State Capitol Advocacy Trip: Official Chamber Positions

May 21, 2019
Posted in News, Policy
May 21, 2019 Mitch Kampf

State Capitol Advocacy Trip: Official Chamber Positions

This week, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce makes its annual advocacy trip to Sacramento to meet with state lawmakers and advocate for businesses in Hollywood. Below is a comprehensive list of bills and policy proposals the Chamber board and Legislative Action Committee have voted to take positions on.

Development/Housing

SCA-1: Public Housing Projects – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Ben Allen and Senator Scott Wiener
  • Description: The California Constitution prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition of a low-rent housing project, as defined, in any manner by any state public body until a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town, or county in which the development, construction, or acquisition of the low-rent housing project is proposed to approve the project by voting in favor at an election, as specified. This measure would repeal these provisions.
  • Location: Senate Committee on Housing
  • Why we’re supporting it: In order to combat our growing housing crisis, we must remove this costly and unnecessary step to building affordable housing.

SB-50: More HOMES Act of 2019 – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Scott Wiener
  • Description: Senate Bill 50 allows for the building of housing near existing job centers and public transportation and, includes strong protections against displacement for renters and vulnerable communities in those areas.  Requires all cities and counties to adopt an ordinance that specifies how they will implement state density bonus law. Requires cities and counties to grant a density bonus when an applicant for a housing development of five or more units seeks and agrees to construct a project that will meet certain specified criteria.
  • Location: Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we’re supporting it: SB 50 would boost the state’s supply of much needed affordable housing in time when the state is grappling with a crisis that has a deficit of four million homes. It will additionally avoid the displacement of long-time residents by allowing sensitive communities to engage in their own planning process.

SB-330: Housing Crisis Act of 2019 – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Nancy Skinner
  • Description: This bill establishes the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which places restrictions on certain types of development standards, amends the Housing Accountability Act(HAA), makes changes to local approval processes and the Permit Streamlining Act, and creates separate building standards for occupied substandard buildings.
  • Location: Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we’re supporting it: Building new housing must be a priority and this bill will streamline the approval process in California at a time when the state is facing an extreme housing crisis in both supply and affordability.

SB-25: California Environmental Quality Act: projects funded by qualified opportunity zone funds or other public funds – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Anna M. Caballero and Senator Steven M. Glazer
  • Description: This bill, until 2025, provides for expedited judicial review of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) challenges to projects that are at least partially funded by qualified opportunity zone funds or by specified public funds.
  • Location: Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we’re supporting it: SB 25 will help end the abuse of CEQA by those who exploit it to delay or kill housing projects. Crucially, it focuses on a funding source to define a qualified project and provides relief from lengthy CEQA litigation. Public funds meant for housing should NOT be used for unnecessary litigation.

SB-744: Planning and zoning: California Environmental Quality Act: permanent supportive housing – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Anna Caballero
  • Description: Makes changes to the existing use by right approval process for supportive housing projects and, for No Place Like  Home Projects that are not eligible for the use by right approval process, establishes certain administrative review and expedited judicial review requirements. Prohibits the court from awarding attorney’s fees to a prevailing petitioner in a No Place Like Home action or proceeding unless the Attorney General, within  45 days, finds that the action or proceeding was brought to protect public interest.
  • Location: Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we’re supporting it: Bold actions are needed to address the state’s crippling housing crisis. This bill not only streamlines what can be a lengthy and expensive process but additionally aids in the construction of affordable housing projects.

AB-1197: California Environmental Quality Act: Exemption: Local And Regional Housing Projects And Emergency Shelters – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Assemblymember Miguel Santiago
  • Description: Creates an exemption from the California Environmental  Quality Act (CEQA) for emergency shelters and certain affordable and supportive housing projects. Specifically, this bill exempts Emergency shelters funded by state programs, such as the Homeless  Emergency Aid Program from being defined as “projects” under CEQA.
  • Location: Committee on Appropriations.
  • Why we’re supporting it: Our organization fully supports reforming CEQA and preventing its abuse, we believe that the Housing Crisis is a priority for Hollywood and that this bill will help streamline necessary shelters and supportive housing projects.

AB-1515: Planning and Zoning: Community Plans: Review Under CEQA – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Assemblymember Laura Friedman
  • Description: Prohibits a court from invalidating the approval of a development project when specified legal actions are taken pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) against an updated community plan for the area in which the project is located.
  • Location: Referred to the Governmental Organization, Finance, and Judiciary Committees.
  • Why we’re supporting it: Further reduces abuse of CEQA by litigants that use the courtroom as a strategy to delay housing development if Community Plans are updated.

AB-1515: Planning and Zoning: Community Plans: Review Under CEQA – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Assemblymember Laura Friedman
  • Description: Would revise the definition of “major transit stop” to include a bus rapid transit station, as defined, with a frequency of service interval of 20 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods. It would also increase the frequency of service interval to 20 minutes with respect to the intersection of 2 or more major bus routes.
  • Location: Passed through Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we’re supporting it: By expanding the definition of “major transit stop”, more development projects that include affordable housing would be eligible for incentives, such as those under measure JJJ.

