Springing into Action: CALBO’s Spotlight on Key Legislative Bills
Capitol Corner Update


Greetings CALBO Members,

Please allow me to introduce myself as the new Public Affairs Director, a resource to you all for public policy and CALBO’s governmental affairs. This opportunity affords me the ability to continue working on the issues of importance to the CALBO community.  

I was most recently a Legislative Director in the California State Assembly, where I worked on a variety of state and regional policy issues, while serving as the primary aide advising the Assembly Member on policy positions. This experience will provide the ability to articulate the technical and crucial nature of your work to decisionmakers so that they understand our barriers to implementation for proposed legislation.

The CALBO Legislative Committee has come together and commenced our work for the year. We have looked at more than 2,000 measures that have been introduced this year and will be acted upon in the weeks ahead. As CALBO takes official positions on these items, you will be able to view them in real time here. I encourage you all to take advantage of the information that is available on our website. 

The bills the Legislative Committee will be reviewing with high priority include:

AB 2433 (Quirk Silva) the California Private Permitting Review and Inspection Act which would require Building Departments to post a schedule of fees on their website and allow applicants to hire private professionals at their own expense if there are delays in checking plans and specifications for building permits.

AB 2149 (Connolly) this bill adds requirements to property owners with regulated gates including inspections every 5 years and maintaining documentation of certification from a professional, failure to comply could result in a civil penalty issued by a building official.

AB 2427 (McCarty) this bill requires GO-Biz to develop a checklist and guidelines for municipalities to follow when permitting electrical vehicle charging stations after consulting with local governments, electric vehicle service providers and utilities. 

AB 2934 (Ward) this bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to review the cost of residential construction related to building standards and review proposed updates to building standards every three years with the goal of reducing costs by 30%.

AB 2910 (Santiago) this bill would authorize a city or county to adopt alternative building regulations for the conversion of commercial or industrial buildings to residential uses. It requires local governments to have a housing element compliant with law and to be designated pro-housing, before the city or county is authorized to adopt alternative building regulations. These alternative regulations would have to be submitted to the California Building Standards Commission.

As we have made our way through the first quarter of the year, the Legislature has already seen many of its pivotal deadlines pass, and we are now in ‘Committee Season’ where the relevant Policy Committees process legislation within their jurisdiction of California’s code sections. This juncture provides groups like ours the ability to weigh in, ask questions and extract important alterations to the proposed legislation that we are responsible for implementing. 

This is a crucial time for CALBO to speak before the state weighs their own priorities against the fiscal climate. This year, like last year, we have projections for significant budget deficits. While the administration is projecting a $37.9 billion deficit, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office has put forward an astounding prediction of a $73 billion fiscal hole. Suffice to say, this is not the time for widescale reform or starting new programs, the state will likely be in a cost-cutting mode, which has both benefits and drawbacks for our purposes.1

There has also been a noteworthy change to the political environment year-over-year for the legislature: the Speaker of the State Assembly and the Senate Pro Tempore are both rural Californians with local government experience, which provides that there could be a move away from urban-focused policy that assists the state with meeting overarching goals, as many rural jurisdictions have difficulty meeting statewide requirements due to their limited resources. The leadership change at the top facilitates different choices for who chairs the various committees, so it is a new day for both aged and novel bill ideas with that alteration in representation and perspective afoot.

After our first Legislative Committee Meeting, CALBO remains dedicated to our mission of promoting public health and safety in building construction through responsible legislation. As mentioned, the Committee Members are in the process of reviewing a handful of items before taking out positions, providing feedback and offering amendments. Please stay tuned for further updates relative to CALBO’s Government Affairs. 

It is an exciting year ahead. As the state aims to tackle the housing crisis, we have an important voice for how to move forward responsibly. CALBO is an integrated partner for policymakers seeking to understand the complications associated with building safety, which makes it is a great honor to represent your organization and advocate for your positions. I am thankful for the trust bestowed upon me and I am looking forward to working with you all this year! 

If you have any questions at all or have bills of interest, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via e-mail at amendoza@calbo.org.