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Legislative Platform

The city will actively monitor and advocate or oppose legislation as directed by the City Council, through this platform, to protect the city’s interests and local legislative authority and will take appropriate action when required to safeguard and/or advance the city’s interests. This includes preserving and protecting the city’s charter powers, duties and prerogatives to enact local legislation concerning local affairs.

The purpose of this Legislative Platform is to clearly outline the position of the City Council on priority issues and matters that impact the city's ability to operate effectively, without precluding the consideration of additional legislative and budget issues that arise during the legislative session.

The statements outlined below allow the mayor, council members, and staff to take rapid action on these and other legislative issues if necessary.

  1. General Government
    1. Oppose legislation or constitutional amendments that weaken or interfere with the powers of charter cities and preserve local autonomy or home rule authority.
    2. Support measures which would strengthen cities' ability to reorganize and consolidate water districts, sewer districts, school districts, and other special districts that operate within or provide service to a city.
    3. Support legislation that provides State assistance for local public libraries.
    4. Support measures which provide adequate funding for the State Library.
    5. Support measures which lead to a state or national energy policy.
    6. Support state and federal funding and legislation for the arts that benefits local communities.
    7. Support legislation reducing and providing for recovery of costs, maintaining privacy, and eliminating attorney's fees for administering public records laws.
    8. Oppose federal measures which remove the deduction of all state and local taxes for federal income tax purposes.
    9. Support legislation and regulations of telecommunications facilities and services that:
      1. Maintain local control over public right-of-ways.
      2. Provide just compensation for use of right-of-ways and overseeing public service standards.
      3. Ensure public, education, and governmental access is available and affordable.
      4. Provide free access for public information services and announcements.
      5. Maintain local control, including but not limited to discretionary permits over wireless communications facilities.
      6. Reinstates competition in the telecommunications industry.
    10. Support legislation prohibiting firms from bidding on City projects if the firm is currently involved in legal proceedings against the City arising from prior projects.
    11. Support legislation that facilitates economic development efforts and encourages businesses to locate or remain in California.
    12. Oppose measures that would eliminate state licensing requirements for professionals involved in designing public and private developments.
    13. Support legislation that will foster independence of older Californians.
    14. Support legislation that requires cable television companies to assure that audio and video portions of adult entertainment channels are completely blocked 24 hours a day in the homes of non-subscribers.
    15. Support measures that provide funding for community park facilities, open space, and recreation programs.
    16. Support legislation that either requires citizen initiatives to comply with CEQA before placing the initiative on the ballot or exempting from this requirement a City Council initiated ballot measure dealing with the same subject matter on the same ballot.
  2. Local Government Finance
    1. Support measures that implement basic structural changes in state government that result in state budget expenditures being brought into balance with state revenues.
    2. Support measures which safeguard existing revenue sources from preemption by the State or County.
    3. Support measures which would provide fiscal independence to cities.
    4. Support legislation that makes funds to support public facilities (ie. facilities, open space) more available to local municipalities.
    5. Support measures which relieve taxpayers of the burden of paying for services which could be charged directly to the service user, and which simplify the process of establishing such fees.
    6. Support legislation that would provide greater accountability on the part of counties for the distribution of funds back to municipalities, including, but not limited to, fines and forfeitures.
    7. Support measures to reinstate flexibility in the administration of Article XIII-B (The Gann Initiative).
    8. Oppose any change in revenue allocations which would negatively (current or future) affect local government, including the redistribution of sales tax, property tax, transient occupancy tax and other taxes and fees.
    9. Oppose any measure that shifts revenue from any unit of local government to other agencies.
    10. Oppose any measure that would make cities more dependent on the State for financial stability and policy direction.
    11. Support legislation to eliminate or repeal unfunded state and federal mandates or to require timely reimbursement and oppose measures that would impose those mandates for which there is no guarantee of local reimbursement or offsetting benefits, or would shift the cost of government services to cities.
    12. Oppose any measure that restricts or limits a public entity’s ability to use tax exempt debt for the purchase or construction of public purpose improvements.
    13. Oppose legislation that shifts State/County criminal justice costs to cities.
    14. Oppose the use of the federal gas tax for federal debt reduction.
    15. Support legislation that streamlines permitting processes without undermining the ability of local government to apply and be compensated for the enforcement of reasonable building, planning and fire protection standards.
