The City of Lafayette’s Legislative Agenda for 2019 and 2020, which was adopted by the City Council on July 22, 2019, is a source for residents, commissions and committees, and staff to understand the goals and policies that guide the City of Lafayette in its legislative strategy. In addition to the Legislative Agenda, this page provides links to the City of Lafayette's letters regarding the various bills being considered by the Legislature.
City Council Legislation Committee
Cameron Burks, Council Member, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Bliss, Council Member, E-mail: email@example.com
Steve Glazer, State Senator, 7th District, Email via website here
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, State Assembly Member, District 16, Email via website here
City of Lafayette Legislative Agenda for 2019 and 2020 (Amended Nov. 12, 2019)
The City Council’s Legislation Committee and Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. (TPA) have prepared this report for the City of Lafayette outlining potential areas of state legislative interest for 2019 and 2020. The report summarizes the City’s legislative principles and potential policy topics of interest to the City for the current and upcoming legislative years.
The strategic agenda includes advocating for legislation, regulations, and funding that is consistent with the City’s vision, goals and policies. If the City Council is supportive of the proposals listed below, TPA will continue to research what can be accomplished through legislation, regulations, or direct advocacy with state agencies and other organizations to help address Lafayette’s needs. In addition to this City Legislative Agenda, TPA will also review City Council Resolution 2019-23 and the Contra Costa County Jurisdictions’ Housing and Policy Framework (Framework). When legislation is introduced that impacts any of the items listed below or in the Framework, TPA will immediately alert the City and together assess next steps.
Preserving Local Control
The City deeply values its ability and authority to exercise local control, offer excellent public services, and protect and enhance the quality of life for Lafayette residents and businesses. Advocacy efforts may include:
Monitoring and opposing legislation that may reduce municipal authority, particularly in the areas of land use planning, zoning and development review.
Supporting legislation that protects local revenue sources and prevents the imposition of unfunded mandates on cities.
- Supporting legislation that rolls back/unwinds existing unfunded mandates or increases funding to cities.
- Opposing legislation that reduces funding to cities that do not meet their housing targets.
- Monitoring legislation that could impact the City’s ability to regulate the “sharing economy” (platforms such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb) as it develops.
- Supporting legislation that creates a permanent source of revenue — or strengthens existing revenue sources — to local governments for the production and preservation of affordable housing.
- Supporting legislation that provides funding for local governments to address homelessness.
- Monitoring legislation that would expand tenant protections.
- Opposing legislation that impacts the ability of local governments to utilize digital communication.
- Monitoring legislation that could impact commercial and/or recreational drone usage.
- Monitoring legislation that could impact local telecommunications infrastructure.
- Other related topics.
The City acknowledges that California is currently facing a housing shortage and supports legislation and policies to develop affordable housing that will accommodate local workers' needs. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Supporting legislation that facilitates the streamlined construction and production of accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
- Supporting legislation that would allow cities to count ADUs towards the fulfillment of their regional housing needs allocations (RHNA).
- Supporting legislation that uses a county jobs-housing balance as a basis to allocate RHNA and funding.
- Opposing legislation requiring the production of housing away from job centers, which would further burden the region’s strained transportation network and increase vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Supporting legislation requiring housing and jobs to be evenly distributed across cities and counties throughout the state. Statewide land use legislation should apply statewide and neither apply to only a small number of communities nor exempt a select set of communities.
- Supporting legislation that exempts high fire hazard areas from requirements to build higher density housing.
- Other related topics.
The City supports legislation to fund economic development and to protect and fund essential city services. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Continuing repeated interactions with elected representatives to predict fiscal year funding and to assess the City‘s ability to take advantage of political trends and preferences in the state budget.
- Protecting local rate payers with regard to state utility mandates.
- Supporting legislation and initiatives that would provide funding for libraries, arts and cultural expression in Lafayette.
- Supporting legislation and initiatives that would provide funding for open spaces, parks, trails, and other public amenities.
- Supporting legislation and initiatives that would provide funding for downtown beautification and revitalization.
- Supporting legislation that will return e-commerce/internet sales tax revenue to the point of sale.
