• Established in 1972 · CBPA has over four decades of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry
  • Archive for September, 2011

    Sep 23

    STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE: REGISTER & BOOK HOTEL BY OCOTBER 3, 2011 & SAVE!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As you know, the 2011 Strategic Issues Conference to be held at The Meritage Resort in Napa, November 3-4, is fast approaching!  

    Register Today & Save!

    Register for the Strategic Issues Conference by October 3, 2011 for the early-bird rate and SAVE $50!  Click here to register!

    Book Your Hotel NOW & Save!

    In order to get the special conference room rate of $169, you must reserve your room by October 3, 2011.  Rooms at this special group rate are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis, so reserve your room now!  Contact The Meritage Resort directly at 707-251-1900, and ask for the CBPA room rate.

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    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.  Your sponsorship will contribute greatly to achieving this goal, and will signal your strong support for the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.  Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

    Click here for more information on the 2011 Strategic Issues Conference, or feel free to contact Melissa Stevens.

    We look forward to seeing you in Napa!

    Sep 23

    JOB KILLER’ BILLS AWAITING ACTION BY GOVERNOR BROWN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    From our friends at the CalChamber, here is an update on all the pending “Job Killer” bills. In the closing days of the legislative year, four California Chamber of Commerce-opposed “job killer” bills passed the Legislature.  One “job killer” passed the Legislature in June and was vetoed by the Governor on June 28.

    The following bills await action by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.:

    Costly Workplace Mandates

    AB 22 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) Hampers Employment Decisions: Unfairly limits private employers’ ability to use consumer credit reports for legitimate employment purposes, such as those positions that have direct and unsupervised access to any amount of cash and/or valuable non-financial assets.

    AB 1155 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) Erodes Workers’ Comp Reforms: Increases costs and lawsuits in the workers’ compensation system by eroding the apportionment provision that protects an employer from paying for disability that did not arise from work.

    Employee Benefit Mandates

    AB 325 (B. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Unpaid Bereavement Leave: Requires an employer to provide employees with up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave and elevates the significance of the right to bereavement leave to the same level as the right to be free from racial or gender discrimination and harassment, thereby adding to California businesses’ legal costs and responsibilities.

    Inflated Liability Costs

    AB 559 (Swanson; D-Oakland) Undermines Judicial Discretion: Unreasonably increases business litigation costs by limiting judicial discretion to reduce or deny exorbitant attorneys fees in fair employment and housing claims that should have been raised in a limited civil proceeding. 

    CalChamber believes the current provisions of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) adequately protect the rights and interests of employees and employers, as well as unions.

    Status of All Job Killers

    The end-of-legislative year status of other “job killers” is available at www.calchamber.com/jobkillers.

    Action Needed

    We thank the CalChamber for all that they do to represent and protect all aspects of California’s business community. We are proud members of the CalChamber.

    Sep 23

    SB 617 REGULATORY REFORM

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    SB 617 (R. Calderon; D-Montebello) reforms the regulatory process by requiring an economic analysis of all major regulations at the beginning of the regulatory process, thus providing more transparency and better data on which to base selection of the most cost-effective regulatory alternative.

    This analysis will then drive the development and selection of regulations that fully meet the goals of the underlying statute, while having the least negative impact on the state’s economy.  If the agency adopts anything other than the most cost-effective option, it must state on the record why and justify its choice. Currently a proposed regulation’s fiscal analysis, if any, comes at the end of the process and is not based on uniform standards of analysis.

    We strongly urge the Governor to sign this measure which takes a much needed step in the right direction of regulatory reform.

    Sep 23

    PROPOSITION 13 STILL ENJOYS STRONG SUPPORT

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Proposition 13, which California voters approved in 1978, remains solidly popular in California, despite continuous attacks from special interest groups that want to change the landmark tax-payer protection.

    A new Field Poll shows that 63% of Californians would endorse Prop. 13 if it were up for a vote again today. Poll director Mark DiCamillo states the poll shows that “[Proposition 13 is] still the third rail of California politics…It’s really an untouchable. Tinkering with Proposition 13 would probably be done at a politician’s own peril.”

    SPLIT ROLL. Recently, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has made changing Prop. 13 a centerpiece of policy recommendations to the Governor, and specifically he has been advocating allowing taxes be raised on commercial property…recommendations that the Governor has directly declined to pursue.

