Public BLAWG Blog

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Attorney Authors: 

Two new California laws will become effective on January 1, 2014, which will make it easier for cities, counties, and other government agencies to promote the use of rubber tires in two different ways:

IRS Revises Rules to Allow for Carryover of FSA Funds

The IRS has announced new rules that give employers the option of allowing employees to carry over up to $500 worth of unused contributions remaining in their health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) at the end of each year.  The change is significant because previously, employees were prohibited from carrying over any leftover amounts---with the exception that employers could allow a grace period of up to two and a half months during which employees could use leftover funds. 

AB 44: New Law Requires Contractors to List Subcontractor License Numbers on Bids

Attorney Authors: 

Existing law under the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act requires prime contractors bidding public construction projects to list the names and locations of each subcontractor performing work for a public works project.  The statute calls for contractors to identify each subcontractor performing more than one-half of one percent of the contractor’s total bid, or $10,000, whichever is greater.  (Public Contract Code Section 4104).

AB 44: New Law Requires Contractors to List Subcontractor License Numbers on Bids

Attorney Authors: 

Existing law under the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act requires prime contractors bidding public construction projects to list the names and locations of each subcontractor performing work for a public works project.  The statute calls for contractors to identify each subcontractor performing more than one-half of one percent of the contractor’s total bid, or $10,000, whichever is greater.  (Public Contract Code Section 4104).

Court of Appeal Issues Narrow Opinion on Subvention for Municipal Stormwater Permit Requirements

The California Court of Appeal recently issued the first published decision that adjudicates a municipal stormwater test claim on the merits.  In State Department of Finance et al. v. Commission on State Mandates, the Court of Appeal held that municipal stormwater requirements in a Los Angeles County National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permit to install trash receptacles at transit stops and to conduct inspections of commercial, industrial, and construction sites are not unfunded state mandates as a matter of law.  The Los Angeles County permittees, therefore, are not entitled to reimbursement for implementing these specific requirements under the California Constitution, article XIII B, section 6.   The Court of Appeal largely relied on the "highly flexible" "maximum extent practicable" standard of the Clean Water Act in ruling that these requirements are federal mandates, but limited its ruling to the specific mandates at issue.  As a result, public agencies that own and operate municipal separate storm sewer systems in California may still seek subvention for other NPDES permits with requirements that exceed the "maximum extent practicable" standard.

Please click here for more information on this case.

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