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    Posted: October 30, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Next year you will help choose the next Governor of the State of California.  Although the election is more than a year away, four Democrats are already vying for the position.

    The candidates include current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and current State Treasurer John Chiang, as well as former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, and former Speaker of the Assembly and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    In their first “debate” in a question regarding taxes, two of the candidate – Villaraigosa and Eastin – went out of their way to criticize Proposition 13, the law that keeps your property taxes from seeing gigantic spikes each year.

    Villaraigosa and Eastin said reforms are needed in the 1978 measure that capped property-tax increases for homes and businesses. Villaraigosa said the law was “broken” and protections for both residential and commercial needed to be revisited.

    Eastin claimed that “Disneyland is paying what they paid in 1975,” which is a false talking point used by political groups seeking to implement a split roll property tax.

    Click here to read a story about the debate.


    Posted: October 30, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

     Next Wednesday the statewide excise tax on gasoline will jump by 12 cents per gallon to a total of 41.7 cents per gallon.  Diesel will increase by 20 cents per gallon to 36 cents and the sales tax will increase to 13 percent, up from 9 percent.  Add to that, local taxes.

    The increase will coincide with retailers switching from Summer blend gasoline to the cheaper Winter blend, so the full increase may be mitigated.

    Much of the funding is dedicated to new roads and infrastructure however many in the business community are concerned that increased transportation costs will have a negative impact on the important Goods Movement sector.

    Click here for a full story on the gas tax.


    Posted: October 20, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Sunday was the final night for the Governor to sign or veto bills on his desk.  In 2017 the Legislature sent 977 bills to his desk.  He signed 88% of the bills (859) and vetoed 12% (118).

    Last year, Governor Brown vetoed 159 out of 1059 bills, for a 15% veto rate.  To put this year’s actions in context (lowest year to highest year of vetoes):

    Between 2011 and 2016, Governor Brown vetoed between 10.7% and 15% of the bills

    Between 2004 and 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed between 22.3% and 35% of the bills

    Between 1999 and 2003, Governor Davis vetoed between 6% and 25% of the bills

    Between 1991 and 1998, Governor Wilson vetoed between 8.6% and 24.5% of the bills

    Now, here are some of the bills we followed closely.


    Posted: October 20, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    This is the most important category of bills to look at.  Our industry opposed these measures, yet they were signed into law.  These are the bills that are most likely to have a negative impact on your operations:

    AB 168 (Eggman D) Employers: salary information. (OPPOSE)

    AB 1180 (Holden D) Los Angeles County Flood Control District: taxes. (OPPOSE)

    AB 1701 (Thurmond D) Labor-related wage liabilities. (OPPOSE)

    SB 2 (Atkins D) Building Homes and Jobs Act. (OPPOSE)

    SB 63 (Jackson D) Unlawful employment practice: parental leave. (OPPOSE)


    Posted: October 20, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here are some bills signed by the Governor.  Our industry was in support of all these measures:

     AB 72 (Santiago D) Housing. (SUPPORT)

    AB 73 (Chiu D) Planning and zoning: housing sustainability districts. (SUPPORT)

    AB 246 (Santiago D) Environmental quality: Jobs and Economic Improvement ACT (SUPPORT)

    AB 879 (Grayson D) Planning and zoning: housing element. (SUPPORT)

    AB 1223 (Caballero D) Construction contract payments: Internet Web site posting. (SUPPORT)

    AB 1284 (Dababneh D) California Financing Law: Property Assessed Clean Energy program (SUPPORT)

    AB 1515 (Daly D) Planning and zoning: housing. (SUPPORT)

    AB 1553 (Cervantes D) Economic development: Capital Access Loan Program. (SUPPORT)

    AB 1583 (Chau D) Proposition 65: enforcement: certificate of merit: factual basis. (SUPPORT)

    AB 1598 (Mullin D) Affordable housing authorities. (SUPPORT)

    SB 145 (Hill D) Autonomous vehicles: testing on public roads. (SUPPORT)

    SB 167 (Skinner D) Housing Accountability Act. (SUPPORT)

    SB 205 ((G&F) Local Government Omnibus Act of 2017. (SUPPORT)

    SB 229 (Wieckowski D) Accessory dwelling units. (SUPPORT)

    SB 242 (Skinner D) Property Assessed Clean Energy program (SUPPORT)

    SB 329 (Leyva D) Manufactured homes: financial assistance programs. (SUPPORT)

    SB 540 (Roth D) Workforce Housing Opportunity Zone. (SUPPORT)

    SB 564 (McGuire D) Joint powers authorities: Water Bill Savings Act. (SUPPORT)

    SB 653 (Moorlach R (County tax collectors: notices: publication. (SUPPORT)

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


    Posted: October 20, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Finally, here are some bills vetoed by the Governor that we were happy he did not sign into law, as we opposed most of them:

    AB 248 (Reyes D) Hazardous waste: facilities: permits. (OPPOSE)

    AB 890 (Medina D) Land use: planning and zoning: initiatives. (OPPOSE)

    AB 978 (Limón D) Employment safety: injury and illness prevention program. (OPPOSE)

    AB 1179 (Kalra D) Hazardous waste facilities: inspections. (OPPOSE)

    AB 1239 (Holden D) Building standards: electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (NEUTRAL)

    SB 42 (Hill D) Public lands: Martins Beach: property acquisition. (OPPOSE)

    That’s a wrap for the 2017 legislative year!  If you want a full list of bills reply to the email and we will send you the big long report.