    16. Oppose legislation that creates surcharges for state oversight of state mandated programs.
    17. Support legislation that allows cities with civil service/personnel systems to contract out services to the private sector to save taxpayer dollars.
    18. Support legislation that assists cities to enforce and collect local taxes.
    19. Support legislation that would exempt stormwater and urban runoff management programs from Proposition 218 requirements.
    20. Oppose any measure or legislation that prevents local franchising of cable television or video services, regardless of the technology used to deliver the cable television or video services to the subscriber.
    21. Oppose legislation that would erode or purport to erode a charter city’s ability to design, implement, determine wage rates or fund any and all public works projects within its jurisdiction.
    22. Oppose any legislation that attempts to repeal or eliminate the “pay first and litigate later” provisions of law and oppose any bill or amendment that proposes to reduce or eliminate the obligation of any online travel agency to pay transient occupancy taxes under state or local law.
  3. Labor Relations
    1. Support legislation that limits the ability of employees to receive workers' compensation benefits for occupational injuries/illnesses that result from stress, disciplinary action, or performance evaluations or consultations.
    2. Support any measure that would reverse the imposition of compulsory and binding arbitration with respect to public employees.
    3. Oppose any measure that would grant employee benefits that should be decided at the local bargaining table.
    4. Oppose any legislation that would reduce local authority to resolve public employee disputes, and support legislation that would preserve court jurisdiction, and/or impose regulations of an outside agency (such as PERB).
    5. Oppose measures that propose a standard higher than the normal civil ones in disciplinary proceedings for peace officers.
    6. Oppose legislation that expands or extends any presumptions of occupational injury or illness and support legislation that repeals the presumption that the findings of a treating physician are correct.
    7. Oppose legislation that increases workers' compensation benefits without providing for concurrent cost controls.
    8. Support legislation that improves access to, and reduces the cost of, healthcare for public employees.
  4. Tort Reform
    1. Support measures to reform California's tort system to reduce/limit liability exposure for public agencies and restore the ability of public agencies to obtain affordable insurance.
    2. Support legislation that recognizes or broadens immunities for public agencies and oppose legislation that attempts to limit or restrict existing immunities.
    3. Support legislation that requires plaintiffs’ to make a good faith showing of liability prior to filing a lawsuit against a public entity.
  5. Transportation
    1. Support measures that would increase the ability of local agencies to finance local transportation facilities.
    2. Support measures to finance local and regional transportation facilities and improvements, including alternative modes of transportation and transportation demand management systems.
    3. Support legislation that provides for effective and efficient transportation alternatives.
    4. Oppose transportation proposals that would adversely affect the quality of life in North San Diego County by causing traffic congestion, air pollution or other problems.
    5. Encourage and support double tracking of the rail corridor within the City limits.
  6. Coastline
    1. Support measures which provide funding for urban waterfront restoration and enhancement.
    2. Support legislation that would aid the restoration, preservation and enhancement of beachfront property, sand, bluffs, access and parking.
    3. Support measures that would preserve and extend the authority of cities over land use regulations, over the placement of onshore facilities which service offshore oil drilling.
    4. Support legislation that requires the double hulling of all new oil tankers and the retrofitting of all existing oil tankers.
    5. Support legislation that promotes aquatic research, education, aqua culture, and other related uses.
    6. Oppose any offshore oil leasing or drilling within 20 nautical miles of the San Diego coast.
    7. Support legislation providing that if Coastal Commission staff has an opportunity to participate in local and or regional habitat management plans, there is a presumption of consistency with the Federal Coastal Management Act.
  7. Water Management
    1. Support a balanced water transportation and regional storage system that provides for the needs of San Diego County, while protecting the Delta and Central Valley regions with minimal impact on agriculture and the environment.
    2. Support measures that increase water supply and storage facilities within the region and allow for economically feasible water transfers within the system.
    3. Support efforts that will encourage water conservation practices by all water consumers.
    4. Support efforts to assist in the production and distribution of reclaimed water.
    5. Support measures that provide for the equitable allotment and distribution of preferential water rights.
    6. Support legislation and regulations that encourage the use and development of alternative water sources, including desalination.
    7. Support legislation that allows Water Districts to award contracts in conformity with the provisions of the local City Charter.