- Supporting legislation that fully reimburses cities for agreements and loans with former redevelopment agencies.
- Monitoring legislation that affects Transient Occupancy Taxes and regulations regarding such.
- Monitoring legislation impacting Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts, redevelopment agencies, or tax increment financing districts.
- Other related topics.
The City supports legislation and policies that promote sustainable development, improve environmental standards, streamline the regulatory process, provide incentives and funding for preservation of natural resources, and support sustainable energy policies. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Supporting legislation that conserves open space and natural resources.
- Supporting legislation to increase funding for climate action planning.
- Supporting legislation to increase funding for green buildings, electric vehicle charging stations, and related infrastructure.
- Supporting legislation that supports climate adaptation solutions, including sea level rise, flood management practices, and wild fire fuel management solutions.
- Monitoring legislation that imposes state mandates on cities to fund climate adaptation solutions.
- Monitoring legislation that impacts environmental review policy or CEQA.
- Monitoring legislation that impacts a city’s ability to approve or deny projects based on health and safety impacts.
- Other related topics.
The City supports legislation and policies that promote investing in the planning and implementation of regional and local transportation and traffic congestion relief projects, the maintenance and rehabilitation of aging transportation infrastructure, and building system capacity expansions where appropriate. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Supporting legislation to fund alternative modes of travel including expanding transit services and pedestrian and bicycle pathways.
- Supporting new statewide funding opportunities for the ongoing maintenance and repair of local roads and highways.
- Supporting efforts to address regional transportation congestion.
- Monitoring legislation for the expansion of ADA facilities and public access.
- Other related topics.
Public Health and Safety
The City supports legislation to access funding and resources to provide high quality police, fire, emergency management, emergency medical and public health services. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Supporting funding opportunities to address natural disaster mitigation and evacuation planning.
- Supporting legislation to reform public utilities in order to ensure the reliable, safe and sustainable delivery of energy and communications to the community.
- Supporting legislation to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
- Monitoring legislation on the sale of e-cigarettes.
- Monitoring legislation/research on the potential safeguards regarding the purchase, distribution, consumption and cultivation of cannabis.
- Other related topics.
The City supports legislation to reduce unnecessary and costly procedures for conducting municipal elections, while streamlining voter registration efforts to ensure all eligible residents can vote freely. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Supporting legislation that encourages and expands civic engagement and voter participation in elections.
- Monitoring legislation that lowers the voting requirements for passage of local special purpose agency funding propositions.
- Monitoring legislation that affects municipal elections.
- Monitoring legislation that affects the California Voting Rights Acts and by-district elections.
- Other related topics.
The City supports government transparency, public access to records and supports legislation that facilitates these principles while still allowing for necessary municipal operations and services. Advocacy efforts may include:
- Monitoring legislation that affects the Brown Act.
- Monitoring legislation that affects special districts and joint powers authorities and regulations of such.
- Monitoring legislation that affects the Public Records Act.
- Monitoring legislation that affects the Political Reform Act.
- Other related topics.
City of Lafayette's Letters Regarding Legislative Bills
Bill Language, Summaries, and Analysis
The State of California's LegInfo website provides a way to look up any individual bill and view the bill language, a summary, as well as committee analysis. You can access LegInfo here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
Bills of Interest to Lafayette & State Legislative Update (February 6, 2020)
On January 6, the Legislature reconvened for the second year of the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. Since their return to session, lawmakers have been focused on introducing new legislation, as well as meeting the January 31 House of Origin deadline for measures that were introduced in 2019. Any legislation that was introduced in 2019 and did not pass out of its house of origin by January 31 is now dead and ineligible for additional consideration this year. That said, legislators have until February 21 to introduced new legislation to be considered in 2020, which may include bills that failed to meet the House of Origin deadline.
Lawmakers have also been busy analyzing the Governor’s January Budget proposal, which was released by Governor Newsom on January 10. Additional details about the Governor’s budget will be released through trailer bill language, which has begun to be released by the Administration. The next step in the budget process is for the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees to begin their work of analyzing and assessing the Administration’s budget proposal as they work towards the June 15deadline to pass a new state budget.
