CAPITOL UPDATE- JANUARY 5, 2023
By Chris Wysocki
The Legislature is back in session and heading into its first year of the two-year session that will pose many challenges to the manufactured housing industry.
The Assembly is now comprised of 62 Democrats and 18 Republicans. There are 24 new Assemblymembers who will be termed out of office in 2034 since they have 12 years to serve in the Legislature. Of these, there are eight Republicans and 16 Democrats. Among the Democrats, ten of them are already aligned with the Moderate Democrat Caucus, bringing that Caucus up to roughly 23 members.
The Senate is now comprised of 32 Democrats and eight Republicans. There are seven new Senators who were first elected in 2022 and will be termed out of office in 2034. All new Senators are Democrats. Among them are three that are aligned with the Moderate Democrat Caucus, bringing the Senate membership of that Caucus to roughly ten members.
With 30% of the Assembly and 17.5% of the Senate being new to the Legislature, WMA has an opportunity to educate these new legislators about the benefits of the manufactured housing industry as the state continues to struggle in its efforts to provide attainable housing for Californians. Our state has the highest homeless population in the nation, and manufactured housing communities provide an opportunity to help solve the housing crisis in California.
The Assembly has named Chairs and Vice Chairs of policy committees, but the full membership of these committees is not expected until later this month. The Senate has not announced any new committee Chairs or Vice Chairs, but these announcements are expected around the same time as the Assembly announces the composition of policy committees.
With respect to the State Budget, the Governor is expected to provide the Legislature with a proposed budget by January 10th, and the news is not good. The Legislative Analysist Office (LAO) is projecting a budget deficit of anywhere from $25 billion to $50 billion. A main reason for the shortfall is the reduction of capital gains tax receipts.
California continues to see more people leaving the state than coming in. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California lost 114,000 people between 2021 and 2022. While California lost population (along with New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania), other states gained population including Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. While the reasons are subject to debate, the decrease in numbers of taxpayers leaving the state will have a material impact on the state budget, and legislators will have to address budget shortfalls by either cutting programs or raising taxes.
The reason I raise these issues is simple. As WMA continues to work towards creating a better environment for manufactured housing communities across the state, there are external challenges we constantly face. Over the next legislative session, we expect to see a number of proposals that make it more difficult for parkowners to operate their properties and maintain good relations with their residents.
Over the coming months, please be on the lookout for e-mails from us asking you to weigh in on specific legislative proposals. We will have to fight for every vote in the Legislature, and we will also need your help to weigh in on proposed regulations being drafted by state agencies including, but not limited to, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Public Utilities Commission.
In short, this is going to be an “all hands on deck” year, and we are prepared to fight to protect the interests of our industry, but we’ll also need your help to weigh in with your individual legislators.
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com or you can always call me on my direct line at (916) 288-4026. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as we embark on a new year and face both new and rehashed challenges.