Research fund to meet the minimum contribution amount for the 2013 year.

Other bills expand various topics including nutrition, athletic trainers, occupational hazards, improvement on the notice of default of a person’s mortgage and dentistry education. Skinner is also introducing a bill related to inmates health care that would require an inmate to sign up to Medi-Cal 30 days before their scheduled release.

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