Capitol Alert

Lawmakers warn that Trump budget cuts will deepen California affordable housing crisis

The Arbor Creek Apartments affordable housing development in Elk Grove on July 18, 2013.
The Arbor Creek Apartments affordable housing development in Elk Grove on July 18, 2013. The Sacramento Bee file

The average rent in California is now more than double the national average – and as high as $4,500 per month in San Francisco. But a solution for this crisis continues to elude Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature, with negotiations last year falling apart over proposed rules to speed up the land-use approval process for new construction.

Lawmakers have pledged again this session to make housing a priority; bills to create more funding for affordable projects by placing a fee on real estate transactions and eliminating a state tax deduction for vacation homes are moving through the process. Brown, however, has been skeptical of that approach, and his January budget proposal left out the $400 million in affordable-housing money that had been part of last year’s unsuccessful talks.

Are there solutions out there that everyone can get behind? The Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee will hold a hearing to examine how Los Angeles is grappling with its shortage of affordable housing, 11 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles.

Prior to that, at 10:30 a.m., Assembly members – including Speaker Anthony Rendon and David Chiu, the San Francisco Democrat who chairs the committee – will join with affordable housing advocates for a press conference to discuss their legislation this session and the potential impacts of President Donald Trump’s recently proposed federal budget cuts, which could cost California agencies millions in rent vouchers and other programs.

WORTH REPEATING: “We consider that to be a waste of your money.” - Mick Mulvaney, budget director, on Trump’s lack of spending on a top Brown priority: climate change

BLOOM OF YOUTH: Getting young people to vote is a perpetual challenge, especially in California, which is already plagued by low turnout. The latest bold – and highly controversial – idea to increase participation is a constitutional amendment that would lower the voting age in the state from 18 to 17. That and other efforts to boost civic engagement among youth will be the subject of an informational hearing by the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, 1 p.m. at Reseda High School in Reseda.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: At an emotional hearing on SB 54, supporters of the “sanctuary state” bill warned of immigrant distrust in police, while opponents raised alarm over a foreign invasion.

FUEL UP: As California pushes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, one of the major programs has been the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which aims to decrease the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in the state. With a new law targeting even deeper cuts in emissions – to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the California Air Resources Board is exploring how it could expand LCFS to help meet that goal. It will discuss a proposal to bring jet fuel under the program, 9 a.m. at the Cal/EPA headquarters on I Street.

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CELEBRATIONS: Early happy birthdays to Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, who turns 64 on Saturday, and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Sherman Oaks, who is 44 on Sunday.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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