Three of 14 bills identified by the California Chamber of Commerce as job creators are still alive following the June 3 deadline for bills to pass the house in which they were introduced.
Active Job Creator Bills
Moving into their second houses are:
Reducing Affordable Housing Barriers
• SB 1069 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Increases Housing Supply: Creates and expedites additional housing supply by streamlining the permitting process for Accessory Dwelling Units. Assigned to the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and Assembly Local Government Committee; no hearing date set.
Economic Growth Incentives
• AB 2664 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Increased Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Makes it easier to establish a business by expanding capacity and increasing access to the University of California (UC) and Berkeley National Laboratory to their innovation and entrepreneurship centers, which provide incubator space, legal services, entrepreneur training and more for researchers and other individuals looking to develop innovative solutions. In Senate Rules awaiting policy committee assignment.
• SB 936 (Hertzberg; D-Van Nuys) Loan Access: Encourages creation of small businesses by expanding their access to loans, which helps them grow. Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee hearing June 21.
SB 1069: Increases Housing Supply
The housing shortage in California has reached crisis levels. The average California home currently costs about two-and-a-half times the national average home price. The average monthly rent in California is 50% higher than the rest of the nation and even higher in cities such as San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Los Angeles. All four of these cities’ average rents are among the top 10 most unaffordable in the nation. San Francisco’s average rent is the highest in the United States, at an average of $3,500 per month.
In a seminal 2015 publication, California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences, authored by the State Legislative Analyst’s Office, data clearly show that the lack of affordable housing, particularly in coastal California, is one of the biggest drivers of institutional and generational poverty cycles. The analysis showed that the bottom 25% of income earners are spending 67% of their income on housing. This is clearly not acceptable or sustainable.
The inability of the traditional housing delivery system to meet demands has resulted in increased competition for fewer available homes, rising prices, overcrowding, community dislocation, and adverse environmental impacts caused by longer commutes and more traffic congestion. California families are hurting and the economy is slowing.
Innovative solutions are needed to make a dent in this crisis.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are the only widely supported approach to get thousands of low-cost units on the market fast. ADUs provide lower cost and low-carbon footprint homes in existing neighborhoods consistent with architectural traditions. ADUs are great for low- and middle-income renters, small families, and align with state climate change goals. Studies demonstrate that ADUs cost less to build and rent for less than new market rate housing, making ADUs affordable by design.
Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco have already approved legislation to facilitate the development of ADUs. The states of Hawaii and Massachusetts are considering similar bills. With simple policy changes, such as reduced process, parking and lot coverage requirements, California can vastly increase its housing stock.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are approximately 1.5 million single family homes. If just 10% of households adopted ADUs, housing stock would increase by 150,000 units.
SB 1069 amends existing State Second Unit Enabling law to further simplify the process of ADU adoption for residents by reducing parking requirements, streamlining the permitting process, and allowing ADUs by permitting building within existing structures. State and local laws should enable residents to quickly and easily provide a home to someone in their community rather than set up barriers that make this impossible.
AB 2664: Increased Innovation, Entrepreneurship
AB 2664 will allow the University of California (UC) and Berkeley National Laboratory to expand their capacity and increase access to existing innovation and entrepreneurship centers.
The UC’s innovation and entrepreneurship centers provide incubator space, legal services, entrepreneur training and more for researchers and other individuals looking to establish new businesses and develop innovative products and solutions that benefit Californians. These centers have a proven track record for helping to turn ideas into companies that provide jobs for Californians and help drive the state’s economy.
AB 2664 directs the UC to expand the infrastructure necessary to keep up with the growing need for workspace and training for start-ups, and help attract private sector investors. In exchange, the state will benefit from increased economic activity and job growth, as well as from the innovative solutions new companies are able to bring to market due to the help they receive from the UC and Berkeley National Laboratory.
SB 936: Loan Access
An Assembly policy committee will soon consider SB 936 which expands the availability of loans through the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank’s (IBank) California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.
The program helps businesses create and retain jobs. The bill promotes statewide economic development by supporting loans to small businesses that would not otherwise qualify.
Small businesses establish a favorable credit history with a lender under this program and then are able to obtain future loans on their own. The program has been in place since 1968 with almost no defaults.
SB 936 increases the IBank’s ability to leverage state and federal funding, thus incentivizing private lending and economic investments. The loan guarantee program uses state and federal funding to create a loan loss reserve, which reduces the risk of lending to small businesses.
For more information on the 2016 job creator bills, visit www.calchamber.com/jobcreators.