The California Council of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CCASLA) continues to be busy representing you in Sacramento each legislative session. The CCASLA board is made of two representatives from each of the four California chapters. We also rely on the very capable lobbyist team Jason Ikerd and Keely Morris from Edelstein Gilbert Robson & Smith, LLC (EGRS) for bill tracking and council.

This year, the California State Legislature will vote on whether to renew the licensing and regulation of Landscape Architects for another four years. SB 1452 (Sunset Review legislation) is currently progressing through committees, although the bill has yet to be amended into its final form.

The good news is, there are no indications that licensure will not be renewed. The potentially bad news is that State lawmakers are considering structural changes that could impact the way Landscape Architecture licensure is administered. The present structure is that the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC) exists within a committee of the California Architects Board (CAB), an entity within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

Ostensibly for the sake of efficiency, legislative staff is inclined toward moving all boards and committees under DCA in the direction of consolidation and multidisciplinary regulation. Since the makeup and decision-making process of a potential new multidisciplinary board would be central to how our profession is regulated, CCASLA has been advocating to ensure Landscape Architects would be appropriately represented on such a body, if or when official proposals to that effect are introduced. This means CCASLA will need details and time to engage with any proposals to change the current structure, rather than be presented with something at the last minute.

Near the end of June, SB 1452 was heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. The outcome was that the Committee laid out a proposal for CAB/LATC to conduct stakeholder meetings on the concept of consolidation and collect relevant data. This means that, for now, LATC would not be eliminated, not be consolidated with CAB, and that the issue would be deferred for four years until the next sunset review.

This is a good outcome and informs our focus for the remainder of this legislative session. First, we will continue to engage with Assembly and Senate staff on what data they intend to request CAB/LATC to produce between now and the next sunset review. Secondly, it is important to stay on top of the bill going forward to make sure it stays on track. The bill still needs to be heard and pass out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee before the Legislature takes its summer recess beginning July 3. When the Legislature returns to Sacramento in August, SB 1452 will need to pass out of the Assembly Appropriations Committees. Finally, the bill must be considered and passed out of the Assembly and the Senate must vote to concur on the amendments taken in the Assembly. At that point, the bill will go to the Governor for his signature. We will continue to stay engaged throughout that process.

Meanwhile, CCASLA will continue to track other bills of interest to Landscape Architects on topics such as climate, business, and environmental or public works projects. Current bill tracking highlights are listed below. Most of the legislation is now in review by the opposite legislative body the bill originated in. Most are in committees considering amendments.

Bill#                                                              Subject                                                                                                         Position    

AB 996 (Low)                                          DCA: Continuing Education: Conflict of Interest Policy                       Watch

AB 1573 (Friedman)                              Prohibit Potable Water Use on Nonfunctional Turf                               Req Amend

AB 1862 (Fong)                                      Engineering, land surveying, architecture: LLCs                                    Watch

AB 1912 (Pacheco)                                 Electricity: Mandated Programs                                                                 Watch

AB 2285 (Rendon)                                Equitable outdoor access: 30×30 goal                                                        Watch

AB 2440 (Reyes)                                    30×30 goal: Partnering State Agencies: Parks and Rec                          Watch

AB 2600 (Calderon)                              Urban Forestry: School Greening                                                               Watch

SB 802 (Roth)                                         Licensing Boards: Disqualification: Criminal Conviction                     Watch

SB 1048 (Jones)                                     Planning Zoning: Site Plans                                                                          Watch

SB 1091 (Menjivar)                                School Facilities Greening                                                                             Support

SB 1452 (Ashby)                                     Sunset Extension                                                                                               upport