Category Archives: Municipal Law

Part 1: 2018 New Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

From the Public Agency Law Department: Part One of a Four Part Series:
2018 Newly Introduced California Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

The following is an overview of newly introduced and pending legislation that will impact California cities, counties, special districts, and water districts, if passed and/or approved by the electorate. To read more about a particular bills or propositions, follow the links below and contact SBEMP for further information or assistance.

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Part 2: 2018 New Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

From the Public Agency Law Department: Part 2 Of a Four-Part Series:
2018 Newly Introduced California Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

The following is a summary of newly introduced and pending Legislation that will impact California cities, counties, special districts, and water districts, if passed, and/or accepted by the electorate. To read more about bills or propositions, follow the links below and contact SBEMP for assistance or more details.

Continue reading

What Is Municipal Litigation?

Often times, municipal litigation involves precise zoning laws in a specific counties, towns, and cities. However, these type of lawsuits can also be brought about on behalf of law enforcement agencies, government entities, and schools. Continue reading

Coachella Valley Governmental Law Stops Illegal Local Area Dispensaries

Recent California Marijuana Legislation

In a recent article, a historic piece of legislation has been passed in California with the legalization of marijuana. Medicinal and recreational smokers can legally purchase cannabis from their local dispensary, wherever marijuana is sold. Residents must be eighteen years of age or older and have a medical marijuana card. Local dispensaries must be licensed to sale marijuana in the state of California. Continue reading

New Updates To Assembly Bill 46

Women in California employed by the government have received new protection regarding wage discrimination through a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown, according to an article on the Sacramento Bee. Under Assembly Bill 46, wage discrimination claims can be pursued by female public employees through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or in court. Under the California Equal Pay Act, only employees in the private sector could pursue these claims. 

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Understanding the Notice Requirements of the California Open Meeting Act

What is the California Open Meeting Act?

The California Open Meeting Act is a law that allows members of the public and others to attend and get notified about meetings involving local and state officials (with some exceptions). Under this law, local and state agencies (or other government bodies such as “commissions, school districts”), must provide public notice of their meeting along with information about the items to be discussed.

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How New Medical Marijuana Regulations May Effect You

California’s medical marijuana laws have changed. As of January 2, 2018, the state will implement the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. The act was released earlier this spring. The act is altered many regulations previously known under Proposition 64 with the Medical Marijuana Act. All three state licensing authorities, known as the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Food and Agriculture have decided to withdraw from their proposed regulations. Continue reading

Municipal Law and Budget Allocation

Jerry Brown signed a $183 billion state budget amid uncertain times when the California Government required a balanced state budget. In an article from the Sacramento Bee, Brown stated that the government was making decisive actions in budgeting for funds. He also added that the budget would provide the required funds to pay down debts, repair roads, provide medical care, and fund income taxed credit.  Continue reading

Legalization of Commercial Cannabis in California

Reason for Legalization 

The promise of new tax revenue amounting to millions of dollars was the major argument put forward by advocates of recreational marijuana. The California voters were convinced to vote for the legislation because local municipalities and the state would receive more than $1 billion in taxes. Continue reading

Changes To The Political Reform Act Lead To A Shifting Focus For Candidates, Political Groups, And Elected Officials

On January 1st 2017, the Political Reform Act came into existence as a piece of U.S. legislation and promises to make political campaigning and fund raising far more open and transparent for all to see. Campaign funding has always been a contentious issue for many U.S. citizens with the changes made to campaign funding options through the Political Reform Act including changes to the way campaign funds can be used by elected officials and those candidates convicted of specific crimes.

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2 Ways Government Legal Counsel Works with Local Government

Coachella Valley government legal counsel must be consulted on a number of cases that involve the local authorities. There are many items that must be brought to a lawyer to ensure that they may find the best deal for their clients, and it is important that the lawyer is given an opportunity to work with the government instead of against it. This article explains how a simple consultation will change a case’s outcome.

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Resolving Land Law Issues with Municipal Law

Entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to resolve local land law issues need a good municipal law firm. The purpose of a business is to make a profit. Legal issues can affect the profit potential if they are not properly addressed. This can lead to losses that could have been avoided. Many business owners are surprised when legal matters arise. An understanding of the law can significantly help in efficiently dealing with the issue. Continue reading

The 3 Limits of Pay-To-Play Section 84308 in Government

Government has a responsibility to abide by a most sacred and honorable code of ethics, sound doctrine and unified state of mind in all matters of justice, equity and legal, executive, and judicial matters. Government has enabled more transparency in their decision-making process. One law that enables a fair process and limits contributors from influencing officials is Section 84308, called “pay-to-play.”

First, in this section of the law, public officials may not be unfairly influenced. If they feel their rights are violated, they must challenge the issue with the contributor in question and may potentially bring the matter to a court proceeding. The law limits pay-to-play scenarios. As such, Section 84308 disfavors three specifically related actions. Continue reading

Conflicts of Interest in Public Law Office Terms

The Act does not explicitly state rules that prevent a person from seeking a term in office because of conflict-of-interest matters. This applies to people seeking public and private offices. The definition of “conflict-of-interest” is only pertinent once a person has succeeding in running for, and holding an official position. This definition is clearly outlined in the case known as Eldridge vs. Sierra View Hospital District, 224 California Application 3d 311 posted in 1990. Continue reading

The Details Of Municipal Litigation

The Exemptions For Litigation

When involved in either a pending claim or litigation, documents that have been prepared specially and are connected to a litigation that has been filed can be stopped from going to the disclosure process. This is in accordance with Section 6254 (b). Any exemptions are only applied to documentation that has been created after the litigation has already been concealed. Any claim that has initiated the process of the court does not apply. Continue reading

Be Informed Through News Updates in California Laws

Laws concerning transparency in California will once again require input from citizens. Providing information to the greater public about ethical behavior, lobbying, campaign finance and more has been affected steadily through amendments to the Political Reform Act (PRA) over the last 42 years. This has made for some meandering legal language that has made it nearly impossible for the layman to make sense of. Continue reading

Specific Details Under proposition 218

Local government finances are significantly changed by Proposition 218. This initiative, approved in November 1996 by state voters, applies to more than 7000 counties, cities, schools, special districts, re-development agencies, community college districts, and regional organizations in California. Continue reading