New Legislation Signed by California Governor in October 2023

The following list of bills have reached the Governor’s desk and have been signed in the month of October so far.

New Legislation Signed by California Governor in October 2023

AB 690

AB 690, introduced by Assemblymember Chen, addresses the regulation of legal document assistants (LDAs) and unlawful detainer assistants (UDAs) within the legal framework. The bill proposes an extension of the existing provisions governing these professionals, pushing the expiration date from January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2030.

Legal document assistants play a crucial role in the legal system by providing individuals with support in preparing legal documents. This may include assistance with forms, filings, and other paperwork required in legal processes. Unlawful detainer assistants, on the other hand, specifically assist in matters related to unlawful detainer cases, which typically involve eviction proceedings.

The decision to extend the operation of these provisions suggests a recognition of the ongoing importance of LDAs and UDAs in facilitating access to legal services for individuals who may not have the resources to hire traditional legal representation. By extending the regulatory framework, the legislature aims to maintain oversight and ensure that these assistants adhere to established standards, promoting accountability and professionalism within their practice.

This extension could also be indicative of the need for further evaluation and potential updates to the regulatory framework governing LDAs and UDAs. It allows for a more extended period during which lawmakers and regulatory bodies can assess the effectiveness of the existing provisions, identify any challenges or gaps in regulation, and make necessary adjustments to better address the evolving needs of the legal landscape.

Moreover, the extension to January 1, 2030, provides stability and predictability for LDAs and UDAs, allowing them to plan their practices with the knowledge that the current regulatory framework will remain in effect for an additional period. This can be particularly important for individuals working in these professions and for those who rely on their services.

In summary, AB 690, through its extension of the provisions regulating LDAs and UDAs, reflects a commitment to the continued oversight of these legal support professionals. It acknowledges their role in enhancing access to legal services and suggests a proactive approach to maintaining and refining the regulatory framework to better serve the needs of the community.

AB 1418

AB 1418, sponsored by Assemblymember McKinnor, focuses on the relationship between tenants and law enforcement within the context of local regulations. The key feature of this bill is its restriction on the authority of local governments to enact ordinances, rules, policies, programs, or regulations that penalize tenants for their interactions with law enforcement. Additionally, the bill seeks to limit local governments’ ability to mandate landlords to adopt policies or procedures that penalize tenants based on their contact with law enforcement.

The intent behind AB 1418 appears to be rooted in ensuring that tenants are not unduly penalized or discriminated against based on their interactions with law enforcement. By restricting the local government’s power to adopt such regulations, the bill aims to protect tenants from potential negative consequences that may arise from their engagement with law enforcement agencies.

The limitations imposed by AB 1418 could be seen as a response to concerns about potential discrimination or bias against tenants who have had contact with law enforcement. This may be particularly relevant in cases where tenants, either as victims or witnesses, have interacted with law enforcement agencies due to circumstances beyond their control.

Furthermore, the bill seems to uphold the principle that tenants should not face additional hurdles or sanctions simply for exercising their rights to contact law enforcement when needed. This could be especially crucial in situations where tenants, for reasons related to safety or security, find it necessary to seek law enforcement intervention.

By preventing local governments from imposing penalties or requiring landlords to adopt punitive measures based on tenants’ interactions with law enforcement, AB 1418 seeks to create a more equitable and just environment for renters. It underscores the importance of protecting tenants’ rights and ensuring that they are not unfairly treated due to factors related to law enforcement interactions.

In summary, AB 1418, sponsored by Assemblymember McKinnor, establishes limitations on local governments’ ability to enact regulations penalizing tenants for their contact with law enforcement. The bill reflects a commitment to safeguarding the rights of tenants, promoting fairness, and preventing discrimination based on law enforcement interactions within the context of rental housing.

AB 1607

AB 1607, introduced by Assemblymember Carillo, centers around the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Act. This legislative proposal grants authority to the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA) to allocate a portion of the revenue generated by a tax measure to the County of Los Angeles. The specific purpose of this transfer is to fund programs designed to provide support and services aimed at preventing and addressing homelessness.

This bill reflects a proactive approach to addressing the critical issue of homelessness within Los Angeles County. By empowering LACAHSA to redirect a portion of the revenue generated from a tax measure, the legislation acknowledges the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to combat homelessness and recognizes that affordable housing alone may not be sufficient to address the complex challenges associated with homelessness.

The flexibility granted to LACAHSA to transfer funds to the County of Los Angeles suggests an awareness of the multifaceted nature of homelessness and the importance of a coordinated response involving various agencies and services. The bill recognizes that addressing homelessness involves not only providing affordable housing but also implementing supportive services to assist individuals and families in crisis.

The funds transferred pursuant to AB 1607 could be directed towards a range of programs and initiatives that aim to prevent homelessness, provide assistance to those at risk, and offer support to individuals who are already experiencing homelessness. This might include services such as mental health support, job training, substance abuse treatment, and other resources designed to address the root causes of homelessness and help individuals transition to stable housing.

Moreover, by allowing revenue transfer to the County of Los Angeles, the legislation facilitates collaboration between LACAHSA and local authorities. This collaborative approach is essential for the effective implementation of comprehensive solutions to homelessness, as it leverages the strengths and resources of both entities.

In summary, AB 1607, sponsored by Assemblymember Carillo, empowers LACAHSA to allocate a portion of revenue from a tax measure to the County of Los Angeles for programs aimed at preventing and combating homelessness. This legislative initiative reflects a commitment to a holistic approach in addressing homelessness by combining affordable housing solutions with supportive services and fostering collaboration between relevant agencies.