    This idea, however, doesn’t go over well with a plurality of voters. Voters not only support the overall concept of the measure, but directly oppose amending it to permit commercial properties to be taxed at a higher rate by a 50% to 41% margin.

    Rex Hime, President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association, stated, “this poll once again confirms what we already know. Californian’s support the inherent tax fairness of Proposition 13. Property tax revenue has increased dramatically since 1978 and voters seem to innately understand that the only problem is that the spending side of the ledger has unfortunately outpaced that healthy growth in revenue.

    Click here to read more about voters support for Proposition 13.

    Sep 23

    AB 155 SALES TAX FAIRNESS DEAL SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    After a decade of work trying to resolve the issue of online sales tax collection, Governor Brown has signed AB 155 (Calderon; D-Whittier), which will pave the way for a nationwide solution by giving internet retailers time to push for passage of a federal bill that mirrors California’s legislation.

    In the last state budget, language was adopted that requires Amazon to begin collection sales taxes immediately. That language passed despite the company’s objections – who immediately began collecting signatures for a referendum to reverse the law. A costly statewide battle over the issue was not something either side truly wanted to pursue, so talks began to try to avert such a fight.

    AB 155 reflects those discussions with Amazon.com and the California retail and shopping center industry. Specifically, Amazon has committed that they will begin collecting sales tax in this state on September 15, 2012, while working to resolve the issue at the federal level.

    This is a huge leap forward where we, as a state, can finally move forward and operate in a fair marketplace where every company has to play by the same rules. CBPA encouraged the Governor to sign AB 155 and joined with representatives of Target, The Home Depot, and Wal-Mart in San Francisco to be part of this historic signing.

    “A prolonged, costly ballot battle is a benefit to no one,” Governor Brown said. “This landmark legislation not only levels the playing field between online retailers and California’s brick-and-mortar businesses, it will also create tens of thousands of jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars back into critical services, like education and public safety in future years. It’s time for Washington to follow our lead and forge a bipartisan national solution.”

    We applaud the Governor for signing this bill.

    Sep 23

    ***ACTION*** SB 469 ANTI-DEVOLOPMENT BILL VETO REQUESTED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A bill we have been working on very hard passed the Legislature on a strict party line vote and is now on the Governor’s desk.

    SB 469 (Juan Vargas; D-San Diego) would require additional economic and community impact analyses for retail developments that are 90,000 feet or larger and sell groceries.  The open secret in the Capitol is that the purpose of this bill is to allow certain company’s projects to more easily be harassed by activists.

    We strongly urge the Governor to veto this bad bill, and hope you will take a moment to urge him to do the same. Click here to send a letter now.

    Sep 23

    GOVERNOR BROWN ON MOUNTAIN OF LEGISLATION

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Over the past two weeks, Governor Brown has lamented the voluminous numbers of legislative bills churned out by the legislature. Each year more than 2,500 bills are introduced in the Legislature, with hundreds being sent to the Governor’s Desk.

    As part of a Veto Message rejecting a bill that would have criminalized parents of minors who engage in snow sports without a helmet, the Governor wrote, “not every human problem deserves a law.”

    More recently, the Governor stated, “There’s a lot of work to be done in this state, and most of the work is just reacting to this legislative machine, which is running out of control.”

    So far in 2011 the Governor has signed 463 bills. More than 500 are still awaiting action.

     

    Sep 16

    “JOB KILLER” BILLS AWAITING ACTION BY GOVERNOR BROWN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    From our friends at the CalChamber, here is an update on all the pending “Job Killer” bills. In the closing days of the legislative year, four California Chamber of Commerce opposed “job killer” bills passed the Legislature.

    One “job killer” passed the Legislature in June and was vetoed by the Governor on June 28.

    The following bills await action by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.:

    Costly Workplace Mandates

    AB 22 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) Hampers Employment Decisions: Unfairly limits private employers’ ability to use consumer credit reports for legitimate employment purposes, such as those positions that have direct and unsupervised access to any amount of cash and/or valuable non-financial assets.

    AB 1155 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) Erodes Workers’ Comp Reforms: Increases costs and lawsuits in the workers’ compensation system by eroding the apportionment provision that protects an employer from paying for disability that did not arise from work.

