DUAL AGENCY BILL SET ASIDE FOR THE YEAR

Posted: April 28, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We are happy to report that the Dual Agency Ban Bill, AB 1059 (Gonzalez Fletcher), has been pulled from the Assembly Judiciary Committee docket and we have been told by the author’s staff that she will not pursue the measure further right now (but that it may be revisited over the Interim Recess or next year).  This is great news and we appreciate the fact that Ms. Gonzalez Fletcher has chosen not to move forward with this bill.

Right now is a good time to breathe a sigh of relief, and take stock of where we are on the issue – but we want to be clear that the war is not necessarily over.  However, we can assume the sponsors of this bill will likely continue to press this issue and we should work to communicate about the benefits of dual agency with policymakers, clients, and the public at large.

On this bill, we saw a mobilization of our industry unlike any we have seen in several years.  In a coordinated effort through the CBPA office in Sacramento, local chapters of NAIOP, BOMA, AIR and members of ICSC and individual members of CBPA across the state worked quickly to educate our own members and potential allies about the negative impacts of the bill and shared our concerns with Assemblymembers and their staff.

And to find a positive in the midst of a storm, this was actually a great opportunity for our industry to work with legislators and their staffs and discuss the differences between residential and commercial transactions and why the State treats them separately in statute and how Dual Agency was being mischaracterized by the sponsor of the bill.  This type of education is very important and helps lay positive groundwork and builds trust for success on other commercial real estate issues.

We will continue to watch for activity in the Legislature while working with local chapters, associations, and companies to provide a “roadmap” to continued education of policymakers and the public about our industry.  But this bill may come back early next year and we need to be ready.

Until then, thank you to the hundreds of companies and individuals that stepped up to meet this threat to our industry.

“MOD SQUAD” DEMOCRATS NAME NEW CONVENER

Posted: April 28, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) and Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) today announced that Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) has been named the convener of the informal caucus of moderate Democrat Assemblymembers known as the New Democrats, effective immediately, according to a press release from the group.

“I am honored to have been selected as convener by my colleagues and look forward to working to find common ground and real solutions to the problems facing our state,” said Assemblymember Gray. “The New Democrats are committed to a pragmatic approach that promotes the interests of hard-working Californians alienated by the extreme partisanship of both the left and the right.”

In addition, the New Democrats today announced the creation of an executive committee that will collaboratively set policy discussion.

The New Democrats, or “Moderate Caucus,” or “Mod Squad,” as they are alternatively known, has become a growing force in the State Capitol as its members have started sticking together more often to influence policy and stop or advance bills.  As a business group we find that our members and the Mod Squad tend to have more in common than not, so we do our best to keep them informed of our issues.

Congratulations to Assemblymember Gray!

PROGRESS ON SOLAR BILL

Posted: April 28, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We are very pleased to report productive conversations with Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco) regarding his SB 71, a bill that is looking to better enable adoption of solar in residential and commercial settings.  Although this early version of the bill gives some of our members heartburn because it seems to unintentionally undermine the codes process in order to mandate solar in statute, through communications with Senator Wiener and his staff, we are hopeful our issues can be addressed.

Strict solar requirements are heading our way. This is California, after all.  So addressing some policy issues ahead of time is a priority for our industry and we are pleased Senator Weiner is engaging in such a thoughtful manner.

PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE BILL FIXED

Posted: April 28, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We are happy to report and want to thank all of you that helped, AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose), a legislative proposal which would have posed a huge threat to the entire construction industry by mandating the payment of Prevailing Wages for private residential projects in California, has been amended in such a manner to address our issues.

Due to the recent amendments to AB 199, our coalition, led by friends over at the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), have withdrawn its opposition to the measure.  The amendments return the bill to existing code (eliminating the problematic reference to “political subdivisions”) and add “a successor agency to a redevelopment agency when acting in that capacity,” after redevelopment agency.

These amendments reflect the author’s and sponsor’s stated intent of the bill – to ensure that projects that had been approved by an RDA continue to pay prevailing wage.  Doing so addressed the concern that the bill was far more expansive, requiring nearly all private residential development to pay prevailing wage.

There may still be some concern on the bill from our friends in local government regarding the RDA issue, but for now the major threat to all private construction has been lifted.

Thank you to CBIA for leading this effort and to all of you that picked up the phone and/or wrote a letter to let policymakers know how bad this issue was for our industry.

ADA CODE REGULATORY UPDATE PACKAGE RELEASED

Posted: April 28, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Division of the State Architect has release its Access Compliance package which starts the 45-Day language comment period for the disabled access update (7/1/18).  Your Sacramento staff is reviewing the package to see if there are any objectionable provisions remaining (we have been working on this for the past year).

We would like to make sure that members of the industry who work with the code also have the opportunity to review and provide comments on any potential issues.  Click here and go to the DSA-AC section to access the official documents.

PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE BILL FIXED

Posted: April 21, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We are happy to report and want to thank all of you that helped, AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose), a legislative proposal which would have posed a huge threat to the entire construction industry by mandating the payment of Prevailing Wages for private residential projects in California, has been amended in such a manner to address our issues.

Due to the recent amendments to AB 199, our coalition, led by friends over at the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), have withdrawn its opposition to the measure.  The amendments return the bill to existing code (eliminating the problematic reference to “political subdivisions”) and add “a successor agency to a redevelopment agency when acting in that capacity,” after redevelopment agency.

These amendments reflect the author’s and sponsor’s stated intent of the bill – to ensure that projects that had been approved by an RDA continue to pay prevailing wage.  Doing so addressed the concern that the bill was far more expansive, requiring nearly all private residential development to pay prevailing wage.

There may still be some concern on the bill from our friends in local government regarding the RDA issue, but for now the major threat to all private construction has been lifted.

Thank you to CBIA for leading this effort and to all of you that picked up the phone and/or wrote a letter to let policymakers know how bad this issue was for our industry.

DUAL “DUAL AGENCY” BILLS DUEL IN SACRAMENTO

Posted: April 21, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

As we have previously let you know, two bills have been gut-and-amended to deal with Dual Agency in the State of California and are currently in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.  One of the bills deals directly with residential disclosure issues related to the California Supreme Court case knows as Horiike.  The other bill is using the cover of that court case to ban the common practice altogether in the commercial setting at the behest of a tenant only brokerage firm.

Here are links to the two measures:

AB 1626 (Irwin)Dual Agency Disclosures is a measure sponsored by the Realtors.

AB 1059 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Bans Dual Agency is a measure sponsored by a tenant-rep brokerage firm.

The Realtors have an effort at reform with AB 1626 to deal with issues the court raised for residential transactions noted in the Horiike case.

We are very concerned with AB 1059 as it would have a negative impact on the commercial real estate industry and is not actually addressing issues related to Horiike as it is confined to commercial transactions.

AB 1059 appears to be using the court decision as a pretext to pursue a pre-existing agenda that would codify a particular business model and discomfit competitors (and upend an entire industry in the process).

OPPOSE AB 1059 DUAL AGENCY BAN

Posted: April 21, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Our members have let us know how bad AB 1059 is and there are active efforts all across California to communicate to legislators how this bill would upend our entire industry.  We have been asked to share information on how companies can go on record opposing this bill so we are providing the following address and fax number for you to send a short letter:

 

The Honorable Mark Stone

Chair, Assembly Judiciary Committee

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95691

RE: AB 1059 (Gonzalez Fletcher) DUAL AGENCY BAN ***OPPOSE***

Set for Hearing May 2, 2017

 

Dear Assemblymember Stone:

 

FAX LETTER TO:  916-319-2188

You do not need to write a long technical legal letter.  To oppose this bill simply write a short note explaining that despite proponents claims, AB 1059 will hurt small and large tenants alike, driving down competition, raising costs and making transactions more difficult.

Under this bill real estate transactions will be more complicated, costly, and adversarial than they are today by banning the ability for one firm – mutually agreeable to both parties — from coordinating purchase and/or lease transactions.  There are already rules in place to mandate disclosure of dual representation, so there is full transparency.

COSTAR STORY ON CA DUAL AGENCY BAN

Posted: April 21, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here is a recent story by Costar on two dual agency bills introduced in California.  See below for more detail about the two bills. Costar Story: CA to Consider New Legislation On Dual Agency

ADA CODE REGULATORY UPDATE PACKAGE RELEASED

Posted: April 21, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Division of the State Architect has released its Access Compliance package which starts the 45-Day language comment period for the disabled access update (7/1/18).  Your Sacramento staff is reviewing the package to see if there are any objectionable provision remaining (we have been working on this for the past year).

We would like to make sure that members of the industry who work with the code also have the opportunity to review and provide comment on any potential issues.  Click here and go to the DSA-AC section to access the official documents.

CA’S WAR ON CARBON

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Sacramento Bee asked the question “Is California winning its war on Carbon.”  The answer, is, interesting, to say the least.  What some may find frustrating is that building energy efficiency measures our industry has voluntarily and mandatorily taken over the past 20 years, has contributed greatly – and at great cost – but does not even merit a mentioned. Click here to read the full article.

SPRING RECESS ENDS

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Spring Recess in the California State Legislature ends today and so does the “calm before the storm.” Over the next few weeks every bill introduced must be heard and passed by their policy committee of jurisdiction by May 19.  It’s one of the busiest four weeks in the year under the Gilded Dome.  Ready, set, Go!

SENATOR PAT BATES TAKES REINS OF THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) has taken over the leadership reins as the Senate Republican Leader succeeding Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) as the second woman in the history of the California State Senate to serve in the top leadership post of a party caucus.