AB 1679

AB 1679, introduced by Assemblymember Santiago, addresses the authority of Los Angeles County (LA County) in imposing transaction and use taxes (TUT). Specifically, the bill grants LA County the authorization to exceed the statutory limitation of 2% when imposing such taxes.

Transaction and use taxes are typically imposed on the sale or use of tangible personal property within a specified jurisdiction. These taxes are an essential source of revenue for local governments, allowing them to fund various public services and infrastructure projects. However, there is often a statutory limit on the percentage that a county can impose as a transaction and use tax.

By authorizing LA County to exceed the 2% statutory limitation, AB 1679 acknowledges the unique financial needs and circumstances of the county. There could be several reasons for this authorization. LA County might be facing specific challenges, such as a high demand for public services, infrastructure improvements, or addressing other local priorities that require additional revenue.

This bill may be a response to a recognition that LA County requires a higher level of financial flexibility to meet the demands of its growing population and diverse communities. Exceeding the statutory limit could provide the county with the means to fund critical projects and services, ranging from transportation and public safety to social services and community development.

It’s worth noting that such authorization often comes with a responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of the additional revenue generated through the higher transaction and use taxes. Local authorities are typically expected to communicate to the public how the additional funds will be allocated and used to benefit the community.

In conclusion, AB 1679, sponsored by Assemblymember Santiago, grants LA County the authority to impose transaction and use taxes that exceed the 2% statutory limitation. This authorization acknowledges the unique financial needs and challenges faced by the county and provides a mechanism to generate additional revenue to address critical local priorities and enhance public services.

SB 48

SB 48, known as the Building Energy Savings Act and sponsored by Senator Becker, is a legislative initiative designed to address energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in existing buildings throughout California. The bill mandates the California Energy Commission (CEC), in collaboration with other relevant agencies, to formulate a comprehensive state strategy aimed at achieving specific goals related to energy consumption and GHG emissions from existing buildings.

The bill calls for the development of a state-wide strategy that goes beyond mere guidelines. This strategy is intended to be a cohesive and coordinated approach to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in the existing building stock across California.

By involving multiple agencies, the legislation recognizes that achieving significant progress in energy savings and emissions reduction requires a collaborative effort. Relevant agencies are likely to include those with expertise in energy, environment, building codes, and related fields.

SB 48 implies that the state strategy will establish clear targets for both energy efficiency improvements and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings. This may involve setting specific benchmarks and timelines to track progress over the coming years.

The strategy developed under SB 48 may include a mix of incentives and regulations to drive compliance and encourage property owners and managers to adopt energy-efficient practices and technologies. This could involve financial incentives, tax credits, or other mechanisms to promote sustainable building practices.

The legislation is likely to encourage the incorporation of emerging technologies and innovations in the building sector that can contribute to energy savings and reduced emissions. This may involve considerations for smart building technologies, renewable energy integration, and other advancements.

The state strategy may include provisions for public awareness campaigns and educational initiatives to inform building owners, occupants, and the general public about the importance of energy efficiency and the benefits of adopting sustainable practices.

SB 48 may establish mechanisms for monitoring and reporting progress toward established goals. This could involve regular assessments by the CEC and other agencies, ensuring accountability and transparency in the implementation of the state strategy.

SB 567

SB 567, sponsored by Senator Durazo, is a legislative proposal that makes significant revisions to the no-fault just-cause eviction provisions outlined in the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (TPA). Additionally, it introduces enhanced enforcement mechanisms to address violations of restrictions on residential rent increases and no-fault just-cause evictions. The effective date for the provisions introduced by SB 567 is set to be April 1, 2024.

The bill likely revisits and revises the criteria and conditions under which a landlord can carry out a no-fault just-cause eviction. No-fault evictions typically involve circumstances where the landlord seeks to terminate a tenancy without attributing any fault or wrongdoing to the tenant. SB 567 may introduce additional protections for tenants facing such evictions.

SB 567 goes beyond establishing or amending regulations by providing enhanced enforcement mechanisms. This suggests that the legislation aims to strengthen the implementation and adherence to the restrictions on residential rent increases and no-fault just-cause evictions. The bill may detail specific measures that authorities can take to enforce these provisions, ensuring landlords comply with the new rules.

The specified effective date of April 1, 2024, indicates that the changes introduced by SB 567 are not immediate but will take effect on this designated date. This allows landlords and tenants a transition period to adjust to the forthcoming regulations and potentially make any necessary preparations.

SB 567, being part of the broader framework of tenant protection legislation, likely emphasizes safeguarding the rights and interests of tenants. This could include provisions to prevent unjust or arbitrary evictions, protect tenants from excessive rent increases, and enhance overall housing stability.

While the legislation is likely to strengthen tenant protections, it may also strive to strike a balance between the rights of landlords and tenants. This balance is crucial for maintaining a fair and functional rental housing market.

The introduction of SB 567 reflects the state’s commitment to address challenges related to housing affordability, stability, and tenant rights. It suggests a proactive stance in responding to concerns about the increasing cost of living, gentrification, and the potential for tenant displacement.

The legislation, by addressing residential rent increases and no-fault just-cause evictions, recognizes the broader impact on communities. Stable housing is linked to community well-being, and measures that promote fairness in the landlord-tenant relationship can contribute to healthier and more resilient neighborhoods.