SIGN/VETO WATCH

The 2015 California Legislative Session is over. Throughout the past year, your Sacramento staff tracked over 400 bills on a broad array of topics including Greenhouse Gas Issues, CEQA, ADA, Mandatory Benchmarking, Taxes, AED, and a host of issues that would impact your business from sick leave policy to water conservation.  Yes, issues that impact the commercial real estate industry extremely varied!

Here is a list of the top-priority bills that made it through the Legislative Process and to the Governor’s Desk for action, along with a summary, our position, and a link to read the bill:

AB 2(Alejo D) Community revitalization authority

Would authorize certain local agencies to form a community revitalization authority (authority) within a community revitalization and investment area, as defined, to carry out provisions of the Community Redevelopment Law in that area for purposes related to, among other things, infrastructure, affordable housing, and economic revitalization.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

AB 35 (Chiu D) Income taxes: credits: low-income housing: allocation increase.

Would, for calendar years 2016 through 2021, inclusive, would increase the aggregate housing credit dollar amount that may be allocated among low-income housing projects by $100,000,000, as specified. The bill, under the insurance taxation law, the Personal Income Tax Law, and the Corporation Tax Law, would modify the definition of applicable percentage relating to qualified low-income buildings that meet specified criteria.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  SUPPORT

AB 219(Daly D) Public works: concrete delivery.

Current law defines “public works,” for purposes of requirements regarding the payment of prevailing wages for public works projects, to include, among other things, the hauling of refuse from a public works site to an outside disposal location with respect to contracts involving any state agency. This bill would expand the definition of “public works” for these purposes to include the hauling and delivery of ready-mixed concrete, as defined, to carry out a public works contract, with respect to contracts involving any state agency or any political subdivision of the state.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  OPPOSE

AB 251 (Levine D) Public works: public subsidies.

Would provide that a public subsidy is de minimis if it is both less than $250,000 and less than 2% of the total project cost. The bill would specify that those provisions do not apply to a project that was advertised for bid, or a contract that was awarded, before July 1, 2016.

Status:  VETOED

Position:  OPPOSE

AB 313(Atkins D) Enhanced infrastructure financing districts.

Would require, after the adoption of a resolution of intention to establish the proposed district, the legislative body to send a copy of the resolution to the public financing authority. This bill would revise the duties of the public financing authority after the resolution of intention to establish the proposed district has been adopted, so that the public financing authority, instead of the legislative body, will perform the specified duties related to the preparation, proposal, and adoption of the infrastructure financing plan and the adoption of the formation of the district.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

AB 428(Nazarian D) Income taxes: credit: seismic retrofits.

Would allow, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2022, a tax credit under both the Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law in an amount equal to 30% of the qualified costs paid or incurred by a qualified taxpayer for any seismic retrofit construction on a qualified building, as provided. The bill would require a taxpayer, in order to be eligible for the credit, to obtain 2 certifications from the appropriate jurisdiction with authority for building code enforcement of the area in which the building is located.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

AB 465 (Hernández, Roger D) Contracts against public policy.

Would prohibit any person from requiring another person, as a condition of employment, to agree to the waiver of any legal right, penalty, forum, or procedure for any employment law violations. The bill would prohibit a person from threatening, retaliating against, or discriminating against another person based on a refusal to agree to such waiver, and would provide that any such waiver required from an employee or potential employee as a condition of employment or continued employment is unconscionable, against public policy, and unenforceable.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  OPPOSE

AB 662(Bonilla D) Public accommodation: disabled adults: changing facilities.

Would require a person, private firm, organization, or corporation that owns or manages a commercial place of public amusement, as defined, constructed on or after January 1, 2020, or renovated on or after January 1, 2025, to install and maintain at least one adult changing station, as defined, for a person with a physical disability, as specified. The bill would require a facility to ensure that the entrance to each adult changing station has conspicuous signage indicating its location, and, if the facility has a central directory, ensure that the central directory indicates the location of the adult changing station.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  OPPOSE

AB 744(Chau D) Planning and zoning: density bonuses.

Current law prohibits a city, county, or city and county from requiring a vehicular parking ratio for a housing development that meets specified criteria in excess of specified ratios. This bill would, notwithstanding the above-described provisions, additionally prohibit, at the request of the developer, a city, county, or city and county from imposing a vehicular parking ratio, inclusive of handicapped and guest parking, in excess of 0.5 spaces per bedroom on a development that includes the maximum percentage of low- or very low income units, as specified, and is located within 1/2 mile of a major transit stop, as defined, and there is unobstructed access to the transit stop from the development.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  OPPOSE

AB 802(Williams D) Energy efficiency.

