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    Jun 23


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We support AB 943 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) a bill that will increase the vote threshold for approval of local initiatives intended to curb, delay, or deter growth and development throughout California, which may exacerbate the state’s affordable housing crisis.

    AB 943 requires any ordinance proposed by the voters of a city, county, or city and county, submitted to the voters, that would reduce density or stop development or construction on any parcels located less than one mile from a major transit stop, only be enacted with 55% or more of the votes cast.

    By enacting this policy, AB 943 will ensure that special interest groups do not unfairly hinder the development of new housing projects, while appropriately balancing and respecting local preferences.  Bottom line is that AB 943 will reduce unnecessary barriers to creating transit-friendly new housing and help address the state’s affordable housing crisis.

    In order to address the housing crisis in California we must build more residences.  Collecting more tax money that just gets lost in the current thicket of anti-development policies is not a solution.  Helping projects overcome unnecessary burdens, like AB 943, will produce more – and less expensive – rooftops.  The bill is currently awaiting hearing in the Senate Governance and Finance committee.

    Jun 23


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    And in a related measure, we oppose AB 890 (Medina; D-Riverside) a measure that would force local governments to hold costly special elections for all local land use-related initiatives and prohibit local elected officials from adopting planning, zoning and other land use or development

    proposals legislatively if they have qualified for the ballot. This prohibition will cost local governments millions of dollars.

    AB 890 ignores other important environmental requirements for projects. A housing or commercial development project, for example, passed by initiative, would still be required to undergo extensive environmental permitting and to comply with the full suite of local, state and federal environmental laws including the Clean Air Acts, the Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Acts, Hazardous Waste laws, etc.

    Government by initiative can be messy, and the system itself can always be improved. But AB 890 proposes a radical path: removing voters utterly from their historic role in proposing laws as a backstop to the local legislative process. Nothing could be further from California’s political culture.

    The bill has not yet been assigned to committee in the Senate, but we will keep you posted on its progress.

    Jun 23


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As part of a CalChamber led business coalition, our industry is strongly opposing a SB 772 (Leyva; D-Chino) a bill that could increase Cal/OSHA costs for employers.  The bill reduces transparency, removes accountability, and runs contrary to California’s commitment to good governance by exempting Cal/OSHA from a rulemaking process applied to major regulations impacting the economy by more than $50 million to make sure that state agencies consider the economic impact their proposals will have on employers. SB 617 was enacted in 2011 and was sponsored by CBPA.

    The standard rulemaking process requires conducting a Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) for the most significant regulations (those having an economic impact greater than $50 million).

    Because SB 772 allows Cal/OSHA to impose unnecessary burdens on California’s businesses, investors, and innovators without regard to the impact on the economy and without considering less costly alternatives, the CalChamber and a large coalition are opposing the legislation.

    All California’s agencies conduct important work that protects and provides for the public, and all are held accountable to the people by conducting the SRIA. Cal/OSHA’s process is not different and does not warrant a special exemption. SB 772 excuses Cal/OSHA from this important analysis, allowing regulations having a significant impact on the economy to avoid the close scrutiny that would reveal their true costs and any unintended consequences.

    The bill passed the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee yesterday on a party line 5-2 vote and next moves to the Assembly Appropriations committee, where we will continue to oppose the measure.

    Jun 23


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our superstar government affairs duo at BOMA San Francisco, Ken Cleaveland and John Bozeman, penned an op/ed for the Bay City Beacon to counter the call for a split-roll tax on commercial properties.

    Many people wonder what they can do to help fight split roll.  This is a good example.  Take the information that we have provided and localize it and get a local paper and/or blog to run it.

    A big “thank you” on behalf of the industry to Ken and John for taking the initiative and getting this great article out into the public domain!

     “Those who live and work in our state support California values. It’s a fact – and especially true of those who own residential or commercial properties. Buying property in California means that you are investing in the future of the state’s residents and businesses within it. Like most investments, people want to ensure that their properties are taxed reasonably and responsibly and that local and state government entities are using those property taxes efficiently towards our shared values, e.g., education and local public services.”

    Click here to read the full op/ed.