Senator Bates released the following statement, “I thank Senator Fuller for her leadership of the Senate Republican Caucus over the past two years as it is humbling to accept the baton of leadership from her today. I pledge to do my best to ensure that the 13 million Californians that Senate Republicans represent continue to have their voices heard loud and clear in Sacramento”.
“Senate Republicans will continue to embrace taxpayers who want a more efficient government, parents who want better schools and safer streets, and citizens who want their constitutional freedoms protected. I look forward to advocating for all Californians who want more balance in their state government.”

Senator Bates represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

DUAL “DUAL AGENCY” BILLS DUEL IN SACRAMENTO

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

As we discussed last Friday, two bills have been gut-and-amended to deal with Dual Agency in the State of California and are currently in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.  One of the bills deals directly with residential disclosure issues related to the California Supreme Court case knows as Horiike.  The other bill is using the cover of that court case to ban the common practice altogether in the commercial setting at the behest of a tenant only brokerage firm.

Here are links to the two measures:

AB 1626 (Irwin)Dual Agency Disclosures is a measure sponsored by the Realtors.

AB 1059 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Bans Dual Agency is a measure sponsored by a tenant-rep brokerage firm.

This article goes into some detail about the two measures:

The Realtors have an effort at reform with AB 1626 to deal with issues the court raised for residential transactions noted in the Horiike case.

We are very concerned with AB 1059 as it would have a negative impact on the commercial real estate industry and is not actually addressing issues related to Horiike as it is confined to commercial transactions.

AB 1059 appears to be using the court decision as a pretext to pursue a pre-existing agenda that would codify a particular business model and discomfit competitors (and upend an entire industry in the process).

COSTAR STORY ON CA DUAL AGENCY BAN

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here is a recent story by Costar on two dual agency bills introduced in California.  See below for more detail about the two bills. Costar Story: CA to Consider New Legislation On Dual Agency

 

ADA CODE REGULATORY UPDATE PACKAGE RELEASED

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Division of the State Architect has release its Access Compliance package which starts the 45-Day language comment period for the disabled access update (7/1/18).  Your Sacramento staff is reviewing the package to see if there are any objectionable provision remaining (we have been working on this for the past year).

We would like to make sure that members of the industry who work with the code also have the opportunity to review and provide comment on any potential issues.  Click here and go to the DSA-AC section to access the official documents.

SINGLE-USER BATHROOM GUIDANCE RELEASED

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has released further guidance on the issue of how to identify and sign All-Gender Single-User Toilet Facilities.

Click here for further guidance, which contains additional information to assist facility operators and design professionals who design facilities under the enforcement jurisdiction of DSA in interpreting the requirements of Health and Safety Code Section 118600.

We hope this will help you comply with this relatively recent state law.

2017 CASp EXAM REGISTRATION

Posted: April 17, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Registration is now open for the June 2017 Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination to be held in Sacramento and Riverside on June 28.   Individuals with CASp certification are in high demand by clients seeking to ensure their facilities comply with applicable construction-related accessibility standards, including the California Building Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtaining CASp certification and/or encouraging an employee in your company to pursue the certification, provides you with an opportunity to increase your business, enhances the services you provide, helps distinguish you from your peers, and will help protect you from unnecessary lawsuits.

Register through the CASp Account Login site. Registration closes one month prior to the examination date or when the exam reaches the maximum capacity seating, whichever occurs first.  Information for all of the 2017 exams is listed online in the CASp examination schedule.

SPRING RECESS IS HERE

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Next week is Spring Recess in the California State Legislature.  All activity will cease for the week as Legislators stay in their districts.  This reprieve in the calendar is used by staff and other denizens of the Capitol to take a deep breath and enjoy the “calm before the storm” that is coming in the form of first policy committee deadline.  All bills introduced must be heard and passed by their policy committee of jurisdiction by May 19.  It’s one of the busiest four weeks in the year under the Gilded Dome.

TRANSPORTATION DEAL REACHED SENT TO GOVERNOR

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Late last night after weeks of active negotiations, the Legislature sent Governor Brown the Transportation package he has been asking for.  The package was a controversial hot potato for some legislators because raising taxes on cars and gasoline is about one of the most unpopular things a politician can do (just ask former Governor Gray Davis, recalled, mainly over the “car tax” issue) so the negotiations and “horse trading” for votes went late into the night.

Much of the controversy stems from the fact that the package contains the largest gas tax increase in California history.  This is a regressive tax that directly hits individual citizens and businesses.  The measure is projected to generate $5.2 billion annual and taxes are increased on both gasoline and diesel fuel.  Starting in three years, purchasers of new electric vehicles will pay a $100 yearly fee.  Finally, a new annual vehicle fee that varies based on the value of the car was also adopted.

The package dedicates funds to a wide variety of projects focused on existing infrastructure as well as new projects related to mass transit.

Click here for a comprehensive story about the politics and the provisions of the measure.

THE DROUGHT IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE DROUGHT REGS!

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Governor has announced that the Great California Drought is officially over after a very wet winter with plentiful snowfall and rain filling up our reservoirs to the breaking point (literally).  However, the strict water efficiency rules and regulations induced by the water shortage will remain in place.

