In This Update:
- SPLIT ROLL BATTLE IS ON AND SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 2020!
- QUALIFIED ZONES – SUPPORT
- FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES BILL – SUPPORT
- PAGA REFORM – SUPPORT
- LACTATION ROOM BILL – SEEKING AMENDMENDS
- “ELECTRIFICATION” BILLS OPPOSED
- CALIFORNIA BENCHMARKING REGULATION RESOURCES
- CBPA 2018 CALENDAR
SPLIT ROLL BATTLE IS ON AND SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 2020!
Proponents of the Split Roll Property Tax measure that is currently circulating believe they will reach the required number of signatures. They have also decided to move the measure for the November 2020 ballot measure. They believe that more time to message and fundraise coupled with an expected higher Democrat-base voter turnout in the Presidential election will give them a higher chance of winning.
By the same token, this also allows opponents more time to educate voters on why an $11B tax increase is a bad idea.
In boxing terms – we now know when the Title Bout is scheduled, and we need to start training if we hope to win!
Click here for a story from the L.A. Times with more detail about politics of split roll and why you are in the crosshairs.
QUALIFIED ZONES – SUPPORT
We have taken support position on AB 3030 (Caballero; D-Salinas), a bill that will create a fast path to new economic development opportunities and construction of more affordable housing in California’s poorest communities.
Through the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, investors can defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains when they invest in state identified “Opportunity Zones.” California has identified Opportunity Zones for 879 tracts in California, spread across 57 different counties.
Unfortunately, the elimination of redevelopment agencies has left our poorest communities with few tools to generate economic growth. The Opportunity Zones with “shovel ready” projects will have a jump start when it comes to encouraging investment dollars through this program. Other Opportunity Zones, however, with few or limited development projects in the pipeline, are at a disadvantage when it comes to encouraging investment into the community.
AB 3030 addresses this challenge by providing an exemption from CEQA for projects in these Opportunity Zones. Projects that can be completed quickly will produce the best economic results for investors.
FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES BILL – SUPPORT
We have taken a support position on AB 2482 (Voepel; R-Santee), which will allow an employee-selected flexible work schedule. California is one of only three states that requires employers to pay daily overtime after eight hours of work and weekly overtime after 40 hours of work. Even the other two states that impose daily overtime requirements allow the employer and employee to essentially waive the daily eight-hour overtime requirement through a written agreement.
California, however, provides no such common-sense alternative. Rather, California requires employers to navigate through a multi-step process to have employees elect an alternative workweek schedule that, once adopted, must be “regularly” scheduled. This process is filled with potential traps that could lead to costly litigation, as one misstep may render the entire alternative workweek schedule invalid and leave the employer on the hook for claims of unpaid overtime wages.
AB 2482 would provide employees more flexibility because the employee could request an alternative workweek schedule on an individualized basis. Pursuant to AB 2482, at the request of the employee, an employer would be able to implement a flexible work schedule that allows the employee to work up to ten hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, without the payment of overtime.
We believe employers should be able to provide their employees more flexibility and negotiate through a written agreement, revocable by either party, the daily/weekly schedule that satisfies the needs of both the employee(s) and the employer.
PAGA REFORM – SUPPORT
We have taken a support position on AB 2907 (Flora; R-Ripon), which will provide a reasonable opportunity to cure specific Labor Code violations before being subject to costly and frivolous litigation under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
California has some of the most onerous and complex labor laws in the country. This complexity is exemplified by PAGA, which essentially allows an individual to pursue a “representative action” on behalf of similarly aggrieved employees without being subject to the strict filing requirements of a class action lawsuit. The employee can pursue a claim against an employer for almost any Labor Code violation.
PAGA requires a $100 penalty per employee, per pay period for the first violation, and $200 per employee, per pay period for each subsequent violation. If there are multiple Labor Code violations, then these penalties are stacked. In addition, if the employee recovers any dollar amount, the employee is entitled to attorney’s fees, which adds another layer of cost onto the employer.
Any type of PAGA reform is greatly beneficial for the business community and we are working to see this bill be passed.
