Meeting Date:

 June 20, 2005





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:


Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  The purpose of this item is for the Board of Directors to receive an update from its Legislative Committee (Directors Lehman, Pendergrass and Potter) on the status of discussions regarding AB 1421 with its author, Assembly Member John Laird.  If adopted in its current form this bill (Exhibit 20-A) would allocate, to serve new affordable housing, 750 acre-feet per year of any State-approved or funded project providing water within the District.  The amended bill also would earmark for affordable housing 20% of a new water supply project that produced less than 750 AFY.   


RECOMMENDATION:   It is recommended that the Board 1) receive an update on AB 1421 from its Legislative Committee and staff; and 2) provide direction, as appropriate, regarding the Committee’s continued discussions with Assembly Member Laird on the bill to ensure that the Board’s key concerns and objectives are addressed and considered as the bill moves through the Legislature.        


BACKGROUND:  On February 22, 2005 Assembly Member Laird introduced into the State Legislature Assembly Bill 1421.  AB 1421 proposes to amend the California Water Code to prohibit a state agency from approving and/or awarding grant funds for a project that would provide water within the MPWMD’s boundaries, unless 750 acre feet/year of water from that water supply project is allocated to affordable housing as specified in the respective General Plan of each city and county within the District’s boundaries.  As amended the bill would also:

a) allocate for new affordable housing, 20% of a new water supply project that produces less than 750 AFY; and b) exempt any water project that received California Coastal Commission approval before January 1, 2006.  AB 1421 continues to declare that unique water supply and housing conditions extant on the Monterey Peninsula warrants exceptions to California constitutional requirements that a) general laws of the state be uniformly applied (Article IV, Section 16), and b) each state law creating a mandate on local government either be fully funded by the Legislature, or its mandated action is suspended (Article XIII B, Sec. 6).  


At its March 31, 2005 special meeting the Board reviewed the staff’s initial analysis of AB 1421; identified several questions and potential concerns related to the District; and formed an ad hoc Legislative Committee to meet with Assembly Member Laird and his staff to address those questions and potential concerns.  The Ad Hoc Committee held a conference call with Mr. Laird and his staff on April 11, during which the Assembly Member committed to working with the District to resolve its concerns about the potential impact of the bill, particularly as it relates to the Aquifer Storage and Recovery project.  Committee members and staff met with Assembly Member Laird’s staff on April 22 and May 27 to review the bill in greater detail.  They agreed to review potential changes to the bill with the District prior to submitting further amendments.     Attached is a letter from Assembly Member Laird describing the current status of potential amendments to the bill (Exhibit 20-B).  Also attached is a letter from the Monterey County Hospitality Association (Exhibit 20-C).


The latest update on actions the Assembly has taken to date on AB 1421 is attached as Exhibit 20-D.



20-A    AB 1421 (Laird), as amended

20-B    June 7, 2005 Letter from Assembly Member John Laird

20-C    May 23, 2005 Letter from Mike Oprish, Monterey County Hospitality Association

20-D    AB 1421 Legislative History (dated 4/29/05)