“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” said Governor Brown. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”

According to a release from the Governor’s office Executive Order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. Today’s order also rescinds two emergency proclamations and four drought related orders from 2014 and 2015.

However, the State Water Resources Control Board will maintain urban water use reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices such as watering during or after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.

In a related action, state agencies today issued a plan to continue to make conservation a way of life in California, as directed by Governor Brown in May 2016. The framework requires new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts.

Overall, we agree with the actions the Governor has taken and as an industry have been working hard for years to use water more efficiently and reduce water waste.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and state agencies to make sure regulations drafted make sense and can be implemented in a way that makes sense.

ADA CODE REGULATORY UPDATE PACKAGE RELEASED

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Division of the State Architect has released its Access Compliance package which starts the 45-Day language comment period for the disabled access update (7/1/18).  Your Sacramento staff is reviewing the package to see if there are any objectionable provisions remaining (we have been working on this for the past year).

We would like to make sure that members of the industry who work with the code also have the opportunity to review and provide comments on any potential issues.  Click here and go to the DSA-AC section to access the official documents.

COSTAR STORY ON CA DUAL AGENCY BAN

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here is a recent story by Costar on two dual agency bills introduced in California.  See below for more details about the two bills. Costar Story: CA to Consider New Legislation On Dual Agency

DUAL “DUAL AGENCY” BILLS DUEL IN SACRAMENTO

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

As we discussed last Friday, two bills have been gut-and-amended to deal with Dual Agency in the State California and are currently in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.  One of the bills deals directly with residential disclosure issues related to the California Supreme Court case known as Horiike.  The other bill is using the cover of that court case to ban the common practice altogether in the commercial setting at the behest of a tenant only brokerage firm.

Here are links to the two measures:

AB 1626 (Irwin)Dual Agency Disclosures is a measure sponsored by the Realtors.

AB 1059 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Bans Dual Agency is a measure sponsored by a tenant-rep brokerage firm.

This article goes into some detail about the two measures:

We are supportive of the Realtors efforts on AB 1626 to deal with issues the court raised for residential transactions noted in the Horiike case.

We are very concerned with AB 1059 as it would have a negative impact on the commercial real estate industry and is not actually addressing issues related to Horiike as it is confined to commercial transactions.

AB 1059 appears to be using the court decision as a pretext to pursue a pre-existing agenda that would codify a particular business model and discomfit competitors (and upend an entire industry in the process).

CEQA REFORM OR AFFORDABLE HOUSING?

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Our good friend Loren Kaye, President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, posits the following statement: “You can have infill housing or an unreformed CEQA, but not both.”  He makes a good point that we agree with.  Click here to read his article on the topic.

SINGLE-USER BATHROOM GUIDANCE RELEASED

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has released further guidance on the issue of how to identify and sign All-Gender Single-User Toilet Facilities.

Click here to read BU 17-01-01 Identification of Single-User Toilet Facilities as All-Gender: Frequently Asked Questions which contains additional information to assist facility operators and design professionals who design facilities under the enforcement jurisdiction of DSA in interpreting the requirements of Health and Safety Code Section 118600.

We hope this will help you comply with this relatively recent state law.

2017 CASp EXAM REGISTRATION

Posted: April 7, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Registration is now open for the June 2017 Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination to be held in Sacramento and Riverside on June 28th.   Individuals with CASp certification are in high demand by clients seeking to ensure their facilities comply with applicable construction-related accessibility standards, including the California Building Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtaining CASp certification and/or encouraging an employee in your company to pursue the certification, provides you with an opportunity to increase your business, enhances the services you provide, helps distinguish you from your peers, and will help protect you from unnecessary lawsuits.

Register through the CASp Account Login site. Registration closes one month prior to the examination date or when the exam reaches the maximum capacity seating, whichever occurs first.  Information for all of the 2017 exams is listed online in the CASp examination schedule.

RAY MAGNUSSEN WILL BE MISSED

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The following message was written by BOMA California Chair, Dave Mastro:

It is with a heavy heart that I pass along word of Ray Magnussen’s passing.

In addition to his great successes with Paragon Janitorial and Lechuza Vineyards, Ray was a very active member of BOMA San Diego and BOMA California for many years, leaving an indelible mark on our industry. After joining the BOMA San Diego Board in 2003, Ray was elected President in 2007 – the first Associate member to hold the position. Ray joined the BOMA Cal Board in 2005, was VP in 2010, and President in 2011 (again, the first Associate member to hold the position).

In his many roles with BOMA, Ray was a major force in shaping statewide policy.  He was a great resource on facilities management and labor issues and worked in a low-key and very positive manner to make sure that BOMA Cal was able to help shape policy in a manner that helped workers and employers alike. For his achievements, Ray was awarded the Ernie Hahn Award by the California Business Properties Association.

I met Ray several years ago, when I first joined the BOMA Cal board, and found him to be a magnetic, bigger-than-life personality with a passion and keen sense for the issues that affect our industry. He is the one who guided (dragged?) me into an officer position on the Board, and for that I will always be thankful.