    Employee Benefit Mandates

    AB 325 (B. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Unpaid Bereavement Leave: Requires an employer to provide employees with up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave and elevates the significance of the right to bereavement leave to the same level as the right to be free from racial or gender discrimination and harassment, thereby adding to California businesses’ legal costs and responsibilities.

    Inflated Liability Costs

    AB 559 (Swanson; D-Oakland) Undermines Judicial Discretion: Unreasonably increases business litigation costs by limiting judicial discretion to reduce or deny exorbitant attorneys fees in fair employment and housing claims that should have been raised in a limited civil proceeding. 

    The CalChamber believes the current provisions of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) adequately protect the rights and interests of employees and employers, as well as unions.

    Status of All Job Killers

    The end-of-legislative year status of other “job killers” is available here.

    Action Needed

    The CalChamber is urging members to contact the Governor and ask him to veto the “job killer” bills listed above. Sample letters are available here.

    We thank the CalChamber for all that they do to represent and protect all aspects of California’s business community. We are proud members of the CalChamber.

    Sep 16

    SB 474 INDEMNITY BILL FIXED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Earlier in the year our industry strongly opposed SB 474 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa) a bill that would have shifted construction liability issues solely on the property owner and/or general contractor of a project. Over months of negotiations, language was accepted that relieved most of the concern with the bill.

    SB 474 prohibits property owners from making another person responsible for the property owner’s own active negligence in an indemnity agreement related to a construction contract.  However, SB 474 maintains the property owner’s ability to require any party involved in the construction process to provide a full, complete and immediate defense of the property owner if a property owner is sued.  The owner’s ability to obtain insurance covering the owner for these defense and indemnity obligations is preserved

    We are neutral on the bill, not encouraging the Governor to take action either way on this bill.

    Sep 16

    SB 617 REGULATORY REFORM

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    SB 617 (R. Calderon; D-Montebello) reforms the regulatory process by requiring an economic analysis of all major regulations at the beginning of the regulatory process, thus providing more transparency and better data on which to base selection of the most cost-effective regulatory alternative.

    This analysis will then drive the development and selection of regulations that fully meet the goals of the underlying statute while having the least negative impact on the state’s economy.

    If the agency adopts anything other than the most cost-effective option, it must state on the record why and justify its choice. Currently a proposed regulation’s fiscal analysis, if any, comes at the end of the process and is not based on uniform standards of analysis.

    We strongly urge the Governor to sign this measure which takes a much needed step in the right direction of regulatory reform.

    Sep 16

    TWO CEQA “BILLS” TO THE GOVERNOR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In the waning days of the session, three bills dealing with CEQA were written/re-written and passed onto the Governor. Although business groups have been pushing for a wide-variety of reforms to CEQA throughout the previous eight months of session, none of these measures represented any of those reforms, though some concepts contained in some of the bills are seen as very small, but positive steps in the right direction.

    The bills are SB 226 (Simitian; D-Palo Alto), SB 292 (Padilla; D-Los Angeles), and AB 900 (Buchanan; D-San Ramon).

    SB 226 allows benefits to certain urban infill projects deemed “green.” SB 292 applies specifically to the Los Angeles Downtown stadium project, providing expedited judicial review. And AB 900 purports to be a streamlining bill that will provide similar benefits to any project that meet certain criteria.

    Since all of these bills pertain to complicated subject matter hastily written at the end of session, we are still reviewing them and have yet to urge the governor to sign or veto them.

    Our industry has been begging for CEQA reform for years, however there is concern that these bills provide benefits to a very limited number of projects and could actually stall real change with thin veneer of reform. There are also concerns that the criteria under AB 900 are so convoluted that very few, if any, projects would ever see any benefit. Finally, the latter bill also applies Prevailing Wage to privately funded projects, and codified LEED certification as ways to get the benefit. These are both very troubling policy issues that need to be carefully reviewed.

    Sep 16

    SB 469 ANTI-DEVELOPMENT BILL VETO REQUESTED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A bill we have been working on very hard passed the Legislature on a strict party line vote and is now on the Governor’s desk.

    SB 469 (Juan Vargas; D-San Diego) would require additional economic and community impact analyses for retail developments that are 90,000 feet or larger and sell groceries.  The open secret in the Capitol is that the purpose of this bill is to allow certain company’s projects to more easily be harassed by activists. We strongly urge the Governor to veto this bad bill.