This month, Richardson|Ober was proud to participate in CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee’s (CLAC) Legislative Day in the Capitol. Every year, community managers, board members, homeowners, and business partners from throughout California gather together at the Capitol to be the voice for community association owners throughout the State on pending legislation impacting their communities. Building upon last year’s legislative successes the two-day strategic planning advocacy and summit gave grass roots supporters many opportunities to meet with California representatives and make CAI’s case for the upcoming legislative calendar. The following is an overview of some of the most significant pending legislation.
Although CLAC worked to successfully defeat SB 1265 last year, the substance of that bill has returned this year as SB 323. Senator Wieckowski is once again attempting to push a one-size-fits-all approach to community elections. SB 323 would restrict the selection of election inspectors, would not allow communities the right to set their own qualifications for directors serving on the board, and would increase oversight by courts in routine election processes. CLAC will need support to once again defeating the harmful efforts of this bill.
The remaining bills demonstrate where CLAC supports creating good law to help communities. CLAC encourages legislators to support Senate Bill 434, introduced by Senator Archuleta. SB 434 incorporates best practices within the management industry and requires management companies to transfer association records in a timely manner. Both CAI and CACM came together to support this common sense legislation that helps communities run more smoothly.
CLAC also supports Senate Bill 754, sponsored by Senator Moorlach, which contains familiar content from last year’s vetoed SB 1128. Last year’s bill was amended to add restrictions on director qualification, causing CLAC withdrew its support. This year, SB 754 was introduced again to allow associations to elect board members by acclamation. For those associations that have no competition for seats on the board, SB 754 would allow those seats to be filled without the expense of holding an election.
CLAC worked actively with Senator Hill to help draft Senate Bill 326. This bill is a direct response to last year’s amended SB 721, affectionately named “the balcony bill.” previously, Senator Hill agreed to amend SB 721 to specifically remove associations from complying with a dramatic new maintenance and inspection requirement regarding balconies. SB 326 mandates associations provide information about inspection and condition of balconies, however, unlike last year, SB 326 gives the control over the common elements back to the associations, and on a timeline that fits in with the existing three-year Reserve Study requirements.
Finally, CLAC is excited to support AB 885, introduced by Assembly Member Irwin. CLAC was honored to work with Assembly Member Irwin last year on several of its bills and was proud to award her with CLAC’s Legislator of the Year for 2018. AB 885 is a result of Assembly Member Irwin’s efforts to restore strong communities after devastating disasters. This bill would increase the tax relief available to owners interested in rebuilding after suffering from the loss of a home.
The two-day event was a splendid success. Each group in attendance was able to directly contact six legislators with important information about their communities. CLAC encourages everyone to stay involved, stay in contact with their representatives, and make sure their voices are heard.
If you haven’t already, you can follow the progress and stay informed about our efforts at caiclac.com.
Written by Robert M. DeNichilo
Robert M. DeNichilo is a partner in the firm Richardson|Ober|DeNichilo and concentrates his practice the representation of community ssociations throughout California. He is a fellow in the College of Community Association Lawyers, a prestigious designation given to less than 175 attorneys in the country. Mr. DeNichilo regularly speaks at educational and training events for industry organizations, property management companies, and board members throughout California. Robert is the founder of HOABrief.com where he frequently provides
expert insight on community association topics.