Here is a link to a post on BOMA San Diego’s Facebook page.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with Ray’s family at this difficult time.

INDUSTRYWIDE LEGISLATIVE MEETING

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Yesterday, in a conference room 21 floors above Century City, representatives from all the major commercial, industrial, and retail real estate groups donated a day to slog through and discuss hundreds of bills impacting our industry.  The main purpose of this meeting was to make sure that all the major commercial real estate entities active in Sacramento are all on the same page and to provide direction and prioritization for our advocates in Sacramento.

On behalf of the industry, BOMA Cal would like to thank CBPA for organizing this meeting that brought our BOMA members to the table with folks from other groups including ICSC, NAIOP, IREM, and several law firms and major companies that attended in person, and all the individuals that have been reviewing bills over the past two months and providing guidance. Hundreds of positions were approved. Below you will find a partial list of bills where positions were confirmed.

PROTECT CONSTRUCTION JOBS; STOP PROPOSED PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

 AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose), a legislative proposal which poses a huge threat to the entire construction industry by mandating the payment of Prevailing Wages for private residential projects in California, this week passed the Assembly Labor and Employment committee on a partisan 5-1 vote.  The bill next moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where we will continue to oppose the bill.

Requiring private construction to pay Prevailing Wage would be financially devastating for new project development, the entire construction industry, and will further drive-up the costs of housing.

Housing costs are being driven by a severe shortage of housing. Our state is only adding 80,000 new housing units annually – 100,000 units short what is needed to meet demand and lower costs.

The average single family home now costs $440,000 – two and a half times the national average.

Rents are also 50 percent higher than the rest of the country, with monthly rents for a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles and San Francisco ranging from $2,600 to $4,550.

We must defeat this proposal as it will hurt our industry and it will skyrocket housing costs.

The commercial real estate industry cares deeply about this issue for several reasons, but importantly if advocates succeed with this measure this year, our projects will be targeted next.

Click here for more information and to learn what you can do to help.

ADA LEGISLATION AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Modesto Bee has been doing a good job following and reporting on issues related to ADA lawsuits in the state.  Although several bills have addressed and reduced the number of frivolous lawsuits over the past two years, the potential for frivolous action is still unacceptably high.  Several bills are moving through at the state and federal (see below) levels to continue to enact sensible reforms that provide access while minimizing legal harassment.

AB 913 (Gray; D-Merced) is one of the state level bills we are supporting.  It deals with Construction-related accessibility claims and extremely high-frequency litigants.  Click here to read the Modesto Bee’s story on the topic which is worth the read for anyone faced with ADA issues.

BILLS BILLS BILLS!

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

As of this point in the 2017 legislative year a collective 2,694 bills have been introduced.

The 80 members of the Assembly have introduced 1,804; while the 40 members of the State Senate have introduced 890 bills, for an average of about 22 per each member of the legislature.

On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, we are currently tracking 426 bills and yesterday in Los Angeles a group of real estate leaders convened that included lawyers and practitioners, gathered to review and set final positions on all the bills.  This meeting provided guidance for your Sacramento staff as we work the bills through the rest of the year.

Below is a sampling of some of the bills we are following that will be discussed as well as our current/recommended position.  We’d like your input on these bills.

BILLS BILLS BILLS – LEAN SUPPORT/SUPPORT!

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here a few bills the committee approved a support position.

AB 12    (Cooley D)   State government: administrative regulations: review.

Summary:
Would require each state agency to, on or before January 1, 2020, review that agency’s regulations, identify any regulations that are duplicative, overlapping, inconsistent, or out of date, to revise those identified regulations, as provided, and report to the Legislature and Governor, as specified. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2021.

AB 77    (Fong R)   Regulations: effective dates and legislative review.

Summary:
Would require the Office of Administrative Law to submit to each house of the Legislature for review a copy of each major regulation that it submits to the Secretary of State. The bill would add another exception to those currently provided that specifies that a regulation does not become effective if the Legislature enacts a statute to override the regulation.

AB 496    (Fong R)   Transportation funding.

Summary:
Would create the Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Program to address traffic congestion and deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system. The bill would provide for the deposit of various existing sources of revenue in the Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Account, which the bill would create in the State Transportation Fund, including revenues attributable to the sales and use tax on motor vehicles, revenues attributable to automobile and motor vehicle insurance policies from the insurer gross premiums tax, revenues from certain diesel fuel sales and use taxes, revenues from certain vehicle registration fees, and certain miscellaneous State Highway Account revenues.

AB 600    (Cooper D)   Manufacturing incentives.

Summary:
Would express the intent of the Legislature to improve the state’s manufacturing incentives to promote a stronger California economy by securing a greater share of the high-paying, high-skilled jobs in manufacturing and research and development and would make legislative findings in this regard.

AB 913    (Gray D)   Construction-related accessibility claims: extremely high-frequency litigants.