    Jun 23


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our industry has fought for many years to reform California’s ADA lawsuit abuse, and have made some very good changes to policy that both expands access to our guests and tenants while protecting property owners and businesses from frivolous lawsuits.  However, it appears that a new trend of Title III lawsuits may be heading our way.  The “Surf-by” lawsuit.  Where some enterprising lawyer logs onto your website and searches for accessibility violations and files suit if any our found.  Yes, this is, unfortunately, a real thing.

    From the lexology.com website: A federal court in Florida issued a potentially groundbreaking decision earlier this week that could open the floodgates when it comes to a new trend in litigation filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): the “surf-by” lawsuit. While businesses have been forced to deal with so-called drive-by lawsuits for some time now – those claims filed by plaintiffs who spot technical ADA violations such as inaccessible entrances by simply driving down the street – recent years have seen an explosion when it comes to the digital equivalent of such suits. Surf-by lawsuits, on the other hand, are initiated when someone simply logs onto your company’s website to search for possible accessibility violations, and if any are found, follows through by filing an ADA lawsuit against you, sometimes without prior warning.”

     Click here to read more about this issue and what you can do to protect yourself.

    Jun 16


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    A state budget that adds money to both social programs and attempts to rein-in the University of California, passed by both houses of the Legislature in time to meet the constitutional deadline of June 15.  This plan includes a $183.2 billion package, the largest state budget in history. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), said the plan “does things for people, not to people, while Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) criticized the budget as being too large.

    At the end of the fiscal year under this plan, the state would end up with 8.5 billion in the voter-approved rainy-day reserve and another $1.4 billion in the state’s regular reserve as well.

    The budget will now be sent to Governor Brown’s desk for finalization pending his signature, however, many “trailer bills,” where the money is actually allocated, are still being debated in the Legislature and many big-ticket items, such as “Cap-and-Trade” are still being negotiated.  We will keep you posted.

    Jun 16


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    This week the annual California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) was held in Sacramento and attended by over 80 real estate leaders who converged on California’s Capitol to advocate on behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry.  “Teams” of advocates, made up of leaders from all over the state, met with almost half of the State Legislature.

    The focus of this year’s CCRES was support for a number of bills that reform our state’s parcel tax notification laws, support for solar energy and building level battery storage, as well as expressing opposition for the split roll property tax proposal announced by Senator Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Skinner (D-Berkeley) in April.

    We were also pleased to present our 2017 Legislators of the Year Senate Minority Leader Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) who is a prominent member of the Legislative Moderate Caucus.

    This years participants also met with Diane Harkey, Chair of the Board of Equalization as well as Alexis Podesta, Secretary Business, Consumer Services & Housing Agency.

    Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) joined the group the Governor’s Office to discuss legislative issues under consideration in the State Senate and how tough it is to try to govern by representing one’s district, and not simply voting with partisan interests in mind.   Everyone walked away from that meeting with a baseball sized card with Mr. Glazer’s “Governing Principles”.  (See more below).

    Finally, delegates met with nearly half of the State Legislature.

    The goal of the California Commercial Real Estate Summit is to increase public policy and political awareness of state issues impacting commercial, industrial, and retail real estate, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of California and their representatives in the State Legislature.

    We would like to thank all of our members who took the time to attend the CCRES!

    Jun 16


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) spoke with the CCRES Delegates in a frank manner about his experience in the Legislature and his struggle to assure that he represents his constituents and doesn’t fall into the partisan pitfalls of Sacramento.

    He illustrated the notion that legislators must “fall in line” with partisan interests by sharing an anecdote that although he supported a certain public employee union over 85% of the time, that union gave him a score of “F” and spent a significant amount of money and ran a candidate against him.

    According to his bio, “Senator Glazer has become a forceful advocate for smart, efficient and compassionate government. Considered one of the rare independent voices in the Legislature, Senator Glazer votes the issue, not the party. He has defied easy labels, working with a wide spectrum of groups with varying needs and issues. Senator Glazer supported common sense legislation that upholds his 10 Governing Principles, whether reaching across the aisle or voting with his own party.”  After working with the Senator, we agree with his own assessment.

    His bio further states, “Senator Glazer has made accountability and transparency a hallmark of his stay in the Legislature. He returns home every day from Sacramento, taking per diems only on the rare days he stays overnight in Sacramento, and does not accept gifts.”