    Posted: October 20, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    TEN major groups have come together to host an event you don’t want to miss!  California Business Properties Association (CBPA), the American Council for 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 & Technology Association (CMTA), the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) are co-hosting one of the premier biannual policy gatherings, 2017 Strategic Issues Conference. 

     The Strategic Issues Conference offers a unique opportunity, in an intimate setting, to enjoy significant exposure to key decision-makers and policymakers from both the public and private sectors.  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 sponsorship will contribute in achieving this goal, and will signal your strong support for the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry. 

     Click here for more information!


    Posted: September 29, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On behalf of our industry, we have requested that Governor Brown veto AB 1180 (Holden; D-Los Angeles), legislation that seeks to allow Los Angeles County Flood Control District to levy special taxes to manage stormwater, because it lacks basic taxpayer safeguards.

    While our industry understands the intent of this action and share the common goals of conserving and capturing stormwater, we are very concerned that AB 1180 doesn’t provide basic guidance and protections to assure the monies are levied and spent appropriately.

    We support our Los Angeles County members who oppose this measure based on the following: The funding does not have an independent oversight component; Legislative authority needs to be included for the Regional Board to accept funding from this tax source for purposes of a complete update of the Basin Plan for storm water; 100% of these funds should be dedicated to compliance with the MS4 permit; and finally, authority should be included for these funds to be used for a pollution credit trading program with the approval of the Regional Board.


    Posted: September 29, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On behalf of our industry, we have requested that Governor Brown sign two bills enhancing to the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

    We believe that AB 1284 (Dababneh; D-Encino) will strengthen the consumer protections associated with PACE financing. This measure builds upon the nation-leading PACE disclosures put in place last year.  In addition to expanding access to financing for sustainable property improvements to a larger swath of Californians, PACE plays an important role in California’s plan to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals by promoting greater adoption of energy-efficient technologies.

    Additionally, we have asked the Governor to sign SB 242 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) as we believe the bill will strengthen the consumer protections associated with the PACE program.

    Much of California’s existing building stock was built before the adoption of the state’s mandatory energy standards.  These bills will strengthen a financing option that allows owners to take on deep energy retrofits without a state forced mandate.


    Posted: September 29, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On behalf of our industry, we have requested that Governor Brown sign AB 564 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) which creates the “Water Bill Savings Act.”

    The Act allows local agencies to issue bonds to fund the purchase and distribution of drought tolerant landscapes, upgrades to hot water systems, gray water systems, high efficiency toilets, and high efficiency showerheads at private property within their jurisdictions.

    The property owners and tenants can then repay the fixture upgrades over time through their utility bills. The ability to repay bonds with customer efficiency charges enables those receiving the benefit of reduced bills to pay for efficiency, and create benefits to the water system at scale.

    The Water Bill Savings Act is a voluntary program and will create another tool for local governments to respond to drought that is regionally efficient, financially sustainable, and available to all municipal utilities, large and small.

    We support SB 564 because it will help people save money on water while reducing wasted water and provide a voluntary tool to meet state conservation mandate. SB 564 is a sustainable model for investment in water efficiency.


    Posted: September 29, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Regulations to guide California’s implementation of the state’s mandatory benchmarking law are in the final stages of being finalized.  Basically, if you will have to benchmark any building over 50,000 s.f. and report that information to the CEC.  The regulations are a bit more complicated, as they get into lots of detail about many compliance scenarios.  The last round of amendments to the regulations included the following:

    1. Modifying the definition of “active” as it applies to utility accounts (§1681(a)).


    1. Modifying the methods a building owner or owner’s agent may use to demonstrate

    building ownership or agency when requesting energy use data from a utility


    1. Clarifying and simplifying the processes by which a building owner, owner’s agent, or

    utility may obtain customer permission to share building-level energy use data with a

    building owner or owner’s agent (§1682(b)(4)).

    1. Specifying that a utility will not be required to provide whole-building energy use data

    more than once in a three-month period (§1682(b)(7)), except for requests made for

    compliance with the benchmarking and public disclosure requirements.

    1. Adding requirements for a building owner or owner’s agent to notify a utility of certain

    changes when the utility is providing recurring automatic upload of whole-building

    energy use data (§1682(b)(8)).

    1. Removing items from, and making modifications to, the list of metrics the Energy

    Commission may make available on a public website (§1683(c)(3)).

    Our industry has paid very close attention to this issue, has provided comments and feedback to the CEC through every step of the process, and we remain in support of these regulations.  Click here to see all the details.


    Posted: September 29, 2017 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Great new for sustainable development in California.  A settlement has been reached in the decades long battle to build Newhall Ranch, a development in the Santa Clarita Valley city of Valencia.  Reportedly, the deal will allow the $13 billion, 21,500-home Newhall Ranch project, move forward without lawsuit entanglements from environmental groups.

    FivePoint Holdings reached the deal with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, the Wishtoyo Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Native Plant Society, which includes further protection of the endangered unarmored three-spined stickleback, a scaleless, freshwater fish.

    Click here to read all the details of the welcome announcement.