Summary:
Would authorize a court to enter a prefiling order prohibiting an extremely high-frequency litigant, as defined, from filing any new litigation in the courts of this state without first obtaining leave of the presiding justice or presiding judge of the court where the litigation is proposed to be filed. The bill would require the clerk of the court to provide the Judicial Council with a copy of all prefiling orders, and would require the Judicial Council to maintain and annually disseminate a record of extremely high-frequency litigants subject to those prefiling orders, as specified.

AB 943    (Santiago D)   Land use regulations: local initiatives: voter approval.

Summary:
Current law establishes procedures by which city ordinances may be enacted by initiative, including requiring that an ordinance proposed by the voters or submitted by the legislative body of the city be approved by a majority of the votes cast on the ordinance. This bill, in the case of an ordinance that would curb, delay, or deter growth or development within a city, require that an ordinance proposed by the voters or submitted by the legislative body of the city receive 2/3 of the votes cast on the ordinance in order to become effective. The bill would declare that it addresses a matter of statewide concern.

AB 1148    (Steinorth R)   Commercial property: disclosures: disability access.

Summary:
Current law requires the State Architect to establish a program for the voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets criteria as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). Current law also requires a commercial property owner or lessor to state on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after January 1, 2017, whether or not the premises have undergone inspection by a CASp. This bill would define commercial property for the purposes of that provision as property that is offered for sale or lease to persons operating, or intending to operate, a place of public accommodation or facility to which the general public is invited at those premises.

AB 1289    (Arambula D)   Real property disclosure requirements.

Summary:
Current law authorizes an open listing to contain an agreement by the owner to pay the listing agent compensation in any amount, at any time, and for any services, other than for selling the property or procuring or finding a buyer, as the agreement may specify. This bill would delete those provisions relating to an open listing and would revise and recast those provisions to make definitions in the Real Estate Law applicable to these provisions.

AB 1326    (Cooper D)   Theft: aggregate valuation.

Summary:
The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (act), created the offense of shoplifting, and applied the $950 limit to that crime and to the crimes of forgery of certain financial instruments, passing a check or certain other instruments knowing there are insufficient funds for payment of the check or instrument, petty theft, and buying or receiving stolen property, as specified. This bill would additionally provide that those offenses may be punishable as a felony if the property involved in the multiple commission of those offenses within a 12-month period has a value in the aggregate exceeding $950, as specified.

AB 1379    (Thurmond D)   Certified access specialist program.

Summary:
Current law requires the State Architect to establish and publicize a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets specified criteria as a certified access specialist, as provided.This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to this provision.

AB 1515    (Daly D)   Planning and zoning: housing.

Summary:
Would specify that a housing development project or emergency shelter is deemed consistent with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is sufficient evidence that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent. The bill would make additional findings related to the Housing Accountability Act in this regard.

AB 1569    (Caballero D)   Disability rights: reasonable accommodations: animals.

Summary:
Current law entitles individuals with disabilities to full and equal access to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this state, as provided, and prohibits a person renting, leasing, or otherwise providing real property for compensation from refusing to make reasonable accommodations for an individual with a disability. This bill, if a prospective or current tenant requests a disability-related reasonable accommodation to keep an animal on the real property and the disability is not readily apparent or the disability-related need for an animal is not apparent, would authorize a person renting, leasing, or otherwise providing real property for compensation to request that a third party provide verification of the disability and disability-related need for the animal from the prospective or current tenant.

SB 1    (Beall D)   Transportation funding.

Summary:
Would create the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to address deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system. The bill would require the California Transportation Commission to adopt performance criteria, consistent with a specified asset management plan, to ensure efficient use of certain funds available for the program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

SB 600    (Galgiani D)   Sales and use taxes.

Summary:
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would improve the state’s sales and use tax incentives to promote a stronger California economy by securing a greater share of the high-paying, high-skilled jobs in manufacturing and research and development. The bill would also make findings and declarations in this regard.

SB 711    (Hill D)   Infrastructure finance: Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program.

Summary:
The Bergeson-Peace Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Act establishes the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The bank is authorized, among other things, to issue bonds, approve the issuance of certain bonds, invest moneys, and make loans. This bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish in state government the Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program, which would be administered by the Strategic Growth Council.

SB 764    (Moorlach R)   Real estate trust fund accounts: fidelity insurance.

Summary:
Current law authorizes certain persons, including, among others, a real estate salesperson licensed to the broker to withdraw funds from a trust fund account of the broker if specifically authorized in writing. Current law authorizes an unlicensed employee of the broker to withdraw funds from the broker’s trust fund account if the broker has fidelity bond coverage equal to the maximum amount of the trust funds to which the unlicensed employee has access to at any time. This bill would also authorize an unlicensed employee of the broker to withdraw funds if the broker has fidelity insurance coverage equal to the maximum amount of the trust funds to which the unlicensed employee has access to at any time.

BILLS BILLS BILLS – LEAN OPPOSE/OPPOSE!

