South San Francisco, CA September 10, 2017 Submitted by Leslie Guevara, Senator Hill’s Office
California Assembly Approves Martins Beach Bill, Sends Legislation to Senate for Final Review
SB 42 by Senator Hill Lays Groundwork for State to Accept Contributions for Public Access Acquisition
Sacramento – The Assembly approved legislation Thursday by Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, that provides the State Lands Commission with tools allowing it to acquire public access to Martins Beach, the scenic shoreline south of Half Moon Bay that was closed to the public almost a decade ago when a Silicon Valley billionaire decided to shut a gate to the popular beach.
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, co-author of Senate Bill 42, presented the legislation with Assemblymembers Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, and Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, joining him to speak in favor of the bill.
“I’m proud to join Senator Hill as a co-author of SB 42 and pleased that my colleagues in the Assembly joined in reinforcing the importance of public access to our coast,” Assemblymember Mullin said Thursday evening. “Martin’s Beach holds many fond memories for generations who have visited this scenic jewel. SB 42 provides more tools so that we can restore public access to Martin’s Beach, and sends a strong message that our California coastline is a valued public asset.”
Assemblymember Berman, whose district includes the beach, said: “Martins Beach was a beloved place for local residents and visitors alike for over a century until public access to the beach was denied 10 years ago. I’m proud to support SB 42, which aids efforts by the state to acquire a right-of-way or easement so that constituents in the 24th Assembly District, where the beach is located, and all Californians may enjoy Martins Beach once again.”
“I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues in the Assembly for their affirmation of the public’s right to access California’s beaches,” said Senator Hill. “It’s high time for that gate to be opened with a sign reading, ‘Public Welcome.’ ”
SB 42 creates a subaccount within the State Lands Commission’s Kapiloff Fund to be used for public access efforts – such as environmental studies, analyses and assessments – at Martins Beach. The bill enables the subaccount to accept money from public, private and nonprofit entities, including San Mateo County, which will likely contribute matching funds.
SB 42 also provides the State Lands Commission with the option to transfer up to $1 million of existing money from the Kapiloff Fund into the subaccount, but specifies that other money received by the subaccount must be used before Kapiloff funds are spent.
In supporting the bill and asking the Assembly for an aye vote, Assemblymember Cooley told his colleagues: “I have often taken youth from Rancho Cordova camping along the coast — kids who have never gone camping, much less never seen the ocean. The ocean is a magical experience for them. I think the policy of access to our oceans is very important and … I do think the coast is a heritage of all Californians.”
The Assembly passed SB 42 with a vote of 57-20-2, satisfying a two-thirds requirement for approval. The vote also conferred urgency status on the bill, meaning it would take effect immediately if it passes the Senate and is approved by Governor Brown. SB 42 will be returned to the Senate next week for concurrence in recent amendments. If passed by the Senate, the bill would then go to the governor for his consideration. He has until October 15 to act on bills.