SB 50 Update
SB 50 (Wiener), the legislative vehicle for a major statewide housing initiative, failed to pass the Senate by the January 31House of Origin deadline and is now dead. However, after the final vote was tallied, Senate President Pro Tempore Atkins addressed the Senate and indicated that the Senate will continue to address this issue and work on “a housing production bill to help alleviate our housing crisis this year.”
In the days leading up to the House of Origin deadline, Senator Wiener brought his bill up for consideration on the Senate Floor twice. Both times the measure failed on an 18-15 vote, as 21 votes were needed for passage. During the floor debate, Senators argued that the bill would not prevent displacement and gentrification, would fail to produce enough affordable housing, the potential for development in high wildfire danger zones, and the negative impacts that this bill could have on communities across the State.
SB 50 failed to garner support from stakeholders after the Senator amended the bill on January 6. The amendments that were adopted were intended to provide additional local flexibility and community preference. Below is a summary of the amendments that were taken to the bill in early January:
- A two-year delayed implementation date (January 1, 2023).
- SB 50 would allow for an alternative compliance for cities that have a plan certified by the State.
- The idea behind the alternative compliance would be to allow local governments to be able to plan locally for growth in the areas that are best for the City, which may or may not be areas covered by SB 50.
- The alternative plans can be items that have already been adopted by local governments through previous planning efforts.
- The Departments of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Planning and Research (HCD/OPR) will be responsible for developing guidelines of what a local government would need to provide as part of an alternative plan.
- Local governments that choose not to pursue an alternative plan would be subject to the SB 50 provisions related to jobs-rich and transit-rich housing areas. Should a local government decide they would like to develop and submit an alternative plan at a later date, they are free to do so.
- 40 percent of affordable units that are created pursuant to SB 50 would need to be made available (through lottery) to people who currently live within 0.5 miles of the project.
Hours after SB 50 failed on the Senate Floor, Senator Wiener introduced two spot bills related to housing that may serve as legislative vehicles for broader housing proposals to be considered later this year. The first bill, SB 899, as introduced makes non-substantive changes to the Housing Density Bonus Law which requires cities and counties to provide developers with density bonuses if the project includes a certain amount of affordable housing units. The second bill, SB 902, would require cities and counties to disclose whether they are involved in a court action related to State housing law in their annual report to the State.
Governor’s January Budget Proposal
On January 10, the Governor released his January Budget Proposal for the FY 2020-21 State Budget. This marked the official beginning of the State Budget process. The Governor’s January Budget Proposal contains $222.2 billion in proposed expenditures, $153.1 billion of which would be from the State’s General Fund. These proposed expenditures represent a 2.2 percent increase in spending over the budget that was adopted last year. The January Budget proposal includes a $5.3 billion surplus for FY 2020-21, which is over $1 billion lower than was projected by the Legislative Analyst’s Office in November 2019. The Governor accounted for this difference due to the uncertainty of the federal approval of the Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax.
During his two and a half hour press conference, the Governor reinforced that his proposed budget makes a number of innovative investments, but does so in a way that acknowledges that the State’s economy is seeing a slowing in its growth and could slip into a recession in the near future. As such, the Governor’s budget proposal focuses largely on one-time spending items, in addition to investing in the State’s Rainy-Day fund and other budget reserves. The proposed budget would increase the State’s Rainy-Day fund to $18 billion by the end of FY 2020-21 and would reach the constitutional 10 percent reserve cap in FY 2021-22.
During his press conference, the Governor touched on nearly all of the major items within his budget proposal; however, the main focus of his budget is education, housing, homelessness, and climate resiliency. Below is a summary of these major provisions:
Education: The Governor’s January budget proposes $84 billion in Proposition 98 funding for K-12 and community college districts, up approximately $3.8 billion from the current fiscal year. The bulk of this increase focuses on continued efforts to strengthen underperforming schools, close achievement gaps, and improve student services in K-12 districts. Governor Newsom specifically highlighted efforts to improve funding for teacher recruitment and retention, which total $900.1 million. An additional $100 million will be allocated to provide stipends for individuals who elect to teach at some of the state’s most needy districts. Expansion of school meal programs, increased focus on STEM, and additional funding for school facilities are also among the increases outlined in the proposal.