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here a few bills were the committee approved an oppose position.

AB 5    (Gonzalez Fletcher D)   Employers: Opportunity to Work Act.

Summary:
Would create the Opportunity to Work Act. The bill would require an employer with 10 or more employees to offer additional hours of work to an existing nonexempt employee before hiring an additional employee or subcontractor, except as specified, would require an employer to post a notice of employee rights, as specified, and would require the employer to maintain certain documentation. The bill would authorize an employee to file a complaint for violation of these provisions with the division and to, in the alternative, bring a civil action for remedies under the act.

AB 199    (Chu D)   Public works: private residential projects.

Summary:
Would require private residential projects built on private property that are built pursuant to an agreement with the state or a political subdivision to meet the requirements for projects that are defined as “public works,” thus expanding the types of projects that must meet these requirements. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

AB 354    (Calderon D)   Rental housing.

Summary:
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to address the impacts on the real estate market in California of the investment activities of large-scale buy-to-rent investors in the state and would make various findings and declarations in this regard.

AB 378    (Garcia, Cristina D)   California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: regulations.

Summary:
Would require the State Air Resources Board to consider and account for the social costs of the emissions and greenhouse gases when adopting those rules and regulations. The bill would authorize the state board to adopt or subsequently revise new regulations that establish a market-based compliance mechanism, applicable from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2030, to complement direct emissions reduction measures in ensuring that statewide greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to at least 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.

AB 890    (Medina D)   Local land use initiatives: environmental review.

Summary:
Would require a proponent of an proposed initiative ordinance, at the time he or she files a copy of the proposed initiative ordinance for preparation of a ballot title and summary with the appropriate elections official, to also request that an environmental review of the proposed initiative ordinance be conducted by the appropriate planning department, as specified. The bill would require elections official to notify the proponent of the result of the environmental review.

AB 1239    (Holden D)   Building standards: electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Summary:
The California Building Standards Law law requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to propose mandatory building standards for the installation of future electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings. That law also requires the department and the California Building Standards Commission to use specified provisions of the California Green Building Standards Code as a starting point for those mandatory building standards. This bill would instead require the department and the commission to adopt mandatory building standards that include specified mandatory provisions.

AB 1506    (Bloom D)   Residential rent control: Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Summary:
The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act prescribes statewide limits on the application of local rent control with regard to certain properties.This bill would repeal that act.

SB 2    (Atkins D)   Building Homes and Jobs Act.

Summary:
Would enact the Building Homes and Jobs Act. The bill would make legislative findings and declarations relating to the need for establishing permanent, ongoing sources of funding dedicated to affordable housing development. The bill would impose a fee, except as provided, of $75 to be paid at the time of the recording of every real estate instrument, paper, or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded, per each single transaction per single parcel of real property, not to exceed $225.

SB 49    (De León D)   California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017.

Summary:
The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act regulates the discharge of pollutants into the waters of the state. The California Safe Drinking Water Act establishes standards for drinking water and regulates drinking water systems. The California Endangered Species Act requires the Fish and Game Commission to establish a list of endangered species and a list of threatened species and generally prohibits the taking of those species. The Protect California Air Act of 2003 prohibits air quality management districts and air pollution control districts from amending or revising their new source review rules or regulations to be less stringent than those rules or regulations that existed on December 30, 2002. This bill would prohibit state or local agencies from amending or revising their rules and regulations implementing the above state laws to be less stringent than the baseline federal standards, as defined, and would require specified agencies to take prescribed actions to maintain and enforce certain requirements and standards pertaining to air, water, and protected species.

SB 62    (Jackson D)   Unlawful employment: family care and medical leave.

Summary:
Would make various changes to the definitions of the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act as specified, thereby expanding the persons and purposes for which leave is required to be provided under the act. The bill would redefine the term “child” to include a biological, adopted, or foster son or daughter, a stepchild, a legal ward, a son or daughter of a domestic partner, or a person to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, and would remove the restriction on age or dependent status. The bill would expand the definition of leave with regard to caring for persons with a serious health condition to also include leave to care for a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition.

SB 63    (Jackson D)   Unlawful employment practice: parental leave.

Summary:
Would prohibit an employer, as defined, from refusing to allow an employee with more than 12 months of service with the employer, and who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. The bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes this leave. The bill would provide that it would not apply to an employee who is subject to both specified state law regarding family care and medical leave, and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

SB 71    (Wiener D)   Electricity: solar energy systems.

Summary:
Current regulations on building standards require certain residential and nonresidential buildings to have a solar zone, as defined, on the roof of the building that is designated and reserved for solar electric or solar thermal systems and that meets certain specifications relating to minimum area, orientation, and shading, among other things. This bill would require a solar electric or solar thermal system to be installed in the solar zone of those residential and nonresidential buildings on which construction commences on or after January 1, 2018, during that construction.

SB 150    (Allen D)   Regional transportation plans.

