2023 State Legislative Priorities
PRIORITY BILLS IMPACTING OFFICE, INDUSTRIAL, AND RETAIL COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
This year, BOMA/GLA vetted over 400 bills in the California State Legislature that impact commercial real estate in partnership with BOMA California, our statewide federation. In that process, we determined a legislative agenda that impacts all elements of your building operations: HVAC, sustainability mandates, security and preparedness, EVs, adaptive reuse, new development, and more.
Below is a small sampling of the most important bills facing our industry this year with our existing positions.
If you have questions about a specific piece of state legislation, email our Advocacy Department at [email protected].
AB 539 (Nguyen S.; D-Elk Grove) – State ADA reform that will defines the term “high-frequency litigant” and alters definitions such as “accessibility-related violation,” in an attempt to help commercial property owners understand the law and expand building access while working to reduce lawsuits.
AB 914 (Friedman; D-Burbank) - Provides a CEQA exemption for electrical infrastructure upgrades that will increase energy delivery capacity. Many new projects are unable to get adequate electricity to meet the demands of all-electric buildings and electric vehicle charging mandates. This bill will help address and alleviate that problem by removing unnecessary impediments.
AB 1708 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) – Addresses organized retail theft by increasing accountability for repeat theft offenders with two or more prior convictions for merchandise worth less than $950 in value.
SB 768 (Caballero; D-Merced) – Reforms CEQA requirements relating to Vehicle Miles Travelled that have greatly increased costs and fees for commercial and residential projects.
AB 1580 (Carrillo J.; D-Palmdale) - Require the appropriate state agencies to work cooperatively to implement federally funded programs that incentivize Electric Vehicle infrastructure.
SB 56 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) - Requires load-serving entities to develop an integrated resource plan. This should have been done before the all-electric buildings push, it needs to be done to understand grid stress points in new and existing commercial and residential areas.
SB 604 (Wilk; R-Santa Clarita) - Requires the Public Utilities Commission and public utilities to do a grid assessment. This is something that the state should have done prior to embarking on the current decarbonization policy.
SB 747 (Caballero; D-Merced) – Surplus Land Act reform that will create economic development opportunities to build new commercial, blended-use, and housing projects by partnering with local governments.
SB 795 (Stern; D-Los Angeles) - Direct the Energy Commission to establish a registry for HVAC systems purchased in the State of CA. Our industry has supported previous versions of this bill for years since 95% of the air conditioners purchased in CA are installed without building permits. This is a huge contributor to the underground economy and creates an unlevel playing field for commercial contractors and building owners and managers who play by the rules.
AB 1748 (Ramos; D-Highland) – Requires a 300 foot buffer between warehouse and logistics projects in the Inland Empire of over 400,000 square feet measured from the property line to the nearest dock bay door to a “sensitive receptor.” This bill is based on the settlement imposed between the California Attorney General and environmental groups and the City of Fontana.
POSITION: Lean Support.
AB 1532 (Haney; D-San Francisco) – Permits certain office-to-residential conversion projects a CEQA use by right regardless of zoning. Our industry supports the concept but is asking for amendments that would allow local officials to determine compatibility, so you don’t have a residential project in the middle of an industrial zone or other incompatible area. This is especially important in the buffer zones being contemplated in the warehouse bills.
POSITION: Support if Amended.
SB 597 (Glazer; D-Orinda) - Mandates rainwater catching systems in residential buildings. We are requesting clarification that commercial buildings are not covered by this bill.
POSITION: Support if Amended.
AB 70 (Rodriguez; D-Pomona) – Extends Trauma Kit installation requirements to certain tenant improvements of existing buildings. Extends the liability protections and notification standards in instead of training requirements on our industry.
AB 1000 (Reyes; D-Colton) – A ban on building warehouses or logistics centers 100,000 square feet or larger within 1,000 feet of a “sensitive receptor.” The requirements of this bill are so stringent it effectively bans warehouse and logistics projects in most urban areas of the state.
AB 68 (Ward; D-San Diego) - Strips local governments of their land-use authority. It essentially mandates exclusionary land use policies, which will make commercial development much more difficult, further restrict housing supply, raise costs and prices of homes, further economic inequality, and undermine employers’ ability to recruit for jobs.
AB 1482 (Gabriel; D-Encino) – Mandates a one-size-fits-all time limit on public utilities to approve and energize new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVSE). This bill would place an unfair burden on utilities and move new EVSE installations to the front of the line in terms of utility service priorities above other important building needs.
AB 772 (Jackson; D-Moreno Valley) – Mandates the Energy Commission to require fast chargers (EVSE) in single family homes. This is an issue better addressed by the Building Standards Commission and this is this mandate would have negative consequences for the power grid, make home less affordable.
SB 48 (Becker; D-Menlo Park) - Direct the Energy Commission (CEC) to expand energy benchmarking to include water use and require them to develop mandatory building performance standards for existing buildings. Once adopted, buildings covered by the regulations would have 15 years to comply. In 2009 our industry supported a similar bill that has yet to be fully implemented – we are asking the author to focus time and resources on the numerous existing buildings built before 1990 that don’t comply with basic water efficiency standards.
AB 38 (Lee; D-San Jose) - Requires lighting retrofits in state-owned or leased buildings and must comply with light certain light pollution requirements. This is an issue that is better addressed by the Building Standards Commission.
POSITION: Oppose Unless Amended.
SB 416 (Laird; D-Santa Cruz) – Requires state owned and leased buildings to be certified LEED Gold or better. The main issue for our industry is with leased buildings in that the actual certification process requires significant time and resources. The bill should be amended to remove the “certification” mandate for private buildings. We also have concerns that the state is delegating authority to a non-state entity (USGBC) when California’s Green Building Standards have tiers that are equal to or more stringent than the requirements of this bill.
POSITION: Oppose Unless Amended.
SB 745 (Cortese; D-San Jose) - Requires the Building Standards Commission to develop and adopt mandatory water conservation standards for new buildings that gain a 25% reduction in potable water use over standards in effect today. Many water agencies have come out in strong opposition to the bill, while our industry is seeking amendments that would remove duplicative gray-water requirements for commercial buildings.
POSITION: Oppose unless Amended.