Battin’s CARD Commission Bill Receives Senate Committee’s Approval

Bill Creates Commission to Review and Manage State Property Assets

SACRAMENTO – Late yesterday, legislation by Senator Jim Battin (La-Quinta) to create the State Commission on Asset Review and Divestiture (CARD) passed out of the Senate Government Modernization, Efficiency, and Accountability Committee. The bill (SB 99) would establish a twelve- member commission that will seek to manage the state’s vast property holdings more wisely. The bill is now headed to the Senate floor for approval.

“The state has a significant portfolio of properties that do not fit within the core mission of government,” said Senator Battin. “As a result state resources, manpower, and strategic focus are directed away from higher priority quality-of-life activities. It is our intent to utilize state property responsibly, and that means deciding what we do and do not need.”

Senator Battin’s CARD commission is modeled after the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which was created to eliminate unnecessary military bases, saving taxpayers billions of dollars. Like BRAC, the proposed commission de-politicizes the oversight process by eliminating the “cherry picking” that occurs by elected members with vested interests in holding on to unnecessary state-owned property within their own districts.

Currently, state agencies make the final determination of what property is “surplus” with little or no oversight. CARD will hold agencies accountable for their spending, something that is desperately needed to help fix California’s deficit-ridden budget.

“Our state is in serious debt and we need to manage its resources much better. It is California’s families that ultimately pay for mismanaged resources and this commission will help to eliminate governmental waste,” said Battin.

Battin’s CARD commission will be comprised of members appointed by the Governor, Senate, and Assembly, and includes experts from government agencies as well as the private sector.

Battin has championed several bills in the legislature dealing with how the state manages its surplus properties. SB 99 is one more example of Senator Battin’s diligence in keeping asset review a top state priority in times of financial hardship.