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Capitol Update
By Chris Wysocki

AB 81 PASSED BY LEGISLATURE AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR NEWSOM ON FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Follow-up urgency legislation signed by Governor Newsom clarifies what legislators and the governor had previously promised: Landlords will be paid a full 80% of the rent owed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Previously signed legislation, SB 91, was not clear on this point, providing that landlords would be paid “up to” 80%.  AB 81 clarifies this issue.

February 28, 2021 is the Deadline to Send out the Informational Notice to Residents Who Owe Back Rent

Remember to send out the Information Notice of COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act Extension and New Rental Assistance Program on or before February 28, 2021 to residents who owe you back rent from March 1, 2020.

2021 LEGISLATIVE LINEUP INCLUDES RENT CAP BILL, OTHERS

State lawmakers have introduced a whopping 2,369 bills this year. WMA staff and industry experts have begun analyzing and will soon be registering formal positions on bills that directly impact the industry.

This year, bills tackle a wide range of topics. For example, various wildfire mitigation measures have been introduced in response to state wildfires’ growing threat. WMA is part of the Stronger California Coalition, a group of stakeholders whose aim is to address the availability and affordability of homeowner’s insurance rates and coverage in wildfire-prone areas throughout the state.

WMA also continues to monitor over 180 “Budget Trailer Bills” that have been introduced.  These bills may adopt significant policy changes without going through the normal committee process.

The provisions of many bills will become fleshed out and finalized once they begin to move through the legislative process. WMA will be focusing its lobbying efforts on numerous measures, including these standouts:

AB 861 (Bennett), Rental Restrictions Relative to Park Management - Sponsored by GSMOL, this bill would require management to comply with a rule or regulation prohibiting the renting or subleasing of the homeowner’s mobilehome or mobilehome space and would prohibit management from renting a mobilehome owned by the park except to a person employed by the park.

Please click on the link to view AB 861 (Bennett):

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB861

AB 978 (Quirk-Silva and Chiu), Statewide Rent Cap – As currently drafted, this bill will limit rent increases to 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living, as defined, or 10%, whichever is lower, of the lowest gross rental rate charged for the immediately preceding 12 months, as specified. The bill would prohibit management of a mobilehome park from increasing the gross rental rate for a tenancy in more than 2 increments over a 12-month period after the tenant maintains a tenancy over a 12-month period.

Please click on the link to view AB 978 (Quirk-Silva and Chiu):

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB978

AB 1061 (Lee), Submetering of Water – Sponsored by GSMOL, this bill would require park management that elects to separately bill water service to homeowners as a utility service and provide sub-metered water service to homeowners as a master-meter customer of the serving water utility or provider to charge each homeowner for the water consumed at the same rate that would be applicable if the homeowner were receiving water directly from the serving water utility or provider.

Please click on the link to view AB 1061 (Lee):

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1061

Legislation, Rental Assistance Program Information Available on WMA Website

Please visit the WMA website (www.wma.org) to view a comprehensive list of legislation affecting the manufactured housing communities in California.  With respect to rental assistance programs, please be sure to check your local city or county housing agency website for the latest rental assistance/funding availability information. WMA will post information on our COVID-19 Response page as it becomes available here: https://www.wma.org/covid-19-response.

COMMITTEES GEARING UP

While very few committees have been scheduled to meet, expectations are that hearings will begin in mid-March.  As bills are scheduled, WMA staff will reach out to members to provide testimony and comments through VoterVoice, so please be sure to check your e-mail on a regular basis.

RECALL UPDATE

This entire legislative session will be heavily influenced by a potential recall campaign of Governor Newsom.  Proponents of the recall have until March 17 to submit just over 1.5 million valid signatures.  If enough valid signatures are submitted (over 1.7 million total signatures have been collected with a validity rate of over 85%), a recall election will likely be held in the Fall of 2021.

GENERAL CONCLUSION

2021 is shaping up to be a contentious year.  COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase.  The Legislature has introduced a near-record number of bills for the first year of a 2-year session.  A potential recall of the Governor appears close to qualifying.  The California Redistricting Commission has begun the process of re-drawing legislative and congressional lines in accordance with the 2020 US Census data. 

We will continue to keep you apprised of developments that involve legislation, policy, and politics on a regular basis.  Please stay tuned.  2021 is going to be a wild ride, so please buckle your seatbelts.

Chris Wysocki is WMA’s State Legislative Advocate. He may be reached at chris@wma.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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