Capitol Alert AM Newsletter

Rent control could hit city taxes + Predatory lending tour + #TimeDone for old convictions

Housing advocate: ‘It’s ridiculous to ask these families to pay this much.’

Six out of the seven least affordable metropolitan areas across the U.S. are in California. They are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Riverside and Sacramento.
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Six out of the seven least affordable metropolitan areas across the U.S. are in California. They are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Riverside and Sacramento.

Top of the Tuesday morning to you, California. Tips, story ideas and Father’s Day gift recommendations? Send ‘em my way! hwiley@sacbee.com

PROP 10 2.0?

That comes with a steep price tag, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office determined on Monday.

In its three-page review of the Rental Affordability Act, an initiative that would allow cities and counties in California to impose rent control policies, the office concluded that state and local agencies could lose “tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term.”

The review handed a potential victory to rent control critics who worked hard in the Legislature this year to water down or kill tenant protection bills. A measure to cap rent increases, Assembly Bill 1482, barely squeaked by in late May after its author and sponsors accepted significant amendments to the proposal. Its partner bill to create a just cause eviction standard didn’t even get a floor vote.

The initiative is AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein’s second attempt at a rent control. His Proposition 10 failed last year. Renters groups say tenants need protection against outrageous housing prices, while critics say efforts like Prop 10 and AB 1482 stymie construction and harm property owners.

The ballot measure would have economic ripple effects, the office explained, which include landlords opting to sell their rental homes and the value of rental housing declining overall. It’s predicted that renters would save money and move less often. Therefore, owner and landlord property and income taxes would decrease, while sales tax receipts would increase as renters have more financial freedom to buy things.

But ⁠— “Revenue losses from lower property values would be larger than revenue gains from increased sales,” the analysis read. “Because of this, the measure would reduce overall property tax payments.”

The California Apartment Association, an organization that opposed the tenant protection bills, said the analysis “clearly points to a reduction of available homes” because property owners would take their units off the market under the act.

“Prop 10 2.0 would drive down property values and prompt an exodus from the rental housing market,” the association’s CEO Tom Bannon said. “California needs sensible housing policies that protect tenants and encourage the building of affordable homes for working families. This measure makes the crisis worse.”

PREDATORY LENDING TOUR

Today a group of consumer protection advocates are launching a statewide tour in support of Assembly Bill 539, a proposal now in the Senate that imposes a 36 percent interest rate cap on consumer loans of $2,500 to $10,000. The Californians for Economic Justice coalition is organizing the three-day trip, during which faith leaders, civil rights organizations and veterans groups will rally support for the measure and highlight its protective effect on Latino and black consumers.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón’s bill passed its chamber’s floor last month after Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon urged support for the measure. AB 539 is backed by lenders that already subscribe to a 36 percent cap ⁠— considered the sweet spot for both investors to earn a fair return and borrowers to afford monthly payments ⁠— but who also helped kill stricter measures that carried lower caps in previous sessions.

The coalition is stopping in San Diego, Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Modesto, and the tourwill end at the Capitol in Sacramento.

#TIMEDONE

Today hundreds of criminal justice reform supporters are propping a 1,400-square-foot “Wall of Consequences” exhibit that will close down 10th Street from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Family members and people living with former legal convictions are joining a handful of lawmakers for the event, including state Senators Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Assembly members Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, And Rob Bonta, D-Alameda.

There will also be musical performances and a rally to “call on the state to remove the barriers that old convictions and justice system records pose.” The efforts are part of the #TimeDone campaign that advocates for wiping an individual’s record once they’ve done their time and haven’t had additional run ins with the system.

The coalition said the records harm people trying to work and reintegrate into society after their sentences, which carries health and safety effects as well as hinders the U.S. economy.

The consequences wall will depict “more than 40,000 legal restrictions that nearly 70 million Americans living with a past conviction or record face.” The event is scheduled to end on the West steps of the Capitol.

CLEAN WATER WIN

Securing $1.4 billion is something to celebrate, especially when the money comes from years of grassroots efforts to finance safe and affordable water in communities that can’t drink their own H2O.

A group of community residents, advocates and local leaders are capping off a two-day rally in support of the water fund, and are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers to pass the updated budget announced on Sunday that sets aside 11 years worth of money.

The activists are backed by civil rights leaders like Dolores Huerta and have organized water strikes and demonstrations throughout session in order to spotlight the public health crisis affecting an estimated 1 million Californians.

They are scheduled to organize at noon on the South steps of the Capitol, where they’ll call on the Legislature and Newsom to “swiftly enact the historic agreement.”

TWEET OF THE DAY

That’s $716 worth of generic tampons at Walgreens.

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Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.
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