  8. Environment
    1. Support legislation that complements Council’s Environmental Sustainability Guiding Principles.
    2. Support efforts for the safe and cost effective disposal of solid, hazardous and medical waste.
    3. Support legislation that encourages timely action to reduce the amount of ozone depleting compounds discharged into the atmosphere.
    4. Support legislation that allocates state and/or federal funds for the construction of facilities to capture and treat the flow of raw sewage entering San Diego from Tijuana.
    5. Support measures, which promote the recycling/reclaiming of natural resources, including water, timber, oil, gas minerals and earth metals.
    6. Support measures that would make low-interest loans and/or grants available to local agencies for programs that would encourage the recycling/reclaiming of resources.
    7. Support legislation that streamlines federal and State of California's environmental review processes and limits court reviews of environmental documentation.
    8. Support legislation to develop an ongoing funding source to implement the federally mandated Clean Water Act of 1987 and to ensure protection of local resources.
    9. Support legislation that provides funding to improve recreational water quality, habitat management, and open space.
    10. Support legislation that promotes alternatively powered vehicles in the State vehicle buying program.
    11. Oppose environmental legislation that creates an unfunded mandate for cities to implement and fund.
  9. Waste Management
    1. Oppose legislation restricting the ability of local governments to regulate solid waste and recyclable materials.
    2. Support measures that promote market development of recyclable materials.
    3. Support legislation toward the procurement of recyclable and recycled materials.
    4. Support legislation that promotes source reduction measures.
    5. Support measures that encourage the streamlining of California Integrated Waste Management Board grant programs and provide maximum flexibility to local government.
    6. Oppose legislation regulating "flow control" of solid waste materials.
  10. Safety Services
    1. Support legislation that strengthens local law enforcement.
    2. Support measures which strengthen present state or federal laws to increase penalties and give local governments the power to restrict or regulate the sale, manufacture, or use of dangerous drugs.
    3. Support measures that would provide a greater share of seized assets to localities and increased discretion for local spending.
    4. Support legislation that discourages, prevents, and penalizes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    5. Support legislation that enhanced local agencies ability to recover costs from guilty parties for damage to public property and services in accidents involving driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
    6. Support legislation that would allow for the destruction, confiscation, or extended safekeeping of firearms or other deadly weapons involved in domestic violence incidents.
    7. Oppose legislation that would restrict or reduce the ability of local government to determine the extent or method of fire hazard mitigation necessary in or around wildland areas.
    8. Support legislation granting immunity to or limiting liability of governmental entities and their employees who provide emergency medical instructions and/or treatment as a part of their public safety dispatch system.
    9. Oppose legislation that would restrict a local government from revising the delivery of emergency medical service to its citizens and support measures that broaden these powers.
    10. Support legislation that would assist local safety agencies in regionalization of activities such as training, crime labs, and other appropriate functions.
    11. Support legislation that would provide funding for addiction rehabilitation treatment.
    12. Support legislation that provides financial assistance to local agencies for Homeland Security.
  11. Land Use Planning
    1. Support legislation to strengthen the legal and fiscal capability of local agencies to prepare, adopt and implement fiscal plans for orderly growth, development, beautification and conservation of local planning areas, including, but not limited to, regulatory authority over zoning, subdivisions, annexations, and redevelopment areas.
    2. Support measures in local land use that is consistent with the doctrine of "home rule" and the local exercise of police powers in planning and zoning processes.
    3. Support legislation requiring environmental review of initiatives to amend a general plan or zoning ordinance before the initiative is placed on the ballot or enacted.
    4. Support legislation to allow cities to issue all coastal development permits within their jurisdiction consistent with a previously certified coastal plan.
    5. Support legislation that facilitates and provides funds for habitat management planning, maintenance, administration, and local control.
    6. Oppose legislation or constitutional amendments that would restrict the power of California cities to use eminent domain for public purpose projects.
    7. Support measures that allow local agencies to condition mobile home park conversions from rental to resident ownership pursuant to local land use regulations including a requirement to provide public improvements and infrastructure where necessary to promote the health, safety, and welfare of park residents.
  12. Housing and Community Development
    1. Support efforts to develop federal and state participation, financial support and incentives (tax benefits, grants, loans) for programs which provide adequate, affordable housing (home ownership and/or rental opportunities) for all economic segments of the community including the elderly, handicapped, and low-income persons.
