CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Newsom Takes Final Action on Housing, Land Use, and Transportation Bills

October 14, 2021

October 10 was the deadline for final bill action by Governor Newsom. Following is an update on major bills of interest or concern for the Housing, Land Use, and Transportation policy area that were among the 800+ bills awaiting action by Governor Gavin Newsom. For additional questions, please contact Chris Lee or Marina Espinoza.

Earlier updates on signings and vetoes of Housing, Land Use, and Transportation bills were included in these editions of the CSAC Bulletin:

Bills Signed by Governor Newsom:

AB 43 (Friedman) – Traffic Safety. AB 43 grants the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and local authorities greater flexibility in setting speed limits based on recommendations included in the January 2020 report prepared by the California State Transportation Agency’s Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force. CSAC supports efforts to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries by promoting vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle safety, and AB 43 will allow local agencies to set speed limits based on safety-related factors and lead to a reduction in traffic-related injuries and fatalities. AB 43 was signed by the Governor last week. CSAC’s letter to the Governor requesting his signature on this measure is available here.

AB 970 (McCarty) – Streamlined Permitting for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. AB 970 establishes specific time frames in which local agencies must approve permits for electric vehicle charging stations. CSAC was part of a coalition that opposed this measure. We are concerned with the provisions requiring electric vehicle charging stations to be deemed complete within five business days after an application is submitted and approved within 20 business days after submission of the application if the jurisdiction has not issued a permit and if the building official has not made findings that the proposed installation could have adverse impacts. AB 970 was signed by the Governor last week.

AB 1124 (Friedman) – Solar Energy System Permitting. AB 1124 revises the definition of “solar energy system” as that term is used for the purpose of local permitting of such systems, including the allowable fees a local agency may charge, and would clarify the permit fees local agencies may charge for commercial solar energy systems. CSAC is concerned that the bill’s expansion of the definition of “solar energy system” will allow for large-scale solar systems without appropriate environmental review. The letter CSAC submitted jointly with RCRC and UCC requesting that the Governor veto the bill is available here. AB 1124 was signed by the Governor last month.

Bills Vetoed By Governor Newsom:

AB 1035 (Salas) – Recycled Materials Standards for Local Pavements. AB 1035 would have required local agencies to apply standard specifications that allow for the use of recycled materials at or above the level allowed in the California Department of Transportation’s most recently published standard specifications in streets and highways, unless the local agency finds that the use of such materials is infeasible or not cost-effective. CSAC worked closely with the author’s office to remove a link to SB 1 funding in the introduced version of the bill and to narrow the scope of the bill. The bill’s final amendments resolved our final outstanding issue by basing the bill on the current Caltrans specifications rather than also applying to any future specifications. AB 1035 was vetoed by the Governor last week. The Governor’s veto message is available here.

AB 1423 (Daly) – Affordable Housing Development Loans. AB 1423 would have, pursuant to guidelines developed by the Housing and Community Development Department (HCD), allowed developers to receive grant funding during the construction period thereby saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction period interest expenses. CSAC supported this bill, which would have aided in the development of much-needed housing by significantly reducing construction period interest expenses and the overall cost of development. CSAC’s letter to the Governor requesting his signature on this measure is available here. AB 1423 was vetoed by the Governor last week. The Governor’s veto message is available here.

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