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Capitol Update
By Chris Wysocki

POLICY COMMITTEE HEARINGS UNDERWAY FOLLOWING LEGISLATURE’S RETURN  

We expect the pace to quicken now that the state legislature has reconvened following a weeklong spring recess. Both houses are scheduling committee hearings and have until April 30 to pass bills with fiscal impacts to their respective fiscal committees. May 7 is the deadline for policy committees to pass non-fiscal bills to either the Assembly or Senate Floor. These deadlines do not apply to budget trailer bills, and there are over 170 of those vehicles available for the Legislature to consider.

WMA TO OPPOSE ONLINE RENTAL REGISTRY BILL, AB 1188 (WICKS) 

WMA registered its formal opposition to AB 1188 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (Democrat, Oakland). AB 1188 requires local governments to establish their own online rental registry portals by 2024 and requires landlords to register and provide an exhaustive list of rental-related information. Landlords would also be prohibited from raising rents or terminating a tenancy if they fail to register. The Assembly Housing Committee will hear testimony on AB 1188 on April 15.

UPDATE REGARDING RESTRICTIVE SUBLEASING, RENT CAP BILLS

WMA opposes AB 861 by Assemblymember Steve Bennett (Democrat, Ventura), which would prevent the subleasing of homes owned by parkowners except for the park employees.

WMA also opposes AB 978 by Assemblymembers Sharon Quirk-Silva (Democrat, Fullerton) and David Chiu (Democrat, San Francisco). AB 978 would institute a statewide rent control cap of 5% + CPI (not to exceed 10%) for mobilehome park residents.

While both bills have been referred to the Assembly Housing Committee, no formal committee hearing date has been set.

GOVERNOR’S APPOINTMENTS PROMPT SPECIAL ELECTIONS TO FILL VACATED SEATS

On Tuesday, a special election was held in the 79th Assembly District (San Diego County) to fill the seat vacated by Shirley Weber. Dr. Weber was appointed as Secretary of State when Alex Padilla became a U.S. Senator by appointment. Padilla filled Kamala Harris’s U.S. Senate seat when Vice President Kamala Harris assumed office. It appears that Akilah Weber (Shirley Weber’s daughter) has secured a solid victory with 52% of the vote on election night (turnout was less than 20%).  If Weber remains above 50% of the vote pending certification of the election results, there will not be a runoff election, and Akilah Weber will fill the seat.

There will also be a special election held on May 18 in the 54th Assembly District (Los Angeles County) to replace the seat vacated by Sydney Kamlager, who was elected to the State Senate.

Another special election will be held in the 18th Assembly District (Alameda County) to replace Rob Bonta. He was appointed as Attorney General when Xavier Becerra resigned to become the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary under the Biden Administration. Once Bonta is confirmed by the Legislature in the coming months, the Governor will call for another special election.

WMA WEBSITE OFFERS WEALTH OF COVID-19 RESOURCES 

Finally, I would encourage members to take advantage of the wealth of material and the latest COVID-19 related information featured on WMA’s website, www.wma.org

WMA makes every effort to post state and local information as it becomes available, ranging from emergency rental assistance FAQ’s and Governor’s Executive Orders to the newly signed, paid sick leave legislation.      

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

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