Last Friday, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees held their “suspense file” hearings to determine the bills that move forward and those that stop for the year. Here’s how this somewhat opaque, fast-paced hearing process works.

Bills that reach a certain cost threshold are automatically referred to the suspense file when they get to the Appropriations Committee. The suspense file is a cost-control function of the Legislature’s fiscal committees.  The Chairs of the Appropriations Committees, in consultation with legislative leaders, examine the cost implications of each bill on suspense. Then, they determine which bills move forward based on their policy priorities. The suspense file hearing is one of the most highly anticipated procedural actions in each Legislative Session. Below is the list of bills CASA is tracking that made it off suspense and those that did not:

Bills Still Moving:

SB 1263 (Portantino) – CASA sponsored legislation: Support.  Directs the California Ocean Protection Council to adopt a statewide microplastics strategy.

SB 1440 (Hueso) – CASA position: Support in concept.  Establishes a statewide biomethane procurement program.

SB 1215 (Hertzberg) – CASA position: Work with author.  Authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to order septic to sewer extensions of service under specified circumstances.

SB 966 (Wiener) – CASA position: Neutral as amended.  Directs the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt minimum standards for local ordinances for onsite water treatment systems.

Bills Held “On Suspense” (No Longer Moving):

AB 2072 (Quirk) – CASA position: Support in concept.  Establishes a new CEC research program at the State Water Resources Control Board.

AB 2065 (Ting) – CASA position: Oppose.  Changes local agency requirements for the disposal of surplus land.