Capitol Corner Update
House of Origin Deadline 2022
Just as the weather gets hot in Sacramento during this time of year, so does the legislature as May 27th this year was the deadline for bills authored in their original house to pass to the other house. This deadline is called the “House of Origin” deadline by policy-wonks in Sacramento. Outside of the fiscal deadline, this is one of the most important deadlines in the California Legislature where bills face a key halfway point for their fates in the final year of this two-year legislative session.
The house of origin deadline for CALBO was a good one as 11 bills we had a position on met their fate and have stopped moving through the legislative process including several high priority bills. Additionally, several high priority bills were amended and have shifted CALBO from oppose to a neutral/watch position. Below are summaries of a few bills CALBO has received amendments on to remove our opposition and a list of bills that CALBO’s legislative team will continue to advocate for in Sacramento. Let’s begin with the accomplishments of bills that CALBO has moved from Oppose to Neutral on since our amendments were accepted:
- AB 2075: This bill would have transferred the authority of the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Building Standards Commission (BSC) to adopt EV charging standards to the California Energy Commission (CEC). However, the most recent amendments now just require a public workshop or collaborative process to assess electric vehicle charging infrastructure standards. These new amendments require exactly what is already done by BSC and CALBO removed our opposition because of these changes. CALBO appreciates the work of the author’s office for the dialogue and would like to thank them for addressing our concerns.
- SB 1291: This bill in its original form would have required local jurisdictions to create an expedited, streamlined permitting process for hydrogen fueling stations. As a relatively new area of policy, CALBO had concerns this was going to put an unnecessary mandate on local jurisdictions to comply with a checklist for quicker permitting with limited information available. However, the bill was amended to instead require administrative approval for hydrogen fueling stations unless there is an adverse impact to public health and safety. As a result, this bill has been moved from Oppose to Neutral because of the amendments.
- AB 2002: This bill was going to prohibit a local agency from suspending a permitholder’s permit for a mobilehome park, factory-built house, manufactured home, or a mobile home if they are not in compliance with safety codes. Because of CALBO bringing attention to the issue of public safety, the bill was amended to allow these suspensions to continue if there is an imminent danger to public health and safety. CALBO has removed our opposition to the bill and has moved to neutral because of these amendments.
Despite these “wins” for CALBO’s advocacy efforts, there are still several bills of concern that have moved to the top of CALBO’s priority list for the rest of this legislative session. Here are a few CALBO priority bills:
- SB 897: This bill would provide that the construction of an ADU does not constitute a Group R Occupancy change under the local building code. This is CALBO’s top priority bill because of the severe safety implications of the proposed language in the bill. As you all know, occupancy changes are key for fire-life-safety and are necessary to protect the public from harm in these structures. CALBO has had several conversations with the author’s office, committee staff, and committee members to discuss our concerns. Additionally, CALBO testified as the lead opposition witness to the bill in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee and will hope to do it again on the Assembly side as well. Unfortunately, our best efforts were not rewarded, and this bill has moved to the Assembly, but the good news is it barely passed the Senate falling just 5 votes short of not passing. CALBO is working with our partners at the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers to bring attention to the safety issues of the bill to legislators. CALBO is also working collaboratively with our local government partners to oppose this bill in a coalition. The CALBO Legislative Team needs YOUR HELP in talking with your city councils and elected Assemblymembers to get them to Vote NO on this bill. Stay tuned as we may activate our members on this bill should it move to the Assembly floor.
AB 2234: This bill sets a “shot clock” on building
permit review of a housing development project based on project
size and requires larger jurisdictions of 250,000 or more in
population to establish an online permit review
system. The proposed timelines are 60 business days
for a housing development of 25 units or fewer and 90 business
days for 26 units or more. The original bill stated that the
timelines were going to be based off calendar days instead of
business days, but instead CALBO was able to specify that
business days was a sounder approach to the policy and these
amendments are in the most recent version of the bill. The bill
passed 74-0 in the Assembly, so the CALBO Legislative Committee
is focusing on providing more feasible timelines since it will
most likely sail through the Senate. Our hope is that some more
amendments to the bill could move CALBO from oppose to neutral
if our amendments are accepted by the author and sponsors. The
following are the amendments for the bill CALBO has provided to
committee consultants and the author’s office:
- A tiered system for permit review that would include 45 business days for housing development projects with 25 or fewer units, 60 business Days for 26-50 units, and 90 business days for 50-100 units.
- Capping these timelines at 100 units due to fears the language could include high-rise residential buildings or to specify in the bill directly that these types of projects are exempt from the requirements.
- Specifying when these timelines are frozen as the permit moves through the review process to provide clarity to our jurisdictions on when they would be following the intended timeline goals in the bill.
CALBO has had multiple conversations with the sponsors of the bill and the author’s office and are hopeful the dialogue can continue as we look to clarify and improve the language in the bill. CALBO does not support a shot clock on timelines but is trying to improve the feasibility of the bill for our jurisdictions should it be enacted into law before moving to neutral on the proposed legislation.
- AB 2322: This bill would require the State Fire Marshal in the next code cycle to research and develop mandatory building standards for fire resistance based on occupancy risk categories in very high, high, and moderate California fire hazard severity zones. The most recent amendments provide the Office of the State Fire Marshal flexibility in terms of enacting specific standards on the issue; however, it does include specific regulations for nonresidential, critical infrastructure buildings and legislates code which is where CALBO is most concerned with the bill. CALBO is working with the author’s and sponsors to shore up language and not include specific standards in the bill.
For a full listing of legislative items of interest to CALBO members, please check out our All Bills Report on the CALBO website. There are several notable measures of high interest to CALBO and our stakeholders, which is why we have kept them on our radar and are actively monitoring their progress.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns at email@example.com. I look forward to continuing to advocate for our members in Sacramento and sincerely appreciate your continued support.