Housing and Homeless: The Governor’s budget contains $750 million in one-time funding to establish the California Access to Housing and Services Fund, which would be administered by the Department of Social Services. This funding would be used to reduce homelessness by moving individuals and families to permanent housing and to increase the number of units available to those that are at risk of becoming homeless. The budget proposes to disperse the funding through regional administrators that can provide short and long-term rental subsidies, make contributions to the development of units, and stabilize community facilities through capital projects and operating subsidies.
The Governor’s budget also continues to build on the investments that were made in last year’s budget to expand the amount of affordable housing that is produced in the State. Several of the major programs that were included as part of the FY 2019-20 State Budget, including funding for infill infrastructure and multi-family housing, are just now being made available through grant programs through the Department of Housing and Community Development. This year’s budget proposal would increase state funding to help expedite the release of those funds, as well as provide over $6.8 billion in funding to over 25 different programs aimed at increasing the amount of housing in California.
The Governor’s budget proposal also contains funding for the State to continue to assess and make recommendations to improve the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process. The Governor has directed the Department of Housing and Community Development to work with stakeholders to revamp the RHNA process by 2023. This aligns with the Governor’s stated goal of working with the Legislature to expedite housing production, including making changes to local zoning and permitting processes and by adding predictability and reducing the cost of development fees.
Natural Resources/Climate Change Bond: The Governor’s January budget proposal contains a new $4.75 billion climate resiliency bond that the Governor proposes to be placed on the November 2020 ballot. The bond measure would provide funding to five major areas: Drinking Water, Flood, Drought ($2.9B), Wildfire ($750M), Sea Level Rise ($500M), Extreme Heat ($325M), and Community Resilience ($250M). In addition to the new bond measure, the Governor’s budget proposes $1.7 billion in climate related investments in FY 2020-21 and $12.4 billion in investments (including the bond) over the next five years.
Next Steps: In the coming weeks, the Senate and Assembly Budget Committee, and the various Budget Subcommittees, will conduct hearings to receive more detail about the various items within the Governor’s budget proposal. Additionally, the committees will begin the process of determining legislative priorities for inclusion in the budget.
These hearings will continue for several months until the Governor releases his May Revise of the budget, which will contain updated revenue and expenditure figures, revised policy proposals, and incorporate certain legislative items. Once the May Revise is released, the Legislature will move swiftly to make final changes to the FY 2020-21 budget, which they will need to approve by June 15.
Governor’s Executive Order – Homelessness
On January 8, two days before the release of his January Budget proposal, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order related to homelessness. The order was released in order to increase State action of providing homeless Californians with additional housing opportunities. Below is a summary of the major provisions of the order:
- A proposed one-time $750 million allocation, which was included in the January Budget proposal, to establish the California Access to Housing and Services Fund. The Fund will receive future state appropriations, as well as donations from philanthropy and the private sector, to provide much needed dollars for additional affordable housing units, providing rental and operating subsidies, and stabilizing board and care homes.
- The Governor will task the Department of General Services with identifying properties from the inventory of excess state lands that can be used by local partners, including counties, cities, or non-profit agencies, on a short-term emergency basis to house individuals who are homeless.
- Similarly, CalTrans, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and the Department of Food and Agriculture will be directed to conduct assessments of properties that can provide services to homeless individuals.
- The Governor will direct the Department of General Services to supply 100 camp trailers from the state fleet, and the Emergency Medical Services Authority to deploy modular tent structures, to provide temporary housing and delivery of health and social services across the state.
- The Governor will create a state crisis response team to assist local governments in addressing street homelessness. The strike team shall provide technical assistance and targeted direct support to counties, cities, and public transit agencies seeking to bring individuals experiencing homelessness indoors and connecting them with appropriate health, human, and social services and benefits.
