Recently Enacted Legislation

The Legislative Affairs Office provides the Commission with strategies to advance the Commission’s management of public trust lands and resources. The Legislative Affairs Office provides expert policy advice to the Administration and the Legislature on policy and fiscal implications of public land and resource management-related legislation. The Legislative Affairs Office also articulates the Commission’s position on proposed legislation and represents the Commission at committee hearings.

Below is the legislation enacted in 2023 that directly impacts the Commission.

Chapter 120, Statutes of 2023 (AB 706, Luz Rivas) Leasing of public lands: minerals other than oil and gas.

This bill modernizes the Commission’s solid mineral extraction statutes, aligns the Commission’s statutes with the recently enacted seabed mining ban (AB 1832, L. Rivas, 2022), and removes a provision that entitles prospecting permittees to a mineral extraction lease. This bill also removes a requirement that the Attorney General find that a proposed lease or permit complies with existing law, creates a new geological or geophysical permit category for low intensity activities ((i.e., hand sampling or hand auguring), institutes a lease prioritization in lieu of a preferential right to a lease, and requires that the state is adequately compensated and receives fair market value for use of its lands and resources. The most notable element of the bill, however, is to remove the lease entitlement (preferential right to a lease).

Chapter 130, Statutes of 2023 (AB 1706, Bonta) Public trust lands: Encinal Terminals public trust lands: City of Alameda.

This bill authorizes the Commission to convey to the City of Alameda in trust, any lands exchanged into the public trust through a land exchange agreement to which the City is a party and authorizes the Commission to convey new public trust lands to the City following the Encinal Terminals Project Land Exchange and Title Settlement Agreement that the Commission and City approved last year. This bill will facilitate needed housing, including 80 new affordable housing units, and create a publicly accessible waterfront in the City of Alameda with amenities that include over 4 acres of waterfront parks and Bay Trail and over 13 acres of public land for future marinas and for a kayak launch and public water shuttle.

Chapter 385, Statutes of 2023 (SB 273, Wiener) Tidelands and submerged lands: City and County of San Francisco: Piers 30-32: mixed-use development.

This bill authorizes the Commission to approve a mixed-use development on the San Francisco waterfront at Piers 30-32 under certain conditions. Pier 30-32 is a 13-acre site on piles over the San Francisco Bay with a limited remaining useful life. The Legislature granted the lands underlying the pier to the City and County of San Francisco subject to the Burton Act Trust and the Public Trust Doctrine. The pier is used for parking, limited events, and occasional berthing for cruise ships and other vessels. Substantial capital investment is necessary to remove the pier or repair the substructure and bring the Pier up to seismic safety and sea level rise standards. The Port is considering a mixed-use development proposal at the site that includes significant general office use, a use that is not consistent with the Burton Act Trust or the Public Trust Doctrine. The development is intended to transform and revitalize the pier. The purpose of SB 273 is to authorize the Commission, as the state’s expert on public trust lands, to find that the project is consistent with the public trust.

Chapter 386, Statutes of 2023 (SB 286, McGuire) Offshore wind energy projects.

This bill designates the Commission as the CEQA lead agency for offshore wind energy projects. It also requires the California Coastal Commission to process a consolidated coastal development permit for offshore wind energy projects and transmission facilities and establishes an offshore wind energy fisheries working group that is required to develop a framework for compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to the commercial and recreational fishing industries and tribal fisheries. This bill requires the Commission to consider that framework when it issues leases for offshore wind energy projects.

Below is the legislation enacted in 2022 that directly impacts the Commission.

Chapter 433, Statutes of 2022 (AB 1832 Luz Rivas) Waters subject to tidal influence: hard mineral extraction.

This bill enacts the California Seabed Mining Prevention Act. The bill prohibits the Commission or a local trustee of granted public trust lands from issuing a lease or permit to extract or remove hard minerals from state waters subject to tidal influence, with certain exceptions. This bill, co-sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Surfrider Foundation, and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, is intended to proactively safeguard thousands of miles of seafloor and habitat.

Chapter 692, Statutes of 2022 (AB 2257 Boerner Horvath) State lands: oil and gas leases: cost study.

Sponsored by Commission Chair and California State Controller Betty Yee, this bill directs the Commission to develop a study that quantifies the fiscal impact of a voluntary lease relinquishment of the remaining lease interests in the State's 11 actively producing offshore oil and gas leases. The 2022-23 budget appropriates $1 million to the Commission for the study.

Chapter 516, Statutes of 2022 (AB 353 O'Donnell) Oil revenue: Oil Trust Fund.

Removes the $300 million cap in the Oil Trust Fund, resuming deposits from the State's share of Long Beach oil operation revenues until the Fund reaches a balance that will cover the State's abandonment liabilities.

Below is a list of legislation enacted in 2021 that affect the Commission.

Chapter 115, Statutes of 2021 (AB 148, Committee on Budget) Public resources.

AB 148 expanded the definition of “Oil” under the Commission’s spill prevention authority to include renewable fuels that are refined primarily from plant and animal matter, as opposed to crude oil. AB 148 also increases the oil spill prevention and administration fee to $0.085 per barrel of crude oil or petroleum products and extends the fee to renewable fuel operators.

Chapter 231, Statutes of 2021 (AB 525, Chiu) Energy: offshore wind generation.

AB 525 requires the California Energy Commission to establish 2030 and 2045 planning goals, for offshore wind energy generation and required the California Energy Commission, in coordination with specified agencies, including the State Lands Commission, to develop a five-part strategic plan for offshore wind energy development and to submit the plan to the Natural Resources Agency and the Legislature by June 30, 2023. AB 525 also requires the California Energy Commission, in coordination with the California Coastal Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ocean Protection Council, and State Lands Commission, to identify suitable sea space for a future phase of offshore wind leasing to accommodate the 2045 offshore wind planning goal.

Chapter 715, Statutes of 2021 (AB 1390, Boerner Horvath) State lands: school and lieu lands.

AB 1390 makes it easier for the Commission to invest in property to generate revenue for CalSTRS. It authorizes the Commission to delegate authority to its Executive Officer to make acquisition down payments, removes a cap on acquisition expenses, and clarifies that the Commission can use School Land Bank Fund revenue for acquisition costs. The bill also deletes obsoletes statutes and gives the Commission flexibility not to retain an access easement when it sells or conveys school lands.