Current law requires the Energy Commission to prepare an integrated energy policy report every 2 years and requires the report to include an assessment and forecast of system reliability and the need for resource additions, efficiency, and conservation that considers certain criteria. This bill would require the Energy Commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, to make all reasonable adjustments to its energy demand forecasts conducted pursuant to the above-described provisions to account for its findings of market conditions and existing baselines, and in making those adjustments, would authorize the commission to consider the results from specified programs.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

AB 1230(Gomez D) California Americans With Disabilities Small Business Capital Access Loan Program.

Would establish the California Americans with Disabilities Act Small Business Capital Access Loan Program within the Capital Access Loan Program, to create a self-sustaining program to provide loans to assist small businesses in financing the costs of projects that alter or retrofit existing small business facilities, meeting specified criteria, to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

AB 1236(Chiu D) Local ordinances: electric vehicle charging stations.

Would require a city, county, or city and county to approve an application for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, as defined, through the issuance of specified permits unless the city or county makes specified written findings based upon substantial evidence in the record that the proposed installation would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  OPPOSE

AB 1506 (Hernández, Roger D) Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.

Would provide an employer with the right to cure a violation of the requirement that an employer provide its employees with the inclusive dates of the pay period and the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer before an employee may bring a civil action under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004. The bill would provide that a violation of that requirement shall only be considered cured upon a showing that the employer has provided a fully compliant, itemized wage statement to each aggrieved employee, as specified.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position:  SUPPORT

AB 1521 (Committee on Judiciary) Disability access: construction-related accessibility claims.

Current law requires an attorney to provide a written advisory with each demand letter or complaint, as defined, sent to or served upon a defendant or potential defendant for any construction-related accessibility claim, as specified. This bill would require the above-described advisory to include additional information regarding the rights and obligations of business owners and commercial tenants, as specified. In addition to the written advisory, the bill would require an attorney to provide a defendant or potential defendant of a construction-related accessibility claim with a verified answer form developed by the Judicial Council, which would allow a defendant to respond in the event a complaint is filed, as specified.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

SB 119 (Hill D) Protection of subsurface installations.

Current law defines a subsurface installation as any underground pipeline, conduit, duct, wire, or other structure. Current law requires an operator of a subsurface installation, who receives notification of proposed excavation work, within 2 working days of that notification, excluding weekends and holidays, to mark the approximate location and number of subsurface installations that may be affected by the excavation or to advise that no subsurface installations operated by him or her would be affected. This bill, the Dig Safe Act of 2015, would declare the need to clarify and revise these provisions. The bill would define and redefine various terms relating to a regional notification center.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

SB 251 (Roth D) Disability access: civil rights: income tax credit.

Current law requires that a demand letter alleging a violation of a construction-related accessibility standard or asserting a construction-related accessibility claim include specified information, and that copies of the demand letter be sent to the State Bar of California. Current law repeals the requirement that a copy of a demand letter be sent to the State Bar of California on January 1, 2016. This bill would extend the above-described January 1, 2016, repeal date, to January 1, 2019.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

SB 287(Hueso D) Automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Would require certain occupied structures that are not owned or operated by any local government entity and are constructed on or after January 1, 2017, to have an AED on the premises. The bill would require a person or entity that supplies an AED to comply with specified existing law regarding AEDs, and would exempt a person or entity that acquires an AED for emergency care from liability for civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in the rendering of emergency care if certain requirements have been met. The bill would make these provisions operative on January 1, 2017.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: SUPPORT

SB 350(De León D) Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.

Would require that the amount of electricity generated and sold to retail customers per year from eligible renewable energy resources be increased to 50% by December 31, 2030, as provided. The bill would make other revisions to the RPS Program and to certain other requirements on public utilities and publicly owned electric utilities. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

Status:  On Governor’s Desk

Position: WITHDREW OPPOSITION

SB 658(Hill D) Automated external defibrillators.

Would provide an exemption from civil liability for a physician and surgeon or other health care professional that is involved in the selection, placement, or installation of an AED. The bill would require a person or entity, other than a health facility as defined, that acquires an AED to, among other things, comply with specified regulations for the placement of the device and ensure that the AED is maintained and tested as specified.

Status:  Signed by Governor; Chapter 264

Position: SUPPORT

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