LIGHTS OUT; SPACE DAY BILL

In an example of having to engage on an otherwise innocuous bill, but an important reminder of why you must have people in Sacramento reading all of these measures…

Our industry unfortunately had to push back on a SB 1138 (Hueso; D-San Diego), as introduced, because it would have had a significant negative impact on commercial real estate.

The bill’s initial language would “require” local cities and counties to adopt an ordinance to mandate every resident, business, and public entity to dim or turn off their lights between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the date designated as “Space Day”. Great idea – turn down the lights so people can see the stars better.

Well, while we want to support and raise awareness about space science the practical impacts that SB 1138 would have on businesses and the public health and safety could be significant.   Disrupt operations for that single hour of blackout period but, depending on the operation, several hours before and after as companies have to shut down then restart their processes.

Led by the California Restaurant Association, we explained that diming or eliminating lighting in a workplace or business is not always safe or feasible.  It is not practical and is almost always unsafe to have employees working in dimmed conditions when operating machinery, cooking or preparing food, or using industrial equipment, or simply trying to walk down a flight of stairs.

Luckily the author understood our concerns and has committed to removing the mandate so the bill will encourage folks to dim lights when safe, reasonable, and feasible.

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