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  • Archive for September 18th, 2015

    Sep 18

    SIGN/VETO WATCH

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

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

    AB 2 (Alejo D) Community revitalization authority

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  OPPOSE

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

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

    Status:  VETOED

    Position:  OPPOSE

    AB 313 (Atkins D) Enhanced infrastructure financing districts.

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  OPPOSE

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  OPPOSE

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  OPPOSE

    AB 802 (Williams D) Energy efficiency.

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  OPPOSE

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position:  SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

    SB 119 (Hill D) Protection of subsurface installations.

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

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

    Status:  On Governor’s Desk

    Position: WITHDREW OPPOSITION

    SB 658 (Hill D) Automated external defibrillators.

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

    Status:  Signed by Governor; Chapter 264

    Position: SUPPORT

    Sep 18

    SIGNIFICANT BILLS THAT ARE DEAD FOR THE YEAR

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    A number of bills that we have tracked closely did not make it through the legislative process, but could come back next year.  Among those include bill that would set 2050 Greenhouse Gas Targets (SB 32); create a water efficient fixtures lease disclosure (AB 723); create an affordable housing tax on real estate documents (AB 1335); and create rights for homeless by eroding private property right, Right to Rest Act (SB 608) and create a right to park and sleep in parking lots (AB 718).  As well, there are many other bills that fell by the wayside this year.

    Sep 18

    MANDATORY BENCHMARKING; BILL ON GOVERNORS DESK

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    Because there has been so much focus, time, and attention paid to California’s Mandatory Benchmarking Law (AB 1103), we want to provide a bit more context about a bill that is currently on the Governor’s Desk that will completely re-write the law.

    AB 802 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara) does two things.  Firstly, it allows for “below code energy efficiency grants” to help existing building become more energy efficient through public programs, even if they are not brought up to the tough standards to current code.  The bill also re-writes the Mandatory Benchmarking Law (commonly referred to as the AB 1103 program).

    As many of you know, the benchmarking law as written over six years ago can be cumbersome and expensive to undertake, especially in multi-tenant buildings where access to utility information may not be available to the building owner. The current program also uses the real estate transaction (sale/lease/finance) as the trigger for benchmarking, which causes lots of unanticipated problems and headaches for our industry, and is ultimately not a good trigger because some building may transact multiple times in a year while others may not transact for years at a time.

    If AB 802 is signed into law, benchmarking would still be mandatory in California, however, the statute would be rewritten in a way that removes the statutory time-of-sale/lease triggers, sets a lower limit of 50K s.f. for buildings included in the mandate, and would give the Energy Commission more flexibility to come up with regulations across the different building types that make sense.  This bill will also make it easier for you to work with your tenant and local utility to get the information needed in a timely manner.

    If the bill is signed, we, as an industry, must engage in the regulatory process to assure that the regs are written in a way that make sense, otherwise many of the issues we have with the current law could re-surface.  However, the base statute would make a lot more sense under AB 802 and we urge the Governor to sign the measure.

    Sep 18

    SCHOOL BOND QUALIFIES FOR NOVEMBER 2016 BALLOT

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    Californians for Quality Schools has announced that the Secretary of State has determined that its school facilities bond initiative secured the necessary signatures to qualify and be placed on the 2016 November general election ballot.

    In January 2015, Californians for Quality Schools submitted ballot initiative language with the state’s Attorney General’s office to begin collecting signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. The initiative language retains the successful current funding partnership between the state and local entities, ensuring that local school officials retain control over how dollars are spent in their communities. If passed by voters, the measure would provide $9 billion in bonding authority to fund upgrades to aging facilities to meet current health and safety standards, build new facilities, or invest in community colleges and job training programs to keep quality post-secondary education affordable for middle-class families and returning veterans. The full text of the initiative can be found here.

    “For nearly two decades, this highly successful funding program has provided new and updated schools for kids and provided jobs for thousands of Californians,” said Eileen Reynolds, 2015 Chair of the California Building Industry Association. “There is a projected future school construction funding need of more than $20 billion, and without matching state dollars many of these critical school projects will not move forward. This bond will go a long way to ensure school districts have the necessary resources to create the best learning environments for students.”

    Click here for more information and additional background on the School Bond effort.

    Sep 18

    STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE

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    Register now for the 2015 Strategic Issues Conference, scheduled for November 5-6, 2015, at the beautiful Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln, CA.  The CBPA Board and Legislative Committee Meetings are being held in conjunction with this event.

    Eight major groups have come together to host this special event: California Business Properties Association (CBPA), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Building Owners and Managers of California (BOMA CAL), the California Alliance for Jobs (CAJ), the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), the California Business Roundtable (CBRT), the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). 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 attendance will contribute greatly to achieving this goal, and will signal your strong support for the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.

    And we are very excited to announce former California Governor Pete Wilson will be our special guest speaker at dinner on Thursday, November 5th!

    Sep 18

    REGISTER FOR THE STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE

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    Register for the Strategic Issues Conference by October 5, 2015 for the early-bird rate and SAVE $50!  Click here to register for the Strategic Issues Conference!

    And get a special room rate of $119, if you book by October 5, 2015.  Rooms at this special group rate are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis, so reserve your room now.  Contact Thunder Valley Casino Resort directly at 1-877-468-8777 — Reference Group Code 141105CBPA.

    Sep 18

    CBPA 2015 CALENDAR

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    November 5 – 6, 2015

    Strategic Issues Conference

    Thunder Valley Resort and Casino, Lincoln, CA

     

    **2016**

    February 17, 2016

    CBPA Winter Board Meeting

    CalChamber, Sacramento

     

    March 17, 2016 (t)

    CBPA’s Industry-Wide Legislative Committee Meeting

    Southern California

     

    June 7 – 8, 2016

    California Commercial Real Estate Summit

    & Annual Meeting

    CalChamber, Sacramento

     

    October 20, 2016

    CBPA Industry Awards Dinner

    Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach

     

    For more information on any of our events, please contact Melissa Stevens at 916-443-4676 or mstevens@cbpa.com.