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  • Archive for October 2nd, 2015

    Oct 2

    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 Meeting is being held in conjunction with this event.

    The event will feature discussions with former Governor Pete Wilson, members of the Legislative Democrat “Mod Caucus,” and California transportation policy leaders.

    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.

    Register for the Strategic Issues Conference by Friday, October 16, 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 21, 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.

    Oct 2

    TAX INITIATIVES POKER GAME BEGINS

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    Our friend Joel Fox over at Fox & Hounds lays-out the political positioning that is happening with propositions for 2016.  This article will give you a good sense about what is shaping-up to be an active campaign season – and where a potential split roll initiative is in the priorities of tax advocates.

    This post-legislative period is shaping up as the great California initiative poker game – with taxpayers’ money as the chips.

     The California Teachers Association was the first to the table with a measure to extend Proposition 30 by keeping its income tax hike on the wealthy in place for 12 more years after it was scheduled to expire in 2018. A week later, the California Hospital Association, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West and Common Sense Kids Action played their hand: “I’ll see your $7 billion annual tax increase on Proposition 30 for 12 years and raise it to $10 billion a year, not for a dozen years, but forever!”

     The unions are not the only ones at the table…

    Click here to read the full story at Fox & Hounds.

    Oct 2

    NEW POLLING TESTS VARIOUS TAX INITIATIVES INCLUDING SPLIT ROLL

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    A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California finds that many Californians currently favor some of the new or extended taxes that are currently being discussed, including 55% that said they would support changing Proposition 13 to force commercial properties be re-assessed more frequently.  According to the PPIC here are the top-level findings of the poll:

    • Half of likely voters favor extending Proposition 30 taxes temporarily—most support cigarette tax increases.
    • Californians continue to view local water supply as a big problem, but feel better about the way people are responding.
    • Solid majorities of Californians see public pension spending as a problem and most think voters should weigh in on changes to the system.
    • Californians are more supportive of immigration reform, abortion rights, and stricter gun laws than are adults nationwide.

    Click here to read the full results and the accompanying press release.

    Oct 2

    ENERGY CODE COMPLIANCE TOOL UPDATED

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    The California Statewide Codes & Standards Program had launched an updated 2013 version of its Reference Ace tool which designed to help users navigate the Title 24, Part 6 Standards documents (California “Energy Code”). As before, key word search capabilities along with hyperlinks allow you to jump directly to related sections to make using the Standards documents easier.

    The new version (v 1.6) links the relevant sections of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, the Residential and Nonresidential Compliance Manuals, Reference Appendices, and the Residential and Nonresidential Alternative Calculation Method (ACM) Reference Manuals.

    Both the 2013 and 2008 versions of the Reference Ace are available here.

    Oct 2

    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!

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

    Oct 2

    ADA BILLS

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    AB 1230 (Gomez D) California Americans With Disabilities Small Business Capital Access Loan Program. Provides up to $50K in low interest loans for eligible ADA projects.

    • Establishes the California Americans with Disabilities Act Small Business Capital Access Loan Program within the Capital Access Loan Program,
    • Self-sustaining program to provide loans to assist small businesses in financing the costs of projects that alter or retrofit existing small business facilities,
    • “small business” defined as i) Fifteen or fewer full-time equivalent employees; ii) Less than $1 million in total gross annual income

    ·       “Eligible project” means the physical alterations or retrofits to an existing small business facility of less than 10,000 square feet necessary to ensure that facility is in compliance with the ADA.

    Status: On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 1521 (Committee on Judiciary) Construction-related accessibility claims.

    • Provides information and legal resources to small business owners to minimize their liability for ADA violations and/or respond to a lawsuit filed against them.

    ·       limits high-volume lawsuits motivated by quick settlement with business owners, rather than correction of ADA violations.  o   New demand letter requirements.o   Defines a “high-frequency litigant” (HFL); filed 10 or more complaints alleging violations of construction-related accessibility standards in the past 12 months; or an attorney who has represented 10 or more such plaintiffs in the past year. o   HFLs who file new claims have a) A higher filing fee; b) Special pleading requirements; and c) Certification by the attorney that, among other things, the complaint is not being presented primarily for an improper purpose. o   Requires attorney notification to CCDA about how their claims are resolved.

    Status: On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

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

    This bill, seeks promote ADA compliance among small businesses by allowing a business owner 90 days from the date of a CASp inspection to fix violations before being subject to liability

    • protects small businesses from liability for certain violations if the business corrected the violation within 15 days of receiving notice of the potential violation.

    ·       creates tax incentives for businesses to correct violations·       requires the State Architect and the California Commission on Disability Compliance to post specified information to their respective Web sites for the purpose of

    Status: On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 1342 (Steinorth R) Enacts measures intended to promote disability access compliance.

    Facilitate more property owners to seek a CASp certification in order to assure their properties are in compliance with the law. This certification will also lessen the number of unnecessary lawsuits while increasing access.

    • Makes it easier for business owners to find a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) by requiring the State Architect and CCDA to post information on how to find one locally.
    • Revises requirement for commercial property owners to state on lease agreements information about the condition of the leased property.
    • Extends the $1 business license to fund the Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund.

    Status: On Governor’s Desk

    Position: SUPPORT

    AB 662 (Bonilla D) ADA Mandate; Adult Changing Tables.

    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.

    • We OPPOSE this bill because it specifically circumvents the building code process and puts building code in statute.
    • We have requested a veto and asked the Governor to ask for a bill that directs the appropriate state agencies to work on this through the normal building code process.
    • As written, we are concerned this bill will expose impacted properties to unnecessary ADA lawsuits.

    Status: On Governor’s Desk

    Position: OPPOSE

    ENERGY & BUILDING CODE ISSUES

    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 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

    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 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

    Oct 2

    REDEVELOPMENT/LOCAL GOV FINANCING/INFRASTRUCTURE

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    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: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

    Position: SUPPORT

    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: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

    Position: SUPPORT

     

    SB 107 (Budget Cmte) Redevelopment agencies and community development agencies.

    As of February 1, 2012, and provides for the designation of successor agencies to wind down the affairs of the dissolved redevelopment agencies and to, among other things, make payments due for enforceable obligations and to perform obligations required pursuant to any enforceable obligation. This bill would provide that any action by the Department of Finance, that occurred on or after June 28, 2011, carrying out the department’s obligations under the provisions described above constitutes a department action for the preparation, development, or administration of the state budget and is exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act.

    Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

    Position: MONITOR

     

    Click here for more information on these bills

     

    Click here to read “Governor Signs Local Infrastructure Financing Bill”

    Oct 2

    AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS

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    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 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

    Oct 2

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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    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

    Oct 2

    COST OF CONSTRUCTION

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    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 – VETO MESSAGE

    Position: OPPOSE

    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 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

    Oct 2

    EMPLOYER ISSUES

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    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 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

    Oct 2

    MANDATORY BENCHMARKING; BILL ON GOVERNOR DESK

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    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 Because there has been so much focus, time, and attention paid to California’s Mandatory Law (commonly referred to as the AB 1103 program).

    As many of you know the benchmarking law as written over six years ago is 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 other 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.