    Senator Glazer’s Ten Governing Principles very much impressed the CCRES participants, so we want to share them with you:

    1. Represent the people of our Senate district, not political parties or special interests;
    2. Maintain a balanced budget to allow government to help people, and people to have confidence in government;
    3. Pursue bipartisan decisions. They are always better and longer lasting;
    4. Emphasize education as the gateway to opportunity and prosperity;
    5. Work hard to set priorities and hold the line on taxes;
    6. Incorporate environmental protection as part of every decision;
    7. Empower local decision-making rather than state mandates. It is more responsive and trustworthy;
    8. Advance accountability and efficiency with every government program;
    9. Promote civility and respect for all people and perspectives;
    10. Conduct myself always with honesty and integrity.

    Bravo Senator, bravo.

    Jun 2


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    Another new “grassroots” group has popped up to lead the split roll property tax public effort.  Grassroots is in quotes, because even though they are branding themselves as “We Are California” it is still the same old advocates that have been agitating for years to raise your property taxes – a who’s who of public employee unions and far left advocacy groups.

    The new tact is to tie the Proposition 13’s protections from your property taxes going through the roof as some sort of evil plot hatched by President Trump 40 years ago that is now just coming to fruition.  Here is the lead line in a recent email blast:

    “Donald Trump is planning to give big tax cuts to wealthy corporations and his billionaire friends. What’s worse is that he plans to pay for them with massive budget cuts to essential services — taking away healthcare, education, environmental protections, job training and even Meals on Wheels from millions of Americans. In California, thanks to a 40 year old loophole, these same wealthy corporations pocket $9 billion a year in property tax breaks, cheating our communities out of billions in investments.” –Courage Campaign/Make It Fair/Close the Loophole/We Are California email, May 31, 2017.

    Nevermind that property taxes don’t fund any of this stuff, this is no time for facts.

    This is a very organized effort to hector the State Legislature into destroying your protections under Proposition 13.  As we have reported earlier, Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) announced last month that they would be introducing a split roll bill, but we have yet to see the measure.

    In order to provide correct and factual information about Proposition 13 and how predictable taxes benefits small and minority owned businesses as well as California’s economy as a whole, we are members of Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. Click here to sign up for alerts and have access to factual information.

    Jun 2


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    Today is one of the biggest hurdles for bills making their way through the California State Legislature, House of Origin Deadline.  All bills must be out of the chamber in which they were introduced. So, both houses have had very long floor sessions to wade through thousands of measures legislators have introduced this year.  Below is a summary of some of the key measures.

    Jun 2


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    In addition to just sheer volume of bills being considered, the craziness is compounded because there are negotiations and amendments flying on many bills, so its not just a simple “up or down” vote.

    A key provision of the recently passed Proposition 54 was meant to specifically address this issue and make it easier to track changes, the so called “72 hour” rule, in which amendments are supposed to be in print 72 hours before a vote can be taken.  There has been some parsing of the meaning of the proposition and the two houses of the Legislature.

    The California State Senate honored the rule, but the California State Assembly has interpreted the 72 Hour Rule to mean the final vote in the Legislature and not this interim step.  The interpretation has drawn criticism from the proposition’s backers and derision from the Peanut Gallery noting it’s this type of game playing that brings about propositions like this.

    Jun 2


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    The good news is that we are working with legislators on a number of bills that will address industry issues for the better, and several of the highest priority measures passed this first major test.

    AB 448 (Daly D) Requires notification of property owners when parcel tax increases are proposed.

    AB 565 (Bloom D) Building standards: alternative building regulations: artist housing.

    AB 943 (Santiago D) Land use regulations and local initiatives: voter approval.

    AB 1148 (Steinorth R) Commercial property disclosures: disability access.

    AB 1515 (Daly D) Planning and zoning regulations.

    SB 71 (Wiener D) Solar energy systems.

    SB 356 (Skinner D) Energy data transparency and building benchmarking.

    SB 564 (McGuire D) Water Bill Savings Act.

    SB 711 (Hill D) Electrical and gas rates and charges.

    SB 764 (Moorlach R) Real estate trust fund accounts: fidelity insurance.