Sacramento Summary Q4 2020

We are happy to have 2020 in the rear-view mirror, but fear that 2021 will be another busy legislative year.

The new 2021-22 two-year legislative session began on December 7th when the Legislature came back to Sacramento for the swearing in ceremonies. They only stayed in town for one day, but left the desks open on the floors for the introduction of new legislation. We are now tracking seven bills of interest to the membership which have already been introduced for the new session. In addition to new legislation, we will spend considerable time during 2021 on the implementation of key legislation passed during 2020. All bills passed during 2020 take effect on January 1, 2021, unless the bill has an urgency clause making it take effect immediately upon signature by the Governor or has language calling for some other effective date.

The deadline for the introduction of new legislation is February 19th. Thus, we should have a good idea of the bad bills and the good bills by the first week in March. However, the “gut and amend” approach to legislation is still alive and well here in the state capital. That is the reason we read every amendment to every bill every day. When we identify bills of interest to the membership, we take them to the Board for direction and add them to our Legislative Status Report (LSR) which shows all bills we are following and provides additional information on each bill. The LSR is available to any CMA member at any time.

With the election of Assembly Member Lemon to the Senate, we now have a new chair of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee: Assembly Member Tim Grayson (D, Concord). We know Mr. Grayson well and look forward to working with him in his new capacity as chair of this important committee. We will soon be reaching out to CMA members in Mr. Grayson’s Assembly District (AD 14) to be certain they get to know their legislator, the new chair of the Assembly Banking Committee.

COVID-19 continues to impact the activities of the Legislature, making in-person lobbying more difficult and grassroots activities and PAC resources even more important than ever. The Legislature has delayed the return to Sacramento, pushing back the starting date in January by one week to January 11th.

The three bills of greatest interest to the CMA membership so far are:
AB 15 (Chiu) – Entitled “The Tenant Stabilization Act of 2021.” A 48-page bill which amends the Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (AB 3088) to 1) change the definition of “COVID-19 rental debt” from debt coming due 3/1/2020 to 1/31/2021 to debt due between 3/1/2020 to 12/31/2021; 2) extend the sunset date on the act from 2/1/25 to 1/1/26; and makes several other changes which expand tenant protections and extend provisions of AB 3088 further into the future. AB 15 also amends the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, and the Mobile home Residency Law prohibiting the use of an alleged COVID-19 rental debt as the basis for a negative reference to a prospective housing provider; and extending the 15-day notice requirement to 60 days for management of a mobile home park from appearing before a local government for change of use of a mobile home park. The bill contains an urgency clause.

AB 16 (Chiu) – This is an “intent bill” which will be amended to contain language to
establish “a framework for distributing financial support to ensure long-term stability for renters, small landlords, and affordable housing providers, protect tenants from displacement during the ongoing public health crisis, and ensure an equitable, broadly shared recovery.”

SB 3 (Caballero) – Amends the “COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020” by extending the duration of both the “covered time period” and the “transition time period” from 1/31/21 to 3/31/21.

We look forward to another busy and interesting year representing the membership of the California Mortgage Association on matters of important mutual interest.