It’s a Sacramento tradition years in the making. Legislators like to wait until the last minute (sometimes literally) to consider the year’s most contentious pieces of legislation. For the last half decade, big-ticket housing bills have regularly topped that list.
This year’s hot housing item: Assembly Bill 2011, authored by Oakland Democrat Buffy Wicks, which aims to make it easier for developers to convert vacant strip malls and other storefronts into affordable apartment buildings Usually Capitol housing debates pit “Yes in my Backyard” pro-housing advocates and developers against landlords and other defenders of local control. But this year’s debate has a new wrinkle, CalMatters housing reporter Manuela Tobias explains. That’s because Wicks’ bill pits union against union.
- For the bill: The state’s carpenters union, as well as the largest unions representing teachers and health care workers.
- Against it: The Building and Construction Trades Council and the AFL-CIO umbrella group, the California Labor Federation.
At issue: The Trades want a requirement that a certain share of the workers on projects authorized by the bill come from apprenticeship programs. The carpenters say there aren’t enough of those program grads to fill the need. The Trades say this is one way to fix that.
Wicks said she isn’t looking to pick a labor-on-labor fight. But she may not wait around on a compromise.
- Wicks: “If a deal isn’t reached, many of the colleagues I’ve spoken to in the Senate are prepared to support the vote for solving this problem.”
Besides housing here are a few other hot-button proposals still awaiting a possible floor vote:
- A bill to create a statewide council that would set wages and working conditions for all fast food workers and put the corporations that employ them on the hook for breaking those rules
- A proposal to limit the ability of courts to keep secret information unearthed in consumer product safety lawsuits
- A bill that would let legislative staffers form a union
- Legislation to let farmworkers vote from home in unionization elections
Gov. Gavin Newsom has his own decision to make today.
The Legislature already passed a bill that would let certain cities set up supervised injection facilities — places where drug users can shoot up with clean needles under the watchful eye of trained medical professionals. Newsom has until the end of today to sign it — or not.