SB-621: California Environmental Quality Act: Court Actions Or Proceedings: Affordable Housing Projects – MONITOR

  • Author(s): Senator Anna M. Caballero and Senator Steven M. Glazer
  • Description: This bill, until 2025, provides for expedited judicial review of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) challenges to “affordable housing projects,” as defined, and prohibits courts from staying or enjoining challenged projects, with narrow exceptions
  • Location: Senate Committee on Judiciary
  • Our position: While our organization fully supports reforming CEQA and preventing its abuse, we would like to see the inclusion of mixed-use projects that can provide additional jobs to these communities.

Tourism/Hospitality

SB-58: Alcoholic Beverages: Hours of Sale – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Scott Wiener
  • Description: This bill requires the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to create a pilot program, beginning January 1, 2021, to issue an additional hours license to an on-sale licensee in a qualified city that would allow the selling, giving, or purchasing of alcoholic beverages between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., upon completion of specified requirements.
  • Location: Ordered to 3rd reading in the Senate
  • Why we are supporting it: In support of the bill, the California Hotel & Lodging Association writes that “California must compete with Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami Beach, and New Orleans, all of which have late-night service hours beyond 2 a.m. SB 58 would align California with at least 15 other states where local jurisdictions have the authority to decide alcohol beverage service hours.”

Telecommunications

AB-1366: Voice Over Internet Protocol And Internet Protocol-Enabled Communications Services – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez
  • Description: This bill would extend indefinitely the qualified prohibition upon the commission, a department, an agency, or a political subdivision of the state regulating Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled service, with the additional qualification that the commission, a department, an agency, or a political subdivision of the state would be authorized to exercise regulatory jurisdiction and control as expressly and specifically directed by the Legislature in the interest of public safety or consumer protection.
  • Location: Communications and Conveyance
  • Why we are supporting it: Prevents a potential backlog of regulatory processes by agencies, commission, etc., leaving regulatory power in the hands of the state legislature. Ultimately ensures consumers have continued technological innovation and expanded services.

Education

AB-324: AB-324 Childcare Services: State Subsidized Childcare: Professional Support Stipends – SUPPORT

  • Author(S): Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
  • Description: AB 324 would create guidelines for the early care and education (ECE) professional development and retention system to strengthen, recruit, and retain the ECE workforce. AB 324 requires CDE to develop guidelines for the use of AB 212 funds. The new guidelines will still allow for local flexibility but will create a standardized, effective, and measurable funding program. These guidelines will prioritize stipends that recruit, strengthen, and retain quality, diverse ECE workforce.
  • Location: Assembly Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we are supporting it: The new guidelines allow for local flexibility but will create a standardized, effective, and measurable funding program.

Entertainment

AB-874: California  Consumer Privacy  Act of 2018 – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin                           
  • Description: This bill would expand the “publicly available” information that is exempted from the definition of “personal information” (PI) in the California  Consumer Privacy Act of 2018(CCPA) to ensure that “publicly available” information includes any information that is lawfully made available from government records. This bill would also correct a drafting error in the definition of “PI” to clarify that PI does not include de-identified or aggregate consumer information.
  • Location: Referred Senate Committee on Rules for assignment
  • Why we are supporting it: This bill clarifies the definition of “publicly available” as it pertains to data from federal, state, or local government records. Without clarification, the “CCPA creates both practical and constitutional problems for businesses engaged in constitutionally protected activity.”

Healthcare

SB-227: Health and care facilities – OPPOSE

  • Author(s): Senator Connie Levya
  • Description: Requires periodic inspections of hospitals by the Department of Public Health to include reviews of compliance with nurse staffing ratios,  and establishes administrative penalties for nurse staffing ratio violations of $30,000 for a first violation,  and $60,000 for each subsequent violation.
  • Location: Senate Committee on Health
  • Why we’re opposing it: Imposes arbitrary penalties for nurse staffing violations, which will ultimately increase health care costs. These strict liability sanctions will further penalize users of health care by increasing hospital costs, which will, in turn, increase health care premiums.

Environment

SB-54: California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Senator Scott Weiner and Senator Ben Allen
  • Description: Requires the Department  of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), in consultation with  the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Ocean Protection Council(OPC), to adopt regulations  to source reduce and recycle at least 75% of single-use packaging and products sold or distributed in California  by 2030, and requires CalRecycle to develop a scoping plan to achieve those requirements.
  • Location: Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we are supporting it: Setting goals to reduce plastic-use packaging will help protect California’s fragile eco-systems and secure waterways critical to Southern California.

AB-1415: Department of Water Resources: reporting requirements: civil penalties – SUPPORT

  • Author(s): Assemblymember Laura Friedman
  • Description: Imposes certain civil penalties for failure to file timely reports to the  Department of Water Resources. This Bill requires the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to impose a civil penalty of $1,000 on an entity that fails to file the specified reports. After 60 days, the DWR may impose a $250 per day penalty.
  • Location: Passed through Assembly Committee on Appropriations
  • Why we are supporting it: With California’s rainfall levels fluctuating, it is critical that our data on water storage is accurate to prepare the state for its next drought.
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