THE LEGISLATURE RECONVENED ON…JANUARY 7, 2008
We are starting the second year of a two-year cycle! We are going to have a full Legislative Agenda and we will need your help throughout 2008! Here are a few of the bills on which C.A.R. is currently working:
C.A.R. supports AB 1159 (Coto) State Earthquake Authority,
which is eligible for consideration on the Senate Floor. As introduced, this measure addressed a non-real estate related topic. As amended, AB 1159 is identical to SB 430, which was signed into law by the Governor in October of 2007. Both AB 1159 and SB 430 were introduced to improve the financial condition of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) which will be jeopardized, due to the December 1, 2008, sunset of CEA’s authorization to use one of the two “insurer assessment layers” for financing. This bill creates a new assessment for the CEA by authorizing a new insurance assessment layer to last for 10 years beginning December 1, 2008, that will equate to a $1.3 billion industry assessment that could be utilized to pay earthquake claims and expenses. This new assessment would be reduced by five percent per year after the first year, but the 10-year term and reduction could be extended for up to two additional years if the CEA pays at least $500 million in claims as a result of a single earthquake event. C.A.R. supports AB 1159 because the viability of the CEA is necessary to the availability of homeowners insurance in California.
C.A.R. supports AB 1309 (C. Calderon) Mobilehome Rent Control, which is eligible for consideration on the Assembly Floor. California has had vacancy decontrol for apartments since 1995 under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act which C.A.R. successfully co-sponsored. AB 1309 will insert vacancy decontrol provisions into local mobilehome rent control ordinances. As with apartment vacancy decontrol, this bill does not prohibit rent control nor does it raise rents for existing tenants beyond that permitted by local ordinance. Rather, vacancy decontrol only permits an owner of a mobilehome park to raise space rent to market price for a new resident when the space or mobilehome unit is voluntarily vacated, which usually happens when the unit is sold. C.A.R. supports AB 1309 because vacancy decontrol removes some of the negative impacts caused by rent control, which include discouraging investment in, and construction of, new mobilehome parks.
C.A.R. opposes unless amended AB 1646 (DeSaulnier) Public Health Districts, which is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Health Committee on January 8. AB 1646 would authorize county boards of supervisors to establish public health districts that would be charged with providing disease prevention, surveillance, and containment. The county supervisors would either sit as the district’s governing board, appoint the governing board or require that the board be elected by the voters of the district. Finally, this bill grants the board the authority to levy a parcel tax, which is subject voter approval, to fund the establishment and administration of the public health district. C.A.R. will oppose AB 1646 unless it is amended to remove parcel tax as a funding source. The cost of addressing public health needs should be borne across society and not be property owners alone.
C.A.R. opposes unless amended SB 127 (Kuehl) Property Transfer Disclosures, which is eligible for consideration on the Assembly Floor. As introduced, this bill would have required all transactional disclosure documents to be delivered within three days of the “execution” of an offer to purchase. As amended, this measure would require all transactional disclosure documents to be delivered within ten days of the “execution” (by which the author means acceptance) of an offer to purchase. C.A.R. opposed SB 127 because it would have imposed a “one size fits all” time frame which would make compliance difficult for many transactions, and would not have allowed time frames to be negotiated. C.A.R. was successful in obtaining amendments that allow both parties to the transaction to agree to change, in writing, the time period for delivering transaction disclosures. With this amendment, C.A.R. had removed its opposition. Recent amendments to the bill, however, have renewed C.A.R.’s opposition. As amended, SB 127 requires a separate document when both parties to the real estate contract negotiate for a disclosure delivery time longer than ten days and would not allow the agreement to be contained within a single contract or deposit receipt. C.A.R. opposes the bill because it would create unnecessary compliance burdens even in the great majority of transactions that do not involve a negotiated timeline.