The Executive Order comes at the recommendation of the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors which is co-chaired by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. The Advisory Council has also proposed that an initiative be placed on the November 2020 ballot that would go to California voters for approval. The initiative would include recommendations from the Advisory Council and would likely include a provision to require local and state governments to create housing and increase services to reduce the number of residents experiencing homelessness.
Below are key upcoming dates on the legislative calendar:
- February 19 – State of the State presented by Governor Newsom
- February 21 – Deadline to introduce new legislation
- April 24 – Deadline for policy committees to consider fiscal bills
- May 1 – Deadline for policy committees to consider non-fiscal bills
- May 15 – Deadline for fiscal committees to consider bills
- May 29 – Deadline for bills to pass out of their House of Origin
Below are key bills got 2020 that were signed into law by Governor Newsom.
AB 68 (Ting) – Accessory Dwelling Units
This measure expands to the types of ADUs that must be permitted, regardless of local regulations, and makes numerous other changes to ADU law. These changes include: allows up to two ADUs on lots with single-family homes and multiple ADUs on lots with multi-family dwellings, changes to ministerial approvals of ADUS, and prohibits local ADU ordinances from imposing minimum lot size requirements, setting maximum ADU dimensions less that outlined in the bill, requiring replacement parking, and requiring certain setbacks.
AB 881 (Bloom) – Accessory Dwelling Units
This measure expands the types of ADUs that a local government must permit and, until January 1, 2025, prohibits local agencies from requiring owner occupancy of ADUs, among other changes. The measure limits the criteria by which local jurisdictions can limit where ADUs are permitted; clarifies that ADUs must be ministerially approved if constructed in existing garages; and eliminates, for five years, the potential for local agencies to place owner-occupancy requirements on the units.
AB 1483 (Grayson) – Housing Data
This measure requires cities and counties to post specified housing-related information on their websites. This information includes a current schedule of mitigation fees, exactions, and affordability requirements imposed by the city, county, or special district applicable to a housing development project, zoning ordinances and development standards, and an archive or impact fee nexus studies conducted after January 1, 2018. The bill also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish a working group to develop a strategy for state housing data.
AB 1482 (Chiu) – Tenant Protection Act of 2019
This bill limits rent-gouging in California by placing an upper limit on annual rent increases: 5% plus inflation. To prevent landlords from engaging in rent-gouging by evicting tenants, this bill also requires that a landlord have and state a just cause in order to evict tenants who have occupied the premises for a year. Both the rent cap and the just cause provisions are subject to exemptions including, among others: housing built in the past 15 years, single family residences unless owned by a real estate trust or a corporation. This bill sunsets after ten years and does not preempt any local rent control or just cause ordinances.
AB 1485 (Wicks) – Housing Development Streamlining
This bill allows a project to be subject to streamlined ministerial review if the project contains 10 or more units and it dedicates 20% of the total number of units to housing affordable to households making below 120% of the area median income with the average income of the units at or below 100% of the area median income.
AB 1486 (Ting) – Surplus Land
This bill expands the Surplus Land Act requirements for local agencies, requires local governments to include specified information relating to surplus lands in their housing elements and annual progress reports, and requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish a database of surplus land.
AB 1487 (Low) – Bay Area Housing Finance Authority
This measure establishes the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) and sets forth the governing structure and powers of the BAHFA Board, allowable financing activities, and allowable expenditures of the revenues generated.
AB 1763 (Chiu) – Affordable Housing Density Bonus
This measure revises the density bonus law to require a city or county to award a developer additional density, concessions and incentives, and height increases if 100% of the units in a development are restricted to low- and moderate-income households.
SB 6 (Beall) – Residential Development: Available Land This measure requires the Department of General Services, in coordination with the Department of Housing and Community Development, to create a public inventory of locally identified sites suitable for residential development, along with state surplus lands.
SB 13 (Wieckowski) – Accessory Dwelling Units
This measure expands to the types of ADUs that must be permitted, regardless of local regulations, and makes numerous other changes to ADU law. These changes include: allows up to two ADUs on lots with single-family homes and multiple ADUs on lots with multi-family dwellings, changes to ministerial approvals of ADUS, changes to how and when impact fees can be charged for ADUs, and prohibits local ADU ordinances from imposing minimum lot size requirements, setting maximum ADU dimensions less that outlined in the bill, requiring replacement parking, and requiring certain setbacks.
