Summer Recess Update
June has been a busy time for CALBO’s Legislative Department at the State Capitol. This month is especially important as it holds important deadlines for bills that wish to make it through the second house. After bills make it through their various committees in their house of origin (The Senate for senate bills, and The Assembly for Assembly bills) they must repeat this process in the opposite house. CALBO has taken a strong position on several bills, and has actively participated in advocacy efforts with bill authors and policy committees. Here are some of the highlights from the last few weeks.
Senator McGuire’s (D – Healdsburg) ghost ship legislation has been moving through the Assembly with little to no opposition. CALBO supports SB 1415 and SB 1416 (McGuire), as they would help local officials increase inspections on specific classifications of buildings such as warehouse and storage facilities. These bills would also help departments with nuisance abatement allowing cities and counties to place a lien on the property if the owner does not comply with official’s instructions.
CALBO has also been actively involved with Assembly Member Nazarian’s (D – North Hollywood) Seismic Resiliency measures. The two that are most pertinent to CALBO’s membership are AB 1857 and AB 2681. AB 1857, as amended on June 18, would require the Building Standards Commission to assemble a work group to establish a “functional recovery standard.” Members of the work group would include 1) building officials, 2) International Code Council, 3) Structural Engineers Association of California, and 4) Office of the State Fire Marshal, to name a few. The June 18 amendments have addressed some of CALBO’s biggest concerns. The bill no longer dictates what the working group’s outcome will be, and has extended their timeline. The CALBO Legislative Committee is currently reviewing the amended language and actively discussing remaining concerns with the authors’ office.
Assembly Member Nazarian’s other Seismic Resiliency bill, AB 2681, would require city and county building departments to create and manage an inventory of “potentially vulnerable buildings” within their jurisdiction. CALBO is opposed to this statewide mandate, and appreciates jurisdictions that are creating local seismic ordinances to meet their local needs and diversity. CALBO is also concerned with the lack of funding secured in this bill. Currently, the bill only requires Cal OES to “identify” funding, which could come from the General Fund, local funds, or private grants. Without a secured funding mechanism, CALBO is concerned that the program costs will ultimately fall on local jurisdictions. CALBO has formed a local government coalition to oppose this bill; members include League of California Cities, Rural Counties Representatives of California, and California State Association of Counties. AB 2681 is waiting to be heard in Senate Appropriations. CALBO will be sending an outreach request if you would like to join CALBO and the coalition in opposing this measure.
Other bills of interest include SB 831 (Wieckowski, D – Fremont), and AB 2913 (Wood, D – Santa Rosa). CALBO opposed SB 831 as it required building officials to approve an “imminent risk” for no less than 10 years in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). This bill made substantive changes to current ADU law, and aimed to streamline the process of permitting illegal ADUs. As of this week, SB 831 was held in the Assembly Local Government Committee and is not moving forward. In regards to AB 2913, CALBO has joined a coalition to oppose this bill. This bill would allow a building permit to be valid for three years, which is extension from the current period of 180 days. AB 2913 will be heard in Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in early July.
These are just some of the highlights from the last few weeks. The Legislature will adjourn on July 6 for summer recess and reconvene on August 6 in order to finish this legislative cycle on August 31. If you have any questions, or wish to know more about CALBO’s tracked legislation, feel free to contact Katie Almand, CALBO Government Affairs Manager. You can also stay up to date on CALBO’s legislative activities on CALBO’s legislative page.