Bills Regarding Martins Beach, Caltrain, Other Local Topics Passed by Legislature
Bills to reopen access to Martins Beach and allow voters to decide whether to raise sales taxes for Caltrain have passed the Legislature and are headed for Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. But a bill to require middle and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. failed.
Those are among the highlights of the legislative session that ended Friday night in Sacramento.
One of the measures that passed, Senate Bill 42 by Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, creates an account at the State Lands Commission that can accept funds if and when the state uses eminent domain to seize a road to restore public access to Martins Beach, south of Half Moon Bay. The road was closed when billionaire Vinod Khosla bought a beach estate there in 2009, causing consternation among beachgoers.
Another bill by Hill that passed, SB797, would allow the counties of San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara to place a one-eighth-cent sales tax on the ballot to fund Caltrain operations. The tax would raise about $100 million a year, replacing contributions that each county now makes out of its transportation programs and provide funds for maintenance of trains. The tax would require two-thirds approval by the voters.
Hill also got a bill passed, SB20, that would require passengers and the driver of commercial buses to buckle up if the vehicles are equipped with seat belts.