LACTATION ROOM BILL – SEEKING AMENDMENTS
We have taken an “Opposed Unless Amended” position on SB 937 (Wiener; D-San Francisco), which would establish mandates regarding lactation accommodations in the workplace and require most of our buildings to provide a room with lactation.
Current law requires an employer to provide a location other than a “toilet stall” for an employee to express breastmilk. The location must be private and in close proximity to the employee’s work area.
SB 937 significantly amends current law regarding lactation accommodations by implementing new location standards, employer policy requirements, document retention, new construction requirements and supplementary Labor Code penalties, just to name a few.
While we believe the bill is well intentioned, as written it is quite burdensome for employers and exposes employers to potential litigation traps.
SB 937 would require an employer provide a location other than a bathroom as a lactation accommodation. The location must include a place to sit, a place to set a breast pump, electricity,and access to a sink and refrigerator in “close proximity.” However, some employers simply do not have access to a completely private space other than a bathroom and privacy should be the most important aspect of a lactation space.
We are working with the author and sponsors to try to come up with amendments that will make this potential law more flexible for employers and make more sense in terms of construction and tenant improvements in the commercial real estate context.
“ELECTRIFICATION” BILLS OPPOSED
Our industry, along with a large coalition of other business groups, is opposing two bills moving through the California State Legislature that seek to “electrify” California by doing-away with the latest villain in the War Against GHG’s – natural gas. The bills would also move the goal line on the state’s Zero Net Energy regulations by mandating that buildings become “Zero Net Emissions” by 2030.
Among other things, AB 3001 would require that by 2022 that the California Energy Commission (CEC) require all new buildings to be “electric ready” by requiring the installation of the electric infrastructure necessary to enable the building occupants to use only electrical equipment instead of natural gas. This bill would remove natural gas as an energy option despite the fact that many building systems rely on the fuel and many building occupants rely on natural gas to fuel items such as stoves, heaters, and industrial equipment.
AB 3232 (Friedman; D-Glendale) mandates another greenhouse gas GHG emissions control regime that would require all new residential and non-residential construction be ‘zero-emission’ by 2030 and directs the Energy Commission to develop a strategy to reduce GHG emissions by at least 50 percent below 1990 levels.
California has long held ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions in order to combat global climate change, including landmark legislation AB 32 (2006), SB 350 (2015) and, most recently, AB 398 (2017). These bills set California on a path that includes all sectors of the economy from the energy used at work to the fuels used in our transportation system and the energy consumed at home to goods movement, including specific direction regarding disadvantaged communities.
Because California already has the most-strict GHG rules in the nation we believe that both of these bills are unnecessary. The energy consumed in our homes and businesses and on the road is already accounted for under the existing GHG emissions control programs, including the Cap-and-Trade program and Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Another GHG control program – especially one that sets a “stretch goal” such as zero emission buildings — doesn’t bring value to system that is already so highly regulated.
As it relates to buildings, SB 350 calls for a doubling of the energy efficiency of the existing building stock by 2030 that will require more efficient appliances and building improvements of all energy sources. These measures will just layer more complexity on top of an already expensive regime of laws and thicket of regulations.
CALIFORNIA BENCHMARKING REGULATION RESOURCES
Several weeks ago, the State of California finalized the AB 1103/AB 802 Energy Benchmarking Regulations. This has been a long process and we have been involved every step of the way. The bottom line is that as of June 1, 2018, all buildings over 50,000 square feet – with some exemptions – need to be benchmarked and data shared with the Energy Commission.
However, the rollout of the regulation is still unfolding. The CEC is working on materials and communications to help with compliance, and we are helping them work through the issues and work out the bugs.
We have set up a resource page where you can find a FAQ, the adopted regulations, and a link to the CEC page with more information.
Click here for the CBPA CA Mandatory Benchmarking Resource Page.
Stay tuned for more information and webinars to help you comply by the June 1st deadline.
CBPA 2018 CALENDAR
June 19-20, 2018
California Commercial Real Estate Summit
& Annual Meeting
October 25, 2018
Industry Awards Dinner & Board Meeting
The Duke Hotel, Newport Beach
Please feel free to contact Melissa Stevens at email@example.com should you have any questions or require additional information about our events.