Summary:
Current law requires metropolitan planning organizations to adopt a sustainable communities strategy or alternative planning strategy, subject to specified requirements, as part of a regional transportation plan, which is to be designed to achieve certain targets for 2020 and 2035 established by the State Air Resources Board for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks in the region. This bill would require the state board to update the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, as specified.

SB 224    (Jackson D)   California Environmental Quality Act: baseline conditions.

Summary:
Would prohibit the lead agency, in determining the baseline physical conditions by which a lead agency determines whether a project has a significant effect on the environment, from considering the effects of certain actions on the environment.

SB 584    (De León D)   California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.

Summary:
The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program additionally requires each local publicly owned electric utility, as defined, to procure a minimum quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to achieve the procurement requirements established by the program. The Legislature has separately declared that its intent in implementing the program is to attain, among other targets for sale of eligible renewable resources, the target of 50% of total retail sales of electricity by December 31, 2030. This bill would revise those legislative findings and declarations to state that the goal of the program is to achieve that 50% target by December 31, 2025, and for all electricity sold at retail to be generated by eligible renewable energy resources by December 31, 2045.

2017 CASp EXAM REGISTRATION

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Registration is now open for the June 2017 Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination to be held in Sacramento and Riverside on June 28th.   Individuals with CASp certification are in high demand by clients seeking to ensure their facilities comply with applicable construction-related accessibility standards, including the California Building Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtaining CASp certification and/or encouraging an employee in your company to pursue the certification, provides you with an opportunity to increase your business, enhances the services you provide, helps distinguish you from your peers, and will help protect you from unnecessary lawsuits.

Register through the CASp Account Login site. Registration closes one month prior to the examination date or when the exam reaches the maximum capacity seating, whichever occurs first.  Information for all of the 2017 exams is listed online in the CASp examination schedule.

 

NONRESIDENTIAL HVAC STAKEHOLDER MEETING NEXT WEEK

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The second set of Utility-Sponsored Stakeholder Meetings to discuss the 2019 Title 24, Part 6 nonresidential HVAC topics will be held on March 29, 2017 as online webinars.

These meetings are part of the stakeholder outreach process undertaken by the Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Team in support of the development of California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24). Through this process, the team will solicit input from stakeholders on code change options for nonresidential HVAC measures.

We need industry experts to participate.  Please pass this notification on to people in your company responsible for energy efficiency and HVAC systems.

PROTECT CONSTRUCTION JOBS; STOP PROPOSED PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

***ACTION NEEDED***

AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose) is a legislative proposal which poses a huge threat to the entire construction industry by mandating the payment of Prevailing Wages for private residential projects in California.

Such a requirement would be financially devastating for new project development and the entire construction industry.

Additionally, in California, housing costs are being driven by a severe shortage of housing. California is only adding 80,000 new housing units annually – 100,000 units short of what is needed to meet demand and lower costs.

The average single family home now costs $440,000 – two and a half times the national average.

Rents are also 50 percent higher than the rest of the country, with monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles and San Francisco ranging from $2,600 to $4,550.

We must defeat this proposal as it will hurt our industry and it will skyrocket housing costs.

The commercial real estate industry cares deeply about this issue for several reasons, but importantly if advocates succeed with this measure this year, our projects will be targeted next.

Contact your California State Legislator, today, to encourage that they oppose AB 199 by clicking here.

AB 199 WILL INCREASE COST OF HOUSING

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Our friend and coalition partner Dave Cogdill, a former state senator, and current president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association, has penned the following article to outline the damaging impacts that AB 199 would have on the state’s affordable housing crisis.  Click here to read the article.

COMPANION ANIMAL MEASURE

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

AB 1569 (Caballero; D-Salinas) is a bill that tries to address issues related to “companion animals” in public buildings.  This is an issue that many commercial real estate and residential real estate property managers deal with on an ongoing basis.  Under state and federal ADA laws its not always clear what can and cannot be required or even asked of a tenant or visitor that has such an animal in tow.  We applaud Ms. Caballero for taking on this issue and we are looking for feedback on whether the language of this proposed measure will address the issues your companies face.  We are also trying to clarify that this measure will apply equally to commercial as well as residential properties.  Click here to read the bill.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUIT BILL

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We are also pushing back and opposing SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) an overbroad bill that includes a private right of action for environmental laws similar to the Private Attorneys General Act provisions that have led to shakedown lawsuits for alleged labor and employment law violations.

According to the CalChamber, which has just tagged this bill as a “Job Killer,” the bill is an attempt to deal with California concerns about the uncertainty at the federal level associated with environmental laws identified in the bill.  SB 49 is a premature, overbroad, and vague response to things that could happen in the future while in the present creating substantial uncertainty for businesses in advance of any such potential changes and correspondingly greatly increasing the potential for costly litigation.

SB 49 requires the state agencies to adopt the baseline federal standards in the federal Clean Air Act, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the federal Water Pollution Control Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, and “other federal laws” defined as unidentified laws “relating to environmental protection, natural resources, or public health.”

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