SB 330 (Skinner) – Housing Crisis Act of 2019 This restricts the actions of cities and counties that would reduce the production of housing until January 1, 2025. This bill requires a city or county to approve a housing development project that complies with the minimum local general plan, zoning standards, and criteria that were in effect at the time the application was deemed to be complete. Cities and counties must approve it on the condition that the project be developed at a lower density, and to base its decision upon written findings supported by substantial evidence on the record that specified conditions exist and places the burden of proof on the local agency. The act requires a court to impose a fine on a local agency under certain circumstances and requires that the fine be at least $10,000 per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed complete. It would also specify that an application is deemed complete if a preliminary application was submitted.
Below are key bills that did not advance out of the Legislature and are eligible for consideration in 2020.
AB 67 (Rivas) – Homeless Integrated Data Warehouse
Last Location: Held on Senate Appropriations Suspense File
This measure would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to crate a statewide homeless integrated data warehouse in coordination with state and local partners. The measure would require specified state agencies to draft and carry out a strategy to integrate available information to provide longitudinal, cost-based studies.
AB 281 (Frazier) – Transmission and Distribution Lines: Undergrounding and Fire Hardening
Last Location: Assembly Utilities and Energy
This bill would require the California Public Utilities Commission to require electrical corporations to develop and administer programs to replace overhead electric facilities along public streets and roads, and on other public or private properties in high fire threat districts, with underground facilities.
AB 516 (Chiu) – Authority to Remove Vehicles
Last Location: Held on Senate Appropriations Suspense File AB 516 modifies existing law that authorizes peace officers to tow vehicles that have been left parked for 72 hours or more. The bill requires officers to first place a notice on the vehicle for a minimum of 5 days prior to being towed and disallows officers from towing a vehicle that has five or more unpaid parking tickets.
AB 1279 (Bloom) – Housing Development: High-Resource Areas
Last Location: Senate Housing Committee
This measure would require certain development sites in high-resource areas to allow for more density and height and make these sites subject to “use by-right” approval. The bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to designate areas in the state as “high-resource areas” based on provisions set forth in the measure.
AB 1286 (Muratsuchi) – Shared Mobility Device Agreements
Last Location: Senate Judiciary Committee
This measure would require shared mobility service providers to enter into an agreement with, or obtain a permit from, the local jurisdiction in which the providers’ devices are used. These agreements and permits must require certain minimum levels of liability insurance and must require a prohibition on contractual provisions between providers and users that limits a user’s legal rights or remedies. The measure also requires cities and counties authorizing providers to establish rules governing the operation, parking, and maintenance of these devices.
AB 1356 (Ting) – Retail Commercial Cannabis Activity
Last Location: Moved to the Inactive File on the Assembly Floor
This measure would require a local jurisdiction, in which more than 50% of the electorate voted in favor of Proposition 64, to issue a minimum number of local licenses that authorize medical cannabis commercial activity equal to one license for every six on-sale general license types for alcoholic beverage sales that are currently active in the jurisdiction.
SB 50 (Wiener) – Housing Development: Streamlined ApprovalLast Location: Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File. This measure would require local governments to provide an “equitable communities incentive” to developers that construct residential developments in “jobs-rich” and “transit-rich” areas, which may include certain exemptions to specified requirements for zoning, density, parking, height restrictions, and floor area ratios.
SB 182 (Jackson) – Planning and Zoning: Wildfires
Last Location: Senate Floor for Concurrence Vote
This bill would impose certain fire hazard planning responsibilities on local governments; require a city’s or county’s regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) plan to further the objective of reducing development pressure within very high fire risk areas; and require councils of government to incorporate lower housing allocations to cities and counties in very high fire risk areas into their RHNA methodology.
SB 592 (Wiener) – Housing Accountability Act
Last Location: Assembly Rules Committee
This measure extends provisions of the Housing Accountability Act to accessory dwelling units and certain ministerial decisions, as well as adds new provisions related to enforcement of the Act.