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  • Archive for February 5th, 2016

    Feb 5

    NEW BILLS BEING INTRODUCED

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    The California State Legislature is three weeks away from a major deadline “New Bill Introduction Deadline.”  A slow trickle of bills will steadily increase into a tsunami the few days before February 27, the day by which all bills for the 2016 session must be public.  Each session nearly 2,500 bills are introduced and we identify upwards of 500 that have an impact on the commercial real estate industry.  Stay tuned as we identify those bills and get them out to our legislative committee for analysis, prioritization, and discussions about positions.

    Feb 5

    SEVERAL BAD BILLS MISS DEADLINES

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    A number of opposed bills opposed by the commercial real estate industry and identified as “Job Killers” by the California Chamber of Commerce are dead for the session after missing legislative deadlines:

    AB 244 (Eggman; D-Stockton) jeopardized access to credit for home mortgages and increased the challenge to attract business to California because of high housing prices by extending the homeowner’s bill of rights to others, thereby opening the door to more private rights of action.

    AB 356 (Williams; D-Carpinteria) would have potentially shut down certain in-state oil production operations by redefining critical components of the Underground Injection Control program which would, in turn, have compromised oil production without providing any additional environmental and groundwater protections beyond those recently proposed by state regulators.

    AB 357 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) would have imposed an unfair, one-size-fits-all, two-week notice scheduling mandate on certain retail and food employers that penalized these employers with “additional pay” for making changes to the schedule with less than two weeks notice, and additionally imposed a new, protected leave of absence from work for employees who are seeking public assistance.

    AB 1490 (Rendon; D-Lakewood) would have driven up fuel prices and energy prices by imposing a de facto moratorium on well stimulation activities by halting the activity after an earthquake of a magnitude 2.0 or higher.

     

    B 576 (Leno; D-San Francisco) stifled innovation and growth in the mobile application economy and created unnecessary and costly litigation by mandating unnecessary, redundant and impractical requirements that will leave many current and future mobile applications unusable, with no benefit to the consumer.

    Feb 5

    SICK LEAVE/DISABILITY LEAVE LAW INFORMATION

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     Every January, California Chamber of Commerce employment law experts travel up and down the state educating California employers about new employment laws affecting the workplace.  The new law requiring certain benefits for employees regarding sick leave policy is a current focus of the business community.  Companies across the state are trying diligently to comply, however many are finding the law confusing and have questions.  The CalChamber can help.  Click here for more information.

    Additionally, you should know the parameters for the state’s new pregnancy and disability leave law where a returning employee has the right to the same job. Click here for more information.

    Feb 5

    ***ALERT!!!*** PROPERTY TAX INITIATIVE GAINING MOMENTUM

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    A proposition to change Proposition 13 in a manner that would allow an almost doubling of state property tax is currently out for signature and seems to be gaining momentum.  This is a threat that we are taking very seriously and putting out a call to our industry to get educated, active, and engaged to prepare to defend against this huge tax increase.

    The property tax initiative known dubbed by proponents at “Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act” is referred to in shorthand as the “Collis” initiative after one of its primary advocates, former State Board of Equalization Member Conway Collis.

    The measure would undo Prop. 13 by creating a property tax surcharge on all properties in the state (commercial and residential) assessed at more than $3 million.  The increased taxes generated are then directed to fund “poverty reduction programs.”

    As of last week, the initiative had over 25% of the signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.  Advocates have until March 21, 2016, to collect the required 585,407 signatures.

     According to a CalTax review, the 47-page initiative does not differentiate between commercial and residential properties. It refers to the property tax hike as “a surcharge not to exceed 1 percent of the full cash value of real property in excess of $3 million,” and says the “surcharge shall not be considered … a higher tax or new ad valorem tax on real property ….”

    The “surcharge,” commencing with the 2017-18 fiscal year, would be an additional 0.3 percent tax on the portion of assessed value between $3 million and $5 million; 0.6 percent on the value between $5 million and $10 million; and 0.8 percent on the value in excess of $10 million.

    This is a very real threat to increase property taxes on all of your properties in this state and we are working to mobilize all of our members to help fund efforts to defeat this threat. If you own property you should get engaged.  If you manage property you should make sure the owners of your property are aware and encourage them to get engaged.  If you rent property you should get engaged before your lease costs increase.

    Feb 5

    ENERGY COMMISSION WORKSHOP ON LIGHTING ALTERATION ENFORCEMENT

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    The Energy Commission adopted the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Nonresidential Lighting Alteration Language on November 12, 2015. Comments received at the adoption hearing included concerns over how to document existing conditions for purposes of verification and enforcement. The lighting alteration subchapters of the Nonresidential Compliance Manual are under development and staff would like stakeholder input on documentation requirements for existing conditions.

    On February 16, California Energy Commission staff will conduct a workshop to gather stakeholder input on the enforcement of the 2016 Nonresidential Lighting Alteration Standards.  Please provide issues you may have found by replying to this email and/or click here for more information on how to participate directly.

    Feb 5

    2016 BUILDING EFFICIENCY STANDARDS SEMINAR

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    California’s building efficiency standards have been updated, with changes that will become mandatory in January 2017. This seminar will cover what’s new in Title 24 for both residential and non-residential buildings, from high performance walls and attics to lighting and lighting controls.

    The session will also review challenges that have resulted in implementing the 2103 standards, strategies for addressing them, and solutions to these challenges that may be included in the recent revisions.

    With each cycle, California’s Energy Code is moving closer toward the goal of ZNE for all new construction. It’s vital for you to stay up to date with its evolution.

    Click here for more information and to register.