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  • Archive for March 24th, 2017

    Mar 24

    RAY MAGNUSSEN WILL BE MISSED

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    A great member of the CBPA family suddenly and unexpectedly passed away this week and we would like to take a moment to recognize what a great man Ray Magnussen was and hope that those of you that knew him will take a minute to remember him.

    Ray had a successful and thriving janitorial company in San Diego and was active with industry issues through BOMA San Diego and was the first Associate member to hold the position of president.  In 2011 he was elected by his peers – again as the first Associate member – as the President of BOMA California.  In this capacity, he represented the commercial real estate group on the CBPA Board.

    Rex Hime, president and CEO of CBPA, said, “this was shocking news to hear of Ray’s passing, I am truly going to miss his positive outlook on life and, well, glow that he brought into a room.  Ray never seemed stressed about any problem – he just calmly worked with all sides to resolve the issue at hand.  A true leader.”

    In addition to his great successes with Paragon Janitorial and Lechuza Vineyards, 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. In just two short years he was recognized with CBPA’s “Champion of Industry” award recognizing him for tireless work in shaping statewide public policy.

    Here is a link to the BOMA San Diego page where people are leaving thoughts about Ray.

    Ray Magnussen, you will be missed.

    Mar 24

    INDUSTRYWIDE LEGISLATIVE MEETING

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    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, we’d like to thank the expert members from ICSC, BOMA, 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.

    Mar 24

    PROTECT CONSTRUCTION JOBS; STOP PROPOSED PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE

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    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.

    Mar 24

    ADA LEGISLATION AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS

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    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.

    Mar 24

    BILLS BILLS BILLS!

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    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.

    Mar 24

    BILLS BILLS BILLS – LEAN SUPPORT/SUPPORT!

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    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.

    Mar 24

    BILLS BILLS BILLS – LEAN OPPOSE/OPPOSE!

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    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.

    Mar 24

    2017 CASp EXAM REGISTRATION

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    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.

    Mar 24

    NONRESIDENTIAL HVAC STAKEHOLDER MEETING NEXT WEEK

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    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.