California Marine Industry Reviews Pending Legislation

With the cancellation of the 2020 California Boating Congress due to the ensuing COVID 19 crisis, representatives from the Marine Recreation Association (MRA) Board of Directors, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Association of Harbor Masters & Port Captains, California Yacht Brokers Association, Recreational Boaters of California and other marine industry interests participated in a phone conference on March 30 to review pending Measures. MRA’s lobbyist, Platinum Advisers led the meeting.

AB 2809 was introduced on February 20 and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources on March 12. This bill is aimed at controlling some of the regulatory excesses that the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission has exercised in the past. It would require that it create and implement procedures to provide managerial review of staff decisions in enforcement, timelines for resolving enforcement cases, and a penalty matrix for assessing fines and civil penalties. A general consensus of agreement and support for this measure was expressed by the group.

SB 883 was introduced on January 23 and would revise the definition of a for-hire vessel to include a vessel propelled by machinery carrying one or more passengers for hire and operated by a licensed operator. Current law defines a for-hire vessel to include those carrying three passengers or more. Some ambiguities exist in the wording of this measure, and it was recommended that these be clarified by Platinum Advisers before any support or opposition is expressed. Hearings for this bill have been postponed.

SB 904 supplements current law generally requiring all undocumented vessels using the waterways of the state to be registered in California and properly numbered. This bill would additionally require law enforcement citing a person for various violations, including the failure to properly number the vessel, to prepare a notice to the violator to correct the violation and deliver proof of the correction to the issuing agency in lieu of arrest, unless a disqualifying condition exists. This bill was introduced on February 3 and referred to the Transportation Committee on February 12. It was generally supported in the meeting.

SB 1080 supplants current law, allowing a properly licensed person to bring ashore a fish taken in California inland waters in a condition such that its size or weight cannot be determined if the fish is cleaned at the end of a fishing trip while the boat is still on the water, temporarily berthed or landed on a dock or other permanent structure. Current law makes it unlawful to possess or bring ashore any fish in a condition that its weight or size cannot be determined. The bill was Introduced on February 19, but hearings have been postponed. This measure was generally supported in the meeting.

Additional information on these and other pending legislation in California can be accessed at www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov