Weekly Update- August 7, 2020

Posted: August 7, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

COVID RE-OPENING “EMPLOYER HANDBOOK”

The Governor has released a 32-page handbook to help employers “plan and prepare for reopening their business and to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.”  CBPA and other employer groups have been working closely with the Governor’s staff to advise on practical issues related to opening retail, office, and industrial space.

The guidebook includes recommendations for all industries, including enforce mask requirements, and handle and employee outbreak.

Click here to read the Governor’s “Employer Playbook” and make sure you are protecting yourself and your business as you bring employees and customers back into your facilities.

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

All bills will be heard next week.

 

JOB KILLER UPDATE

Although the legislature has had a truncated session, they are plowing forward with many bills that will impact you as an employer.  We are proud members of the CalChamber and we appreciate their leadership on the following bills, all of which are the worst of the worst and have been dubbed “Job Killers:”

SB 55 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), a job killer that expands existing requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

It adds substantial time and costs to the CEQA process and provides project opponents with new legal arguments to delay or block housing and other projects. SB 55 is almost identical to job killer SB 950 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which failed to pass the Senate Environmental Quality Committee earlier this year.

AB 1253 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles), a massive retroactive tax increase. The bill seeks to increase California’s personal income tax rate, already the highest in the country, for struggling small businesses and high-income earners, which will result in a recently reported $6.8 billion in increased taxes.

Millions of California small businesses pay the personal income tax and will soon face higher pandemic-related unemployment insurance taxes, workers’ compensation rates, and other state-mandated costs of doing business. Imposing a punitive new tax on these businesses is exactly the opposite approach to saving jobs and restoring the state’s battered economy.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee heard testimony on AB 1253 on August 3 but did not vote.

SB 1383 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), dealing with time off for employees. The bill significantly burdens small employers by requiring employers with only five employees to provide eligible employees with 12 weeks of mandatory family leave, which can be taken in increments of 1-2 hours, and threatens these small employers with costly litigation if they make any mistake in implementing this leave.

SB 1399 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles), increasing cost and liability on employers. The bill significantly increases the burden on non-unionized employers in the garment manufacturing industry in California by eliminating piece rate as a method of payment even though it can benefit the employee, creating joint and several liability for contractors for any wage violations or the employer, and shifting the evidentiary standards in a Labor Commissioner hearing to limit the ability for an employer to defend against an alleged wage violation. These additional requirements will encourage companies to contract with manufacturers outside of California, thereby limiting the demand and workforce of garment manufacturers in California.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance), an unnecessary bill, failed to pass the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on August 5 on a vote of 4-5.

The bill is a carryover from 2019 that threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying jobs, decrease revenues for the state and force California to import even more foreign oil.

By politicizing the ongoing regulatory process that the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) was directed to undertake by Governor Newsom, AB 345 arbitrarily predisposes setback requirements and undermines CalGEM’s independent process of considering the best available science.

Reconsideration was granted on a vote of 5-3. The committee chair said the committee will meet again on August 12.

 

PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL WILL EVENTUALLY CANCEL PROP 13

Wayne Lusvardi formerly worked for California’s largest urban water agency and lives in Rancho Mirage, has penned the following op/ed explaining why Prop 15 the split roll property tax measure on November’s ballot is so bad:

It was elderly widows who were being thrown out of their homes for unpaid property taxes in 1975 before Proposition 13.  Now with Proposition 15 it will be mom and pop businesses in leased buildings, and Uber drivers who own their homes who are going to be displaced.

Proposition 15 – the so-called split commercial/residential tax roll – on the November ballot is being advertised as solely a commercial property tax.  But there is a trojan horse contained in Proposition 15 that will unravel Proposition 13 property tax protections even for residential properties.

Single-family residential homes used for home offices or UBER drivers who park their cars at their owned residences will have their homes reclassified as commercial properties under proposed Proposition 15. Eventually, property taxes will be equalized by the legislature, and the mandates of Proposition 15 will apply to all owners who hold multiple homes and apartments, not just commercial properties.  Moreover, small business owners will have the higher property taxes passed through to them in the form of higher rents and will not be able to stay in business after a couple of years. But it will be the consumers who will ultimately pay the so-called higher commercial property taxes.

Click here to read the full article:

 

 LEGISLATURE RETURNS AFTER COVID-19 RECESS

Both Houses of the California State Legislature delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess will return next week to resume activity.  That will give the body just four weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes.  That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle.  August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen.  Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person.  We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

After Attorney General Xavier Becerra finalized Title and Summary for propositions appearing on the November 2020 statewide ballot, the Secretary of State has released the following official voter guide.

Click here to read all about the 12 propositions, including Prop 15, which will kill Prop 13.

 

Weekly Update- July 31, 2020

Posted: August 7, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

CBPA MEETS WITH CALIFORNIA ECONOMIC RECOVERY COUNCIL CO-CHAIR STEYER

California Business Properties Association continues to work the broader business community to ask the governor and state regulators to take immediate action to help businesses survive the ongoing economic crisis. To date, we have had little to no response from the governor on major issues you have raised and are clearly defined in our recovery plans. The governor has announced that, despite meeting the economic criteria necessary to pause it, he is moving forward with the scheduled increase in the minimum wage in January. There continues to be a disconnect between the governor and business community that we are working to address.

As part of those efforts, we joined with some of the state’s largest industry organizations for a call with Tom Steyer, Chair of the governor’s Economic Recovery Taskforce, to elevate many of the critical issues we’ve repeatedly raised with the governor and his administration. Specifically, we discussed:

 

  1. well-intentioned employers, schools and hospitals following (and in many cases exceeding) local, state, and federal guidelines should be immune from costly and burdensome COVID-19 related lawsuits. This is also an issue that has been raised nationally and is being discussed as part of the 4th recovery package currently being debated in Congress.
  2. a series of regulations, including many that were scheduled to go in place before COVID-19 hit, are creating significant barriers to job creation and retention.
  3. —employers are rapidly shifting workplace policies to adapt to long-term stay-at-home orders.
      1. Individualized work plans to address current regulations on 8-hour workday, mandated meal and rest breaks and overtime
      2. Workers compensation claims for injuries that occur in the home office and are unrelated to employment duties
  4. —removing barriers to infrastructure and housing development will help sustain and grow jobs and have a substantial long-term benefit for housing, homelessness, and broadband access.
  5. —the Legislature and special interest groups are promoting a series of tax increases on the business community that will further exacerbate the current crisis and directly impact economic recovery efforts. Split Roll remains the major threat to the economy.

Mr. Steyer listened to the issues we raised and assured us he would be back in touch to keep this conversation moving forward. He indicated he will be following up with us to provide more information on the direction of the taskforce and its recommendations. We expect to receive that information next week and will immediately schedule a follow-up conversation.

In the meantime, please continue to reach out and let us know what we can do to assist you during these times and if there are any additional urgent issues that we can help elevate with both Mr. Steyer and the Governor.

Click here to read more about the appointment of Mr. Steyer and the scope of the California Economic Recovery Council.

 

HEAD SHAKING OPPOSITION TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILL

State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is receiving stating from her Far-Left flank on a bill that makes sense to most. SB 1085 would reduce fees charged to builders who do affordable housing units. Instead of seeing the bill as way to create more affordable housing, local officials and activists in San Francisco see only a loss to the amount of funding they will receive. This is about as clear of an example that you can get about how askew our priorities – and basic understanding of economics – can get. Click here for the full article.

 

AG SLAMMED OVER BIASED PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL TITLE AND SUMMARY

The NO on Prop 15 Campaign released the following statement regarding the title and summary given to Proposition 15:

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Tuesday, the California Secretary of State officially released the official voter information guide for the November election. The guide included a biased title and summary for Prop 15, the $11.5-billion property tax increase, written by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The Southern California News Group editorial board, representing 11 newspapers, called Becerra’s title and summary “misleading, if not completely false.” The editorial board urged the Legislature to move the task of writing titles and summaries for statewide ballot measures to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office instead, as Becerra’s biased descriptions only erode trust in government.

Read excerpts from “Editorial: Biased ballot measure titles and summaries distort our democracy” below:

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the titles and summaries for the measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 statewide general election ballot, providing more evidence, as if any was needed, that this is a job for a neutral, nonpartisan analyst, not a partisan elected official…

“The title and summary of Proposition 15 are not only tilted toward one side, they are less than fully accurate. Property in California is not taxed on “purchase price.” It’s taxed on fair market value at the time of purchase, adjusted annually for inflation with increases capped at 2 percent per year. If the market value of a property declines below its assessed value, it is reassessed at the fair market value.

“To say property is currently taxed on the “purchase price” conveys an impression that property taxes do not rise at all, which is misleading in a way that favors the measure’s proponents, who seek to raise taxes. It’s also misleading, if not completely false, to state that Proposition 15 “increases funding sources.” It doesn’t add new sources, it increases taxes on the existing sources: businesses in California.

“The official title and summary of a measure should be clear, accurate and neutral. Often, it’s the only thing busy voters read on a long ballot before making their decision.

“This isn’t the first time Becerra has written ballot material that misleads voters…

“Ballot measures propose significant changes to the law and ask voters to make important choices that cannot easily be reversed. Tricking the electorate into believing they’re voting for one thing when they’re really getting another is a formula for increased cynicism. Distrust of government can spill over into other issues, and the consequences can be very severe…”

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues. Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties. That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march. We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored. The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

However, the California Apartment Association is working with the author and legislative leadership to address issues in the bill and we are supporting them in those efforts. Most people in the Capitol believe something legislating in this area will pass and we think SB 1410 has the best chance of actually doing something that will help both property owners and tenants and not just be a symbolic gesture that gets thrown out in court.

We will keep you posted on what happens during the final sprint of session in August.

LEGISLATURE RETURNS AFTER COVID-19 RECESS

Both Houses of the California State Legislature delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess but will return next week to resume activity. That will give the body just four weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes. That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle. August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen. Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry. As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person. We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

After Attorney General Xavier Becerra finalized Title and Summary for propositions appearing on the November 2020 statewide ballot, the Secretary of State has released the following official voter guide.

Click here to read all about the 12 propositions, including Prop 15, which will kill Prop 13.

WEEKLY UPDATE- July 24, 2020

Posted: July 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

LEGISLATURE RETURNS AFTER COVID-19 RECESS

 Both Houses of the California State Legislature delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess but will return next week to resume activity.  That will give the body just five weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes.  That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle.  August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen.  Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person.  We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

After Attorney General Xavier Becerra finalized Title and Summary for propositions appearing on the November 2020 statewide ballot, the Secretary of State has released the following official voter guide.

Click here to read all about the 12 propositions, including Prop 15, which will kill Prop 13.

 

AG SLAMMED OVER BIASED PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL TITLE AND SUMMARY

The NO on Prop 15 Campaign released the following statement regarding the title and summary given to Proposition 15:

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Tuesday, the California Secretary of State released the official voter information guide for the November election. The guide included a biased title and summary for Prop 15, the $11.5-billion property tax increase, written by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The Southern California News Group editorial board, representing 11 newspapers, called Becerra’s title and summary “misleading, if not completely false.” The editorial board urged the Legislature to move the task of writing titles and summaries for statewide ballot measures to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office instead, as Becerra’s biased descriptions only erode trust in government.

Read excerpts from “Editorial: Biased ballot measure titles and summaries distort our democracy” below:

 “Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the titles and summaries for the measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 statewide general election ballot, providing more evidence, as if any was needed, that this is a job for a neutral, nonpartisan analyst, not a partisan elected official…

“The title and summary of Proposition 15 are not only tilted toward one side, they are less than fully accurate. Property in California is not taxed on “purchase price.” It’s taxed on fair market value at the time of purchase, adjusted annually for inflation with increases capped at 2 percent per year. If the market value of a property declines below its assessed value, it is reassessed at the fair market value.

“To say property is currently taxed on the “purchase price” conveys an impression that property taxes do not rise at all, which is misleading in a way that favors the measure’s proponents, who seek to raise taxes. It’s also misleading, if not completely false, to state that Proposition 15 “increases funding sources.” It doesn’t add new sources, it increases taxes on the existing sources: businesses in California.

“The official title and summary of a measure should be clear, accurate and neutral. Often, it’s the only thing busy voters read on a long ballot before making their decision.

“This isn’t the first time Becerra has written ballot material that misleads voters…

“Ballot measures propose significant changes to the law and ask voters to make important choices that cannot easily be reversed. Tricking the electorate into believing they’re voting for one thing when they’re really getting another is a formula for increased cynicism. Distrust of government can spill over into other issues, and the consequences can be very severe…”

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

However, the California Apartment Association is working with the author and legislative leadership to address issues in the bill and we are supporting them in those efforts.  Most people in the Capitol believe something legislating in this area will pass and we think SB 1410 has the best chance of actually doing something that will help both property owners and tenants and not just be a symbolic gesture that gets thrown out in court.

We will keep you posted on what happens during the final sprint of session in August.

July 17th Weekly Update

Posted: July 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

LEGISLATURE OUT ANOTHER WEEK DUE TO COVID-19

 Both Houses of the California State Legislature have delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess and have announced they will resume activity a week from Monday, on July 27.  That will give the body just five weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes.  That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle.  August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen.  Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person.  We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since March.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

However, the California Apartment Association is working with the author and legislative leadership to address issues in the bill and we are supporting them in those efforts.  Most people in the Capitol believe something legislating in this area will pass and we think SB 1410 has the best chance of actually doing something that will help both property owners and tenants and not just be a symbolic gesture that gets thrown out in court.

We will keep you posted on what happens during the final sprint of session in August.

 

PROP 15 KILLS PROP 13

Proposition 15 is the split roll property tax measure on November ballot that will enact a $12 BILLION tax each year collectively on your properties.  Click here for all the details on the terrible, ill-timed, measure.

 

PROP 15: BEWARE OF SLEIGHT OF HAND

And here is a cautionary op/ed from our friend Joel Fox, Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily:

The Yes on Proposition 15 campaign has bandied about all kinds of figures on how many commercial properties will pay a bulk of the new record property tax increase if the measure passes.

First, they showed a study that reported 6% of the properties will pay 78% of the taxes. Next, we heard that 10% of the properties will pay 94% of the taxes. This week there was another study, pretty much all the studies generated from the same campaign-sponsored source, that said 10% of the properties pay 92% of the taxes.

So, which is it?

Correct answer: None of the above. Not when you consider who is actually covering the tax increase….

Click here to read the full story and find out how the proponents of the largest property tax increase in California’s history are trying to hide the real impact.

 

ENERGY CODE:  WHOLE BUILDING AIR LEAKAGE TESTING

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is updating the Title 24 Energy Code, and commercial real estate regulations are the focus of the process.  If you are worried about what is coming and want to help provide input, please read further.

The stage of the process we’re in now is the utilities have finished drafting proposals and the CEC seeking input from stakeholders.  At some point over the next two months the CEC will announce the docket schedule which will open the process for public comments and establish a final timeline for adoption.

Before the schedule is announced and the clock for the official process is started stakeholders are being asked to engage with CEC staff directly and raise early concerns on proposals and provide feedback.

The “Whole Building Air Leakage Testing” proposal is just such an item that has piqued our interest and we are seeking input from you and/or your company’s technical experts.

Currently only Climate Zones 1-9 require an air barrier. For Climate Zones 10-16, there are three ways to meet the prescriptive air barrier requirement: whole building air leakage testing, the use of compliant materials, or compliant assemblies of materials. This measure proposes the following changes:

 

  • Expand the air barrier requirement to all climate zones;
  • Require whole building air leakage testing and the use of compliant materials, or compliant assemblies of materials;
  • Require air barrier design and installation details on the construction documents.
  • Lower the maximum permitted whole building air leakage rate from 0.4 to 0.3 cfm/ft2;
  • Require corrective action if the maximum permitted leakage is exceeded; and
  • Apply the air barrier requirements to major alterations.

At first look, these requirements appear to have significant up-front costs, do not seem particularly practical, and applying them to alterations of existing buildings would likely be overly burdensome and would potentially prevent building alterations erasing any potential energy efficiency gains at all.

The details for this specific measure are available here.

Any feedback you have, in terms of the costs of meeting these requirements would be extremely helpful for us in raising the issue with the CEC.  The deadline to provide comments is August 10th.

 

WEAR A MASK – KEEP YOUR PROPERTIES OPEN

Be safe, be healthy be smart.  Wear a mask when you go out.  If your properties are still open, lets do everything we can to keep them that way.

 

ALL THE PROPOSITIONS IN NOVEMBER

For your information, here are all the proposition numbers that will be on the November 2020 ballot.  Although we have not taken formal positions yet, we have noted early support/oppose recommendations on some measures:

Prop 14 – Bonds For Stem Cell/Medical Research

Prop 15 – Split Roll Property Tax – VOTE NO!

Prop 16 – Reinstates Affirmative Action Programs In California (Repeals Prop. 209)

Prop 17 – Allows Parolees To Vote

Prop 18 – Allows Certain 17-Year-Olds To Vote In Primary Elections

Prop 19 – Realtor Measure To Allow Base Property Base Year Value Transfers – VOTE YES!

Prop 20 – Repeals Portions Of Props 47/57 To Add Crimes To The List Of Violent Felonies; Recategorize Certain Types Of Theft (Shoplifting) And Fraud Crimes As Wobblers; And Require DNA Collection For Certain Misdemeanors – VOTE YES!

Prop 21 — Rent Control – VOTE NO!

Prop 22 – Repeals AB5 And Sets New Rules For Independent Contractors

Prop 23 – Kidney Dialysis Clinic Rules

Prop 24 – Consumer Privacy Rules

Prop 25 – Reinstates The Cash Bail System

Click here to read the language for each initiative:

Posted: July 2, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

PROP. 15 WILL KILL PROP. 13

 The proposition numbers for November’s election have been released, and the Split Roll Property Tax Measure pushed onto the ballot by public employee unions and far left activists has been numbered Proposition 15.

Proposition 15 is aimed directly at you and your business and during one of the worst health crises ever seen, precipitated one of the worst recessions, this measure would enact an $12.5 Billion PER YEAR tax on commercial property in California.

Think about that.  The largest property tax increase ever.  $12.5B per year, every year on your properties.  When many of you are no longer receiving rent payments.

Click here to learn more about the flaws in Proposition 15, how it will kill California’s economy, and diverse interests from Former Speaker Willie Brown, to the California Assessors Association, to former State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, oppose this measure.

Vote “No” On Prop 15.  Click here for more information and to donate to the campaign to stop this bad measure.

 

WEAR A MASK – KEEP YOUR PROPERTIES OPEN

Be safe, be healthy, be smart.  Wear a mask when you go out.  If your properties are still open, lets do everything we can to keep them that way.

 

ALL THE PROPOSITIONS IN NOVEMBER

 For your information, here are all the proposition numbers that will be on the November 2020 ballot.  Although we have not taken formal positions yet, we have noted early support/oppose recommendations on some measures:

Prop 14 – Bonds For Stem Cell/Medical Research

Prop 15 – Split Roll Property Tax – VOTE NO!

Prop 16 – Reinstates Affirmative Action Programs In California (Repeals Prop. 209)

Prop 17 – Allows Parolees To Vote

Prop 18 – Allows Certain 17-Year-Olds To Vote In Primary Elections

Prop 19 – Realtor Measure To Allow Base Property Base Year Value Transfers – VOTE YES!

Prop 20 – Repeals Portions Of Props 47/57 To Add Crimes To The List Of Violent Felonies; Recategorize Certain Types Of Theft (Shoplifting) And Fraud Crimes As Wobblers; And Require DNA Collection For Certain Misdemeanors – VOTE YES!

Prop 21 — Rent Control – VOTE NO!

Prop 22 – Repeals AB5 And Sets New Rules For Independent Contractors

Prop 23 – Kidney Dialysis Clinic Rules

Prop 24 – Consumer Privacy Rules

Prop 25 – Reinstates The Cash Bail System

Click here to read the language for each initiative.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ISSUES STATEWIDE STAY AT HOME ORDER

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Click here to see the News Release.

Click here to read the Governor’s executive order.

Click here to learn more about the order.

Click here to see the Governor’s address to Californians this evening.

COVID-19 RESOURCES PAGE

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The reaction to COVID-19 is fluid and fast.  There are many sources of information out there and until things start to settle down will only send essential updates that impact our industry.

To that end, we have created a “COVID-19 Resources” page where we will collect and post information specific to commercial real estate.  We will also link to local and national real estate resource pages.  Click here to view resource page.

We hope consolidating this information will help you as you work with local authorities on emergency response plans, shelter-in-place orders, defining “essential” businesses, and other important issues.

If you have pages that you find particularly helpful, please let us know and we will link to them.

GOVERNOR EXECUTIVE ORDER – EVICTIONS/MORTGAGES/UTILITY SHUT-OFFS

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Earlier this week, Governor Newsom issued an executive order to protect residential and commercial lessors, and homeowners from evictions due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We have supported the Governor’s actions as during this time of emergency and stay-at-home orders public safety is the first and foremost concern.  The quicker we get through this emergency the better for all.

The Executive Order authorizes local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shut offs.  Many local governments have already moved forward and adopted local ordinances including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and many others.

The EO applies to both residential and commercial.  The order does not waive the rent obligation of tenants but allows local governments to defer action until May 31, 2020.

Our industry provided feedback to legislators working on this issue. Much of our feedback has been taken into account and at the state level, however we know some of your local communities may adopt more strict measures than others.

Click here to see the press release.

Click here to see the full Executive Order.

Click here to see the Commercial Real Estate Industry Letter to Governor Newsom.

Click here to see the Commercial Real Estate Industry Press Release.

“ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES/PERSONNEL”

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Buildings can be complicated mechanically, need security, and/or have tenants in them that are deemed essential businesses.  We can’t just abandon our buildings, especially when tenants remain.  Therefore, our recommendation to local/state/federal policymakers is that the following building personnel are essential in any written orders and or enforcement guidance:

– Building management staff

– Building security staff/vendors

– Building engineering staff/vendors

– Building janitorial staff/vendors

– Building elevator, HVAC, plumbing and electrical staff/vendors

– Building fire safety staff/vendors

– Commercial and Residential Construction

You should check with local authorities if there is any question and/or if you are working with them to draft a local order.  If your local authorities do not conform to this guidance you should be proactive about communicating the importance of these workers.

The Governor’s Executive Order references “CISA” which is a department of Homeland Security identifying “critical infrastructure.”

Below is information and guidance documents that outlines “essential personnel” and infrastructure.  Here is the guidance specific to our sector:

ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS GUIDANCE:   As the Nation’s risk advisor, CISA developed this guidance to help state and local governments and the private sector ensure that employees essential to operations of critical infrastructure are able to continue working with as little interruption as possible. The purpose of this guidance is to enable continued resilience for public community health and safety of government, economy, and society despite possible impacts to the workforce and critical infrastructure workforce brought on by consequences of COVID-19. Click here to view.

OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

•Workers to ensure continuity of building functions
•Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures

This guidance is also on their website, under “Other Community based…” Click here to view.

And here is the COVID-19 Specific Page:

 

 

OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

•Workers to ensure continuity of building functions
•Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures

This guidance is also on their website, under “Other Community based…” Click here to view.

And here is the COVID-19 Specific Page:

FEDERAL AND STATE TAX DEFERRALS

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

FEDERAL INCOME TAX DEFERRAL:  Following President Trump’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  This guidance does not change the April 15 filing deadline.

Click here for more information on federal tax issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

CALIFORNIA INCOME TAX:  The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make certain payments until June 15, 2020

Click here for more information about California income taxes.

CALIFORNIA PROPERTY TAXES:  Our industry is asking for a delay in the collection of the second installment of property taxes that is due April 10th or at a minimum an automatic waiver of any penalties for 90 days.  The date of collection is statutory so the Gov or legislature can change that.  We ask our members to press this request with local and statewide leaders as it is one way to help mitigate the impact shelter at home orders are having on commercial real estate and our tenants.

CAPITOL/LEGISLATURE SHUTS DOWN

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Legislative activity has come to a halt as the Capitol Building is shut down and most regulatory agencies are focused on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Legislature has taken at least a 3-week break in activity and members have gone home to their districts.

However, these processes will start to back up at some point electronically or in person when the stay at home orders are lifted.  We continue to analyze legislative bills to prepare for the Session, so please let us know as you hear about bills and bill ideas at the local level.

 

SAVE PROP 13!

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The campaign to save Proposition 13 against being dismantled by the split roll property tax measure on the November 2020 ballot is gaining momentum and is signing-up more people and companies every day!

Are you doing what you can to protect yourself from an $11 BILLION yearly tax increase?

Click here to check out the new website, now known as “Save Prop 13,” and join the effort.

The website is where you will find information about the benefits of Prop. 13 and how removing protections from commercial properties will have a massively negative impact on the state’s economy.

CA PROPOSES RECORD SPENDING ON SCHOOLS

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

In his budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year, Governor Gavin Newsom proposes record-high spending of $77.1 billion on K-12 schools and higher education, a 75 percent increase from the $43.9 billion spent in 2011-12.

The Governor noted that per-pupil spending has increased more than $7,200 since 2011-12, with the state planning to spend $17,964 per student in 2020-21 with revenue from existing taxes.

California’s K-12 education and higher education would account for 50.4 percent of the state’s general fund budget under Newsom’s proposal.

According to the Governor’s website, this is the “Largest K-12 education per-pupil expenditure in history.”

With spending at record levels, our industry argues there is no reason to undo Proposition 13 with a split roll.

NEW YEAR – NEW JOB KILLERS

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

As proud members of the California Chamber of Commerce, we work closely with the organization on bills that impact our members.  Each year we provide input on both the Job Killer and Job Creator lists.

Job Killers represent the worst-of-the-worse ideas that will harm the state’s economy and shrink employment.  Already in 2020 two bills have been tagged as Job Killers, and one bill is left over from last year:

SB 850 (Leyva; D-Chino) Work Hours: Scheduling – The bill requires an employer, which includes a grocery store establishment, restaurant, or retail store establishment, to provide its employees with a 21-day work schedule at least 7 calendar days in advance.  Among other provisions, the bill would require an employer, except as specified, to pay its employees modification pay for each previously scheduled shift that the employer cancels or moves to another date or time, for any previously unscheduled shift that the employer requires an employee to work, or for each on-call shift for which an employee is required to be available but is not called in to work that shift.

SB 850 is a job killer because it will eliminate flexibility in the workplace for both employers and employees, deny employees the opportunity to work additional hours if desired, limit employers’ ability to accommodate customer demands, and subject employers to unnecessary layers of penalties, investigative actions and costly litigation.

SB 873 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Gender Discrimination: Pricing – The bill prohibits price differences for two substantially similar products that are intended for or marketed to different genders.

CalChamber has identified SB 873 as a job killer because it includes a private right of action with a minimum of $4,000 in damages per alleged violation, which will expose small and large businesses to a flurry of costly litigation for claims that two products are substantially similar, even though they may be different, and that any price differential is based on gender, when it is actually based upon legitimate non-gender related reasons.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Oil and Gas Development Ban — Threatens to eliminate thousands of high paying California jobs, result in California importing even more foreign oil, and raise oil and gas prices by requiring the California Geologic Energy Management Division to adopt regulations with predisposed setback requirements for new and existing oil and gas wells. By pre-determining arbitrary setback requirements before the agency analyzes safety requirements during formal rule making, the bill politicizes and undermines the state agency responsible for managing oil and gas operations that would likely lead to significant and unnecessary increases in costs for all Californians.

LLC – BROKER BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

 

On a bipartisan 56-0 vote, AB 687 (Daly; D-Anaheim) passed the California State Assembly.  This bill will allow real estate brokers to incorporate as a limited liability company (LLC), in addition to a C or S corporation.

This is a measure that our industry has been pursuing for years, and the Department of Real Estate notes there is pent-up demand for this change in law, estimating more than 30,000 brokers would seek to incorporate as an LLC, which has become commonplace since first being introduced.

AB 687 updates the statute to reflect that evolution in the industry and allow brokers to operate as an LLC.  Enabling brokerage firms to form as an LLC will allow greater flexibility in management and operations which will be particularly helpful for smaller firms.

AB 687 also will enable a savings of both time and costs for these firms as operating as an LLC means more streamlined entity reporting and filing requirements than a corporation.

Finally, AB 687 will simplify taxation at the entity level as gains and losses are passed through and taxation occurs at the individual owner level.  Although Subchapter S corporations do offer the same income tax pass-through feature, limitations on number and types of owners and other restrictions make the Subchapter S vehicle less readily available.

The realtors have expressed concerns with several portions of the measure, and we hope to work with them to craft language that will allow the policy to move forward.

We thank Assemblymember Tom Daly from Anaheim for being our champion on this important policy change.  The bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week.

COMMUNITY AIR PROTECTION PROGRAM INPUT SOUGHT

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Assembly Bill 617 signed into law in 2017, directs the California Air Resources Board to establish the Community Air Protection Program.  The program a community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants.

On September 27, 2018, the Board selected ten communities for the first year of this program to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring, or both. At the same meeting, the Board also approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint), which contains detailed requirements for community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring plans, and other elements of the Program.

CARB will conduct a public meeting in Fresno to consider the South Central Fresno Community Emissions Reduction Program.  Businesses located in Fresno are sought to review the program, policies, and provide input to the board.  Click here for more information.

NEWSFLASH: COURT HALTS CONTROVERSIAL ARBITRATION LAW

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Business groups today are hailing a ruling in the case against California’s new law banning employers from requiring arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.

In the case, United States District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled: “having carefully considered all relevant briefing, including supplemental briefing, the court GRANTS plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in full. In the coming days the court will explain its reasoning in a detailed, written order.”

The California Chamber of Commerce hailed the ruling which halts the enforcement of and invalidating in full AB 51, a law that would have banned employers from, as a condition of employment, entering into arbitration agreements for claims brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Labor code.
Our industry was part of a large coalition of employers led by the CalChamber that fought the bill in the Legislature, requested a veto which did not happen, and then challenged the law in court, arguing that AB 51 conflicted with federal law.

Of particular concern to employers were provisions of the law that placed the extraordinary burden of criminal penalties punishable by imprisonment and fines.
We are relieved at Judge Mueller’s decision granting plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in full.  And we thank the California Chamber of Commerce for once again standing up for employers.

Legal documents in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America et al. v. Becerra et al. can be found here.

LLC – BROKER BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On a bipartisan 56-0 vote, AB 687 (Daly; D-Anaheim) passed the California State Assembly.  This bill will allow real estate brokers to incorporate as a limited liability company (LLC), in addition to a C or S corporation.

This is a measure that our industry has been pursuing for years, and the Department of Real Estate notes there is pent-up demand for this change in law, estimating more than 30,000 brokers would seek to incorporate as an LLC, which has become commonplace since first being introduced.

AB 687 updates the statute to reflect that evolution in the industry and allow brokers to operate as an LLC.  Enabling brokerage firms to form as an LLC will allow greater flexibility in management and operations which will be particularly helpful for smaller firms.

AB 687 also will enable a savings of both time and costs for these firms as operating as an LLC means more streamlined entity reporting and filing requirements than a corporation.

Finally, AB 687 will simplify taxation at the entity level as gains and losses are passed through and taxation occurs at the individual owner level.  Although Subchapter S corporations do offer the same income tax pass-through feature, limitations on number and types of owners and other restrictions make the Subchapter S vehicle less readily available.

The realtors have expressed concerns with several portions of the measure and we hope to work with them to craft language that will allow the policy to move forward.

We thank Assemblymember Tom Daly from Anaheim for being our champion on this important policy change.  The bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week.

BALLOT MEASURE CHALLENGING AB 5 GAINS MOMENTUM

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

California’s new law, AB 5, attempting to clarify the Dynamex Court ruling has been drawing lots of complaints for having a variety of unintended consequences.  Our industry worked hard to clarify that Real Estate Brokers were not included in the law, however another major issue we had was that the bill was not clear in how it impacted business-to-business contracts between two incorporated entities and are seeking to clarify that issue further in clean up legislation this year.

However, there are many unincorporated contractors to which the bill applies, and they protested at the Capitol this week to highlight the impacts of the bill.  The bill is having a particularly outsized impact on artists and musicians that are true independent operators.

Beyond that some of the major players in the “gig economy” are fighting back hard.  A coalition of rideshare services as well as other app-based companies have vowed to spend upwards of $100 million to put a proposition on the ballot to overturn the law.  This week they reported that have reached 25% of the signatures needed and are investing heavily in obtaining the needed signatures.

This issue shows the intersection of old-fashioned labor and new-fangled technology hitting square on.

On behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry we are in the middle of this battle and trying to protect your interests.  However, as we have recently learned, even when the law is deemed “clarified” in statute there is a lot of confusion about how the law is applied in the Real World.

If there are questions about your own operations, we highly recommend consulting a labor law specialist that can provide technical advice and help keep you out of the crosshairs of a lawsuit.

In the meantime, for some basic information on the topic, click here.

HOUSING DENSITY BILL FAILS – TWICE

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

A measure that has made lots of headlines over the past year, that would set aside some local ordinances to clear the way for more dense housing near transit corridors, failed twice this week in two votes on the Senate Floor.

SB 50 (Weiner; D-San Francisco) attempts to help break the housing logjam in the state by overriding local zoning rules to encourage apartment construction in cities and counties.  It needed 21 votes and only was able to muster 18, in the Democrat-dominated State Senate.

In the past several years our legislature has considered hundreds of bills meant to “fix” the housing crisis.  SB 50 was one of the more promising – but also more controversial – as local government decried land use planning from Sacramento.

Although our industry liked many parts of the bill – and many others – we are disheartened that the number one issue to get more housing built in the state continues to be ignored.  CEQA reform.  It’s the “elephant in the room,” that is keeping housing costs high and supply much lower than demand, but powerful advocacy groups in the state won’t allow CEQA to be fixed, because it’s such a powerful tool to veto projects.  So, we continue to look for other, more complicated and less effective ways to resolve the housing crisis.

Our housing crisis is of such a large proportion that SB 50’s failure even received national news coverage which you can read here.

COMMUNITY AIR PROTECTION PROGRAM INPUT SOUGHT

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Assembly Bill 617 signed into law in 2017, directs the California Air Resources Board to establish the Community Air Protection Program.  The program a community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants.

On September 27, 2018, the Board selected ten communities for the first year of this program to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring, or both. At the same meeting, the Board also approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint), which contains detailed requirements for community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring plans, and other elements of the Program.

CARB will conduct a public meeting in Fresno to consider the South Central Fresno Community Emissions Reduction Program.  Businesses located in Fresno are sought to review the program, policies, and provide input to the board.  Click here for more information.

LLC – BROKER BILL PASSES COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

After years of trying, and months of negotiations with interested stakeholders, we are pleased to report that our sponsored bill, AB 687 (Daly; D-Anaheim) to allow limited liability companies (LLC) to operate as a real estate broker has moved through the Assembly Judiciary Committee and, yesterday, the Appropriations Committee, on bipartisan votes.

Real estate broker licensing was not extended to LLCs when other types of licensing were extended to LLCs over 20 years ago because at that time our industry standard was to operate as corporations.  Over time the business has shifted and now many companies within the real estate industry use LLCs extensively to hold and operate real property.  AB 687 updates the statute to reflect that evolution in the industry and allow brokers to operate as an LLC.

The Department of Real Estate thinks that the bill will be popular with licensees estimating that a third of California’s 130,000 licensed brokers would take advantage of law should it pass.

Enabling brokerage firms to form as an LLC will allow greater flexibility in management and operations which will be particularly helpful for smaller firms.  AB 687 also will enable a savings of both time and costs for these firms as operating as an LLC means more streamlined entity reporting and filing requirements than a corporation.

Finally, AB 687 will simplify taxation at the entity level as gains and losses are passed through and taxation occurs at the individual owner level.  Although Subchapter S corporations do offer the same income tax pass-through feature, limitations on number and types of owners and other restrictions make the Subchapter S vehicle less readily available.

The realtors have expressed concerns with several portions of the measure and we hope to work with them to craft language that will allow the policy to move forward.

We thank Assemblymember Tom Daly from Anaheim for being our champion on this important policy change.  The bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week.

PERSONAL SERVICES CONTRACTS – OPPOSE

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

As part of an employer coalition, we OPPOSE AB 790, which would require that targeted companies provide notices to personal service workers of another entity regarding the personal service workers’ right to form or assist labor organizations as permitted under federal law.

Specifically, AB 790 requires that the Department of Industrial Relations identify employers with a market capitalization of at least $1,000,000,000 and owns, operates, maintains, or rents any building in California. Those employers who enter into a personal service contract with a separate entity would need to provide the employees of that separate entity with specified information regarding the employees’ right to form or assist labor organizations as provided for by federal law.

“Personal services” is broadly defined as janitorial, housekeeping, custodial, food service, laundry service, window cleaning, bus driving, security guard, or any other “similar services” as the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) identifies.

From a practical standpoint, this bill is nearly impossible to ensure compliance because AB 790 would require that a client company provide notices to workers of another entity. How is the client company supposed to ensure that employees of another entity are receiving notices from the client company?

For example, what if a different window cleaner cleans the outside of the building because another window cleaner called in sick. Does the replacement window cleaner need to be provided the notice if they have never received one from the client company? How is the client company supposed to keep track of the fact that a new window cleaner cleaned their windows that day and did or did not receive the required notice that day or previously?

Compliance becomes even more concerning considering the broadly defined entities it would apply to. For example, the bill encompasses public companies whose evaluation is over $1,000,000,000; however, the client company does not need to be headquartered or own property in the state for AB 790 to apply, simply renting “any” property in California suffices. Thus, a client company would need to ensure that they provide these notices to personal service contract workers providing services at a rental property when the client company doesn’t even have business in California, but simply rents property in the state.

The bill is on the Floor next week and we oppose.

COMMUNITY AIR PROTECTION PROGRAM INPUT SOUGHT

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Assembly Bill 617 signed into law in 2017, directs the California Air Resources Board to establish the Community Air Protection Program.  The program a community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants.

On September 27, 2018, the Board selected ten communities for the first year of this program to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring, or both. At the same meeting, the Board also approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint), which contains detailed requirements for community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring plans, and other elements of the Program.

CARB will conduct a public meeting in Fresno to consider the South Central Fresno Community Emissions Reduction Program.  Businesses located in Fresno are sought to review the program, policies, and provide input to the board.  Click here for more information.

NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS – INCLUDING LACTATION AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On January 1, hundreds of new laws came into effect.  Our friends at Cox, Castle & Nicholson have provided some information on the high priority laws that our industry should be immediately aware of.  Many of these have been covered in past eWeeklys, but we are providing again because it’s so important your business know about these new laws and get into compliance.

Click here to read the list which covers everything from the new Independent Contractor law you have read so much about, to new Lactation in the Workplace accommodation requirements.

AG’S BIASED TITLE AND SUMMARY FOR SPLIT ROLL SPARKS OUTRAGE

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The San Diego Union-Tribune published a scathing editorial opposing California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s biased title and summary for the split-roll measure.

According to leadership at Californian’s to Stop Higher Property Taxes, the biased wording gives the proponents an unfair advantage at passing their $12.5 billion-a-year property tax increase.

The measure received its title and summary last week, sparking outrage across the state for the blatant misrepresentation in what is supposed to be a nonpartisan, impartial analysis for voters.

Proponents of the split-roll property tax hike are now collecting signatures to qualify the measure for the November 3, 2020, ballot.  The editorial states:

The union-led Schools & Communities First coalition has moved to scrap its original planned 2020 initiative that would require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed at their present value, ending the Proposition 13 protection that their property taxes can go up no more than 2% each year. Now the coalition has launched a revised version that’s friendlier to small businesses but still creates a “split roll” allowing the collection of as much as $12 billion in new annual tax revenue from commercial and industrial properties.

The ballot summary that Attorney General Xavier Becerra approved for the original measure starts off by citing how it would affect such properties, then explores how the increased revenue would be used. The far vaguer new summary focuses on the benefits to public schools, community colleges and local governments from “changing” property taxes.

Read the full editorial by clicking here and share with all your friends and colleagues!

Learn more about how to fight the attempt to raise your property taxes at Californian’s to Stop Higher Property Taxes.  You can help by donating to your defense by clicking here.

SPLIT ROLL PROPONENTS DECEIVING VOTERS FROM THE START

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Proponents of the flawed $12.5 billion a year split-roll property tax measure have begun gathering signatures for their second, equally flawed split-roll property tax measure, which, if passed, will be the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY.

The campaign, desperate for support, is deceiving voters as signature gathers are telling them that the measure “will protect Prop 13” – the exact opposite of the measure’s intended purpose.

This comes after a September poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that only 47 percent of likely voters support a split-roll property tax, but 64 percent of likely voters support Prop 13.

“This $12.5 billion a year property tax increase will hurt the pocketbooks of seniors living on fixed-incomes, hardworking families, and all Californians. Ultimately, the split-roll property tax will drive up the cost of living in one of the most expensive states in the country and make life even more difficult for those already struggling to get by,” said Deborah Howard, Board Member of the California Senior Advocates League. “California already has the highest percentage of population living in poverty. Destroying Prop 13 will put more families in jeopardy.”

Don’t be fooled by the deceiving nature of this campaign.  The purpose of this measure is to break up Proposition 13 benefits by going after commercial properties first.  Residential properties are next.

Learn more about how to fight the attempt to raise your property taxes at Californian’s to Stop Higher Property Taxes.  You can help by donating to your defense by clicking here.

COMPANY DOWNSIZES OFFICE PORTFOLIO DUE TO SPECTRE OF SPLIT ROLL

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

If you are still wondering if the threat to destroy split roll is “real” and if it will have any impact on your business, just look at this recent announcement by Decron Properties that is divesting in California because of the potential that Prop. 13 protections will evaporate:

“Decron Properties has sold Ocean Plaza, an 8.6-acre mixed-use office and retail complex in Huntington Beach, California, to Vancouver, Canada-based Onni Group for $97.25 million.

“Located at 17011 Beach Boulevard, the property features a 207,645-square-foot, 14-story Class A office tower, 108,785-square feet of retail and restaurant space and a six-level parking garage accommodating 863 automobiles.

“The sale of Ocean Plaza is part of Decron’s ongoing business strategy to divest itself of its commercial office assets prior to the possible changes to California’s Prop 13 that would alter the structure of property taxes for commercial properties within the state.” (emphasis added).

Our industry has been warning for years that removing Proposition 13 protections from property owners will directly result in such sell offs reshape the state’s economic activity in ways that may be harmful.  See Decron’s full press release here.

LAWSUIT TRIES TO BRING SANITY TO PROP 65 LITIGATION

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The California Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit in early October to stop the multitude of Proposition 65 warnings for the presence of acrylamide in food.  The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California to stop the Proposition 65 litigation over acrylamide in food.

According to the Chamber, acrylamide is not a chemical that is added intentionally to food products. Rather, it forms naturally in many types of foods when they are cooked at high temperatures, whether at home, in a restaurant or in a factory. Common sources of acrylamide in the diet (and subjects of Proposition 65 litigation) include baked goods, breakfast cereal, black ripe olives, coffee, grilled asparagus, French fries, peanut butter, potato chips, and roasted nuts.

“The effect of too many bogus warnings is no warnings,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg in a statement. “This case is about clarifying for both businesses and consumers that food does not require Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide. This will reduce unnecessary fear for consumers and litigation threats for businesses.”

Prop. 65 warning have become ubiquitous in commercial, industrial, and retail real estate buildings.  As CalChamber members we hope they are successful in this effort to bring some sanity to this area of law.  Click here for more information.

REGISTER NOW FOR THE STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The 2019 Strategic Issues Conference is just around the corner!  This year’s conference is being held at the recently renovated Embassy Suites in Napa, California on December 5-6.

The goal of the Strategic Issues Conference is to increase public policy and political awareness of state and national issues, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of the California economy.

Ten major business groups have come together to host an event you don’t want to miss!  California Business Properties Association (CBPA), American Council for Engineering Companies (ACEC), Building Owners and Managers of California (BOMA CAL), California Alliance for Jobs (CAJ), California Building Industry Association (CBIA), California Business Roundtable (CBRT), California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), California Retailers Association (CRA), NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

CLICK HERE to register now.  For more information on this exciting event CLICK HERE.

For hotel accommodations, please contact the Embassy Suite, Napa Valley directly at 707-253-9540. Group rate cut-off date is almost here – October 30, 2019. In order to get the special conference room rate of $209.00 you must reserve your room by October 30, 2019.

We hope to see you in December!

2020 MAY SEE TAX BATTLE ROYAL

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Dan Walters, from Sacramento Bee Political Columnist, now writing for CalMatters lays out some thoughts on the looming expensive fight on split roll and other tax items in 2020:

Although the state is enjoying multibillion-dollar budget surpluses, thanks largely to a vibrant economy, California voters may face a bewildering array of tax increase proposals next year.

This seemingly contradictory situation is being driven by an assumption — probably accurate — that the November 2020 election will see a massive turnout of voters eager to oppose President Donald Trump’s re-election.

Those anti-Trump voters, it’s also assumed, would likely be willing to impose new taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. So, tax advocates see it as a golden, even unique, opportunity.

One measure, which would remove some of Proposition 13’s property-tax barriers, has already qualified.

However, the union-led backers of that “split roll” measure, which would raise taxes on warehouses, hotels, office buildings and other commercial properties by an estimated $11 billion a year for schools and local governments, set it aside after spending several million dollars to qualify it. They are now proposing a substitute.”

Their initiative had drawn sharp criticism from county property-tax assessors about its workability and opposition from small-business owners who said it would raise their rents.

So, the backers, the “Schools and Communities First” coalition, made several revisions to quiet the critics before launching a new signature-gathering effort, although it’s uncertain the group will succeed.

The commercial real estate industry and its allies have pledged to spend $100 million to defeat the split roll measure. The California Taxpayers Association and others have formed “Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes” to marshal opposition. And the California Chamber of Commerce has created the “California Tax and Budget Project” to block extension of sales taxes to services.

Click here to read the full story at CalMatters.

 

SPLIT ROLL BALLOT MEASURE – “THREE TIME LOSER”

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Our friend Loren Kay, the President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, walks us through the “iterative” process the proponents next year’s split roll property tax measure are taking to try to tweak the measure in manner they better sell that stinkbomb to the voters:

Oops, they did it again.

Proponents have submitted a third attempt at a ballot initiative to create a “split roll,” hiking property taxes by up to $11 billion.

This latest version presumably won’t restart the clock, since it amends a month-old measure already being reviewed by the Attorney General and Legislative Analyst.

But the changes aren’t trivial. Most important, the new language would siphon off tens of millions of dollars to support the crushing implementation obligations on state and local governments. County state agencies must hire hundreds of new bureaucrats – tax collectors, appraisers, hearing officers, accountants and lawyers – to support the burdensome obligations newly delivered to state and local officials.

Tens of millions of dollars that will be intercepted before they can be used to hire any new school teachers, police officers or firefighters.

But wait, there’s more.

The measure requires that the State use general taxes to pay for the massive start-up costs to implement this tax hike, in advance of the first dollar to roll in from the new taxes. Even though local governments and schools will be the beneficiaries, money dedicated to state education, law enforcement and safety net programs must subsidize the hiring of new local tax collectors.

And if California were to suffer a recession after this measure passes? Doesn’t matter, proponents have given constitutional protection to these new lawyers, accountants and tax collectors – shielding the General Fund subsidies from any cuts that all other state programs would be subject to.

Even after making a third pass at getting it right, proponents have not abandoned Split Roll 1.0.

Though twice demeaned and found wanting by its own creators, the measure lingers in the ballot cue as a hedge against their inability to qualify version 3.0.

I can’t be the only one curious as to how proponents can justify keeping a ballot measure primed for a statewide vote after admitting and admitting again its inadequacies.

Click here to read the original story on Fox and Hounds.

LEGISLATIVE BILL WATCH

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Below is a summary of bills that we are focused on that impact the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate sectors, during the final two weeks of the 2019 Session.  The Governor has until Midnight on October 13 to sign or veto measures on his Desk.

 

AB 5 (Gonzalez D) Worker status: employees and independent contractors.

Summary: Addresses the Dynamex Court case on independent contractors. Amendments exempting commercial real estate brokers and brokerage firms are in the bill. Negotiating final amendments regarding business-to-business transactions and other technical issues.

Position: SUPPORT – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

 

AB 51 (Gonzalez D) Employment discrimination: enforcement.

Summary: Prohibits arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 170 (Gonzalez D) Employment: harassment: liability.

Summary: Increases the amount of time employers can be sued and sets new standards for liability of sexual harassment in the workplace. Will increase litigation.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 485 (Medina D) Local government: economic development subsidies.

Summary: Requires local governments to receive comprehensive information about warehouse projects prior to releasing economic development incentives.

Position: OPPOSE  – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 520 (Kalra D) Public works: public subsidy.

Summary: Defines “public works” to include a project that receives a de minimis public subsidy less than $500,000 and 2% of the total project cost.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 547 (Gonzalez D) Janitorial workers: sexual violence and harassment prevention training.

Summary: Requires Janitorial Companies to provide specified training on sexual violence and harassment prevention.

Position: NEUTRAL. Negotiated AMENDEMENTS. – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 684 (Levine D) Building standards: electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Summary: requires the state to propose building standards for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for parking spaces for existing multifamily and non-residential developments.

Position: NEUTRAL. Assured bill doesn’t create a mandate or put building code in statute.

 

AB 729 (Chu D) Carpet recycling: carpet stewardship.

Summary: Triples the carpet recycling fee.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 857 (Chiu D) Public banks.

Summary: Allows local governments to get into lending which would destabilize banking through introducing non-fiscal requirements for loans.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 1066 (Gonzalez D) Unemployment insurance: trade disputes: eligibility for benefits.

Summary: Would allow striking workers to receive unemployment checks.

Position: OPPOSE – FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATURE.

 

AB 1080 (Gonzalez D) California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.

Summary: Would enact the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, increasing fees and responsibilities of property owners to recycle and compost.

Position: OPPOSE – FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATURE.

 

AB 1100 (Kamlager-Dove D) Electric vehicles: parking requirements.

Summary: Allows EV parking space to be counted as at least one standard automobile parking space for the purpose of complying with any local minimum parking requirements.

Position: SUPPORT – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 1188 (Gabriel D) Dwelling units: persons at risk of homelessness.

Summary: Puts requirements on residential landlords to allow tenant to allow people not on the lease to stay in dwelling.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 1281 (Chau D) Privacy: facial recognition technology: disclosure.

Summary: Requires a business in California that uses facial recognition technology to disclose that usage in a physical sign that is clear and conspicuous at the entrance of every location.

Position: OPPOSE – FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATURE.

 

AB 1478 (Carrillo D) Employment discrimination.

Summary: Creates a private cause of action against an employer for disputes regarding the right under the law to time off or reasonable accommodations to deal with issues such as jury service or related to being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

AB 1482 (Chiu D) Tenancy: rent caps.

Summary: Imposes a 5% plus inflation residential rent cap and codifies “just cause” eviction requirements.

Position: OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry D) Local government financing: affordable housing and public infrastructure: voter approval.

Summary: Lowers the vote threshold for raising local taxes to 55%.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 1 (Atkins D) California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019.

Summary: Require agencies to take prescribed actions regarding certain federal requirements and standards pertaining to air, water, and protected species.

Position: OPPOSE. – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 5 (Beall D) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program.

Summary: Makes changes to the Enhanced Infrastructure Finance District (EIFD) law and Redevelopment 2.0. Makes it easier for local district to set up Tax Increment Financing for infrastructure.

Position: NEUTRAL. Worked to protect against unnecessary tax increases.  – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 44 (Skinner D) Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles: comprehensive strategy.

Summary: Requires the Air Resources Board (ARB) to update its 2016 mobile source strategy to include a comprehensive strategy for the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the state.

Position: SUPPORT – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 54 (Allen D) California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.

Summary: Enacts the law to achieve a 75% reduction in single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products by 2030. Puts onerous requirements on property owners and businesses.

Position: OPPOSE  – FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATURE.

 

SB 127 (Wiener D) Transportation funding: active transportation: complete streets.

Summary: Requires CalTrans to design bicycle and pedestrian facilities on all projects the state undertakes. Estimated cost is in the billions to the state.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 142 (Wiener D) Employees: lactation accommodation.

Summary: Expands current lactation accommodation mandates for employers and requires the Building Standards Commission to design a guidance document. We negotiated significant amendments to this bill, including removing the mandatory building code provisions, however the employer requirements are onerous and expensive and increases potential for lawsuits.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 190 (Dodd D) Fire safety: building standards: defensible space program.

Summary: Requires the Office of the State Fire Marshal to develop, in consultation with our industry, a model defensible space program to reduce threat of wildfire.

Position: SUPPORT – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 330 (Skinner D) Housing Crisis Act of 2019. Temporarily bans cities from imposing a moratorium on new housing construction, prohibits changing zoning law to prevent denser housing like apartment buildings, and prevents cities from raising fees during the development approval process.

Position: SUPPORT – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 451 (Atkins D) Rehabilitation of certified historic structures.

Summary: Creates a tax credit for the rehabilitation of certain certified historic structures.

Position: SUPPORT – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 531 (Glazer D) Local agencies: retailers.

Summary: Prohibits local agencies from entering into certain economic development agreements with companies for locating in the local jurisdiction.

Position: OPPOSE – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SB 638 (Allen D) Leases: electric vehicle charging stations: insurance coverage.

Summary: Enables installation of EV chargers by removing the requirement to obtain a general liability insurance policy and instead require personal liability coverage

Position: NEUTRAL. Assured bill stayed focused on past agreements. – ON GOVERNOR’S DESK AWAITING SIGNATURE/VETO

 

SCA 5 (Hill D) Taxation: school districts: parcel tax.

Summary: Lowers voter threshold to 55% on certain local taxes.

Position: OPPOSE – FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATURE.

GOVERNOR’S SIGNING MESSAGE ON AB 5

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

“To Members of the California Assembly: Assembly Bill 5 is landmark legislation for workers and our economy. It will help reduce worker misclassification-workers being wrongly classified as ‘independent contractors,’ rather than employees, which erodes basic worker protections like the minimum wage, paid sick days and health insurance benefits. The hollowing out of our middle-class has been 40 years in the making, and the need to create lasting economic security for our workforce demands action.

 “Assembly Bill 5 is an important step. A next step is creating pathways for more workers to form a union, collectively bargain to earn more, and have a stronger voice at work — all while preserving flexibility and innovation. In this spirit, I will convene leaders from the Legislature, the labor movement and the business community to support innovation and a more inclusive economy by stepping in where the federal government has fallen short and granting workers excluded from the National Labor Relations Act the right to organize and collectively bargain.

 “Sincerely, GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM”

CALCHAMBER STATEMENT ON AB 5

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The California Chamber of Commerce today released the following statement on AB 5 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego):

“CalChamber is pleased with the number of professions that AB 5 recognizes should not fall under the independent contractor test set forth in the Dynamex decision. AB 5 provides clarity and certainty for those industries. The fact that the Legislature recognized in AB 5 — and in related legislation — that so many professions and industries include workers who are not appropriately classified as employees is strong evidence that the Dynamex decision should not apply to everyone and there are many industries that still need to be added.

“Simply put, much work remains to be done on the Dynamex issue. As such, the business community will be aggressively pursuing further exemptions next year. The test set forth in the Dynamex ruling does not correctly contemplate the realities of the modern economy nor fairly consider the sweeping impracticalities it would bring to the California economy.”

Please note, commercial real estate brokers/brokerage firms are “exempted” from this law, based partially on the argument that the profession is highly regulated. This is about as good of an outcome as we had hoped for – this was a complicated bill based on a court case that threatened to upend our entire way of doing business.

We thank the CalChamber and the CA Association of Realtors for being such excellent partners in this effort.

LACTATION ROOM BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On A 57-13 vote in the Assembly, and then a 28-11 vote in the Senate, the amended bill dealing with lactation rooms in workplaces has been sent to Governor Gavin Newsom.

SB 142 (Weiner; D-San Francisco) initially sought to require lactation rooms in all buildings, was amended twice in the last two weeks to take the building code provisions out of the bill.  While this is a improvement to the bill, we have remained opposed to the bill in light of the fact that that AB 1976 (Limon; D-Santa Barbara) was just signed last year and was substantially similar; we have specifically objected to the fact that this bill seeks additional employer mandates that create potential for PAGA lawsuits, labor issues regarding meal and rest breaks, and has no “safe harbor” provisions for workplaces that cannot accommodate a lactation space due to size or safety issues.

An interesting note is that the Governor’s Department of Finance, agreed with us about cost estimates on the bill and released an analysis stating it would cost the state millions of dollars to comply with construction costs in state buildings.  DOF estimates a cost of $149,000 in each impacted state building and it seems the argument prevailed; while it estimated $50,000 in private buildings.

The Governor has until October 13 to sign or veto the measure.

RENT CAP / “JUST CAUSE” BILL SENT TO GOVENOR

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

A bill that seeks to bring residential rent caps to California, AB 1482 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), passed the Senate 25-10, and then passed the Assembly 48-25.  A “grand deal” between the Governor and supporters of the bill came together several weeks ago which all but guaranteed passage of the controversial measure.

 This bill has been a top priority for us to defeat. However, the deal points with the Governor has pushed many of our allied opposing groups accept the compromise language.  The new bill did make several adjustments to the Just Cause Eviction issue we had been asking for which made the bill tolerable for many of our members.  However, we do not support the idea of rent control nor making it harder to evict problem tenants.

 The Governor has until October 13 to sign the bill, which he has stated he will do.

FINAL WEEK OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Posted: September 6, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The final week of the 2019 Legislative year is upon us.  The Legislature is feverishly working its way through hundreds of bills that will impact our state and your business before they adjourn sometime around Midnight next Friday.

There are still many significant pieces of legislation that will impact our industry that we are following closely, including bills to drastically change independent contracting, add strike benefits to public employee unions, address housing, and much much more.

LACTATION ROOM MANDATE ON ASSEMBLY FLOOR

Posted: September 6, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

SB 142 (Weiner; D-San Francisco) the bill seeking to require lactation rooms in all buildings, will be voted on next week.  We have opposed the bill all year as redundant in light of the fact that AB 1976 (Limon; D-Santa Barbara) was just signed last year and was substantially similar; and we have specifically objected to the fact that this bill sought to mandate significant building code requirements, would increase the potential for PAGA lawsuits, and had no ability for workplaces that cannot accommodate a lactation space due to size or safety issues, be exempted.

We are pleased to announce that one of those issues, regarding the building code, has been addressed.  The Appropriations Committee forced language into the bill that would change the mandatory language into a guidance document on how to comply the law when a tenant had an employee to accommodate.

However, while we appreciate the amendment, we still oppose because of its redundancy and harmful impacts on companies in our own industry and our tenants.

And interesting not is that the Governor’s Department of Finance, agreed with us about cost estimates on the bill and released an analysis stating it would cost the state millions of dollars to comply with construction costs in state buildings.  DOF estimates a cost of $149,000 in each impacted state building and it seems the argument prevailed; while it estimated $50,000 in private buildings.

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