May 2009

Court of Appeal Finds Binding Interest Arbitration Statute Unconstitutional

On April 24, 2009, the First Appellate District ruled in Sonoma County v. Superior Court (Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association) that SB440, a labor negotiations interest arbitration statute applicable to public safety unions, violated both Article XI, Section 1(b) and Article XI, Section 11(a) of the California Constitution. This was the first Court of Appeal decision to rule on the constitutionality of SB440 and is an important decision regarding how California public agencies may resolve negotiation impasses with their public safety unions.

Extension for Compliance with Red Flags Rule to August 1, 2009

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") issued a press release stating that enforcement of the "Red Flags Rule" is being delayed until August 1, 2009. The rule had originally been set to take effect November 1, 2008 and was previously delayed until May 1, 2009. 

HUD Issues NOFA for Second Round of Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Earlier this month, HUD issued notice that $1.93 billion has been appropriated for a second round of NSP funding. States, local governments, public and private nonprofits (including public housing authorities), and consortia of nonprofit entities are eligible to compete for the NSP funding. In addition, any eligible entity may submit a proposal in partnership with a for-profit entity provided that the governmental or nonprofit entity is the lead agency. Applications for NSP funds are due on July 17, 2009.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Offer Unique Opportunities for California Cities

The United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, administered under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides grants to fund projects that reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and that improve energy efficiency. The deadline for units of local governments and tribal applicants to apply for these grants is June 25, 2009.

Court of Appeal Holds Prevailing Wage Law Does Not Apply to Locally Funded Projects of Charter Cities

The California Court of Appeal recently held that on projects wholly financed by local funds, charter cities need not comply with California's Prevailing Wage Law. In the case, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO v. City of Vista, the court concluded that the prevailing wage law does not address matters of statewide concern and therefore the City of Vista, as a charter city, is not required to comply with the prevailing wage law on public works contracts that are financed solely from City revenues.