    2. Support legislation that provides incentives (tax benefits, grants, loans, credits for affordable units) to local agencies, private developers and non-profit groups in order to rehabilitate residential units and commercial properties.
    3. Support legislation that would provide additional funding for rental subsidy assistance programs (such as Section 8) via more vouchers or certificates.
    4. Support repeal of Article 34 (Public Housing Project Law) of the California Constitution.
    5. Support legislation that allows entitlement cities to use CDBG funds for new construction of housing units.
    6. Support state inclusionary housing legislation that allows for adoption of local programs such as that implemented in Carlsbad.
    7. Support the repeal or modification of the Davis-Bacon Wage Act, as it relates to charter cities, that set a prevailing wage scale for public projects, substantially increasing the cost of publicly assisted housing developments.
    8. Support legislation that will consolidate and streamline the administration and reporting requirements for the Community Development Block Grant program.
    9. Support the consolidation of the Section 8 Certificate and Voucher Programs.
    10. Oppose legislation that would give the State financial administrative responsibilities for the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG).
    11. Oppose legislation that makes the local municipality or redevelopment agency financially responsible for the removal, abatement or mitigation of hazardous materials.
    12. Support legislation that requires availability of adequate school facilities contemporaneously with occupancy of housing.
  13. Redevelopment
    1. Support reform of reporting requirements for the Redevelopment Agency that simplify the process and eliminate the confusion regarding which reports to file with which State agency (Housing and Community Development or Controllers Office or both).
    2. Oppose legislation that would prohibit/limit the establishment of new redevelopment project areas and/or expansion of existing project areas.
    3. Oppose any legislation that allows reallocation of tax increment revenues by the State to finance agencies and/or projects other than the redevelopment project which generated the increment.
    4. Oppose legislation or constitutional amendments that would restrict the power of California cities to use eminent domain for redevelopment projects, including economic redevelopment, where a prior finding of blight has been determined.
  14. Child Care
    1. Support the reduction of present regulatory complexities.
    2. Support the reduction of the burden of insurance costs.
    3. Support funding for the construction, renovation and/or maintenance of child care facilities.
    4. Support the provision of reasonable tax incentives for employers who offer child care services.
    5. Support legislation that restores local control over quality childcare in areas such as licensure, staffing, education and training.
  15. Immigration
    1. Support legislation which recognizes the unique and difficult problems associated with recent legal and illegal immigrants to the United States, and assist local communities in dealing with these problems in such areas as housing, health services, education and employment.
    2. Support legislation to increase the number of border patrol agents at the International Border.
    3. Support state and federal assistance to local communities attempting to address the needs of migrant workers.
  16. Energy
    1. Support legislation that develops regulatory and market mechanisms that ensure the State achieves the greatest level of energy self-sufficiency and security as soon as practical.
    2. Support legislation that establishes a market structure and rules that promote real competition and reasonable, justifiable prices.
    3. Support legislation that aggressively pursues refunds to consumers for rates that have been determined to be unjust or unreasonable.
    4. Support legislation that commits to and expedites the development of needed infrastructure (e.g. generation, transmission, and natural gas pipelines) to create robust and functional markets.
    5. Support legislation that increases the diversity of the State and region’s energy resources, particularly increasing the use of higher-efficiency, clean distributed generation (e.g. combined heat and power) and renewable resources.
    6. Support legislation that encourages and incentivizes the adoption of new and
    7. emerging technologies that provide real-time pricing to promote better price response by consumers.
    8. Support legislation that promotes municipal renewable energy development.
    9. Support legislation that allows net electrical metering.
    10. Support legislation that provides financial incentives for renewable energy.
    11. Support legislation that minimizes adverse environmental impacts of the State and the region’s energy use.
    12. Support legislation that encourages funding programs for and promotion of alternate energy sources
    13. Support legislation that prohibits the California Energy Commission from issuing any license to operate a power plant unless and until it has received the report required by the California Coastal Commission under the Warren-Alquist Act.
  17. Public Health
    1. Support any measure that protects children and youth from exposure to tobacco, second hand smoke and tobacco-related products.
    2. Support legislation that recognizes and prevents the adverse impacts affecting the public health and welfare of its citizens, and particularly minors.