Senate Appropriations Committee Results Announce Future of Council-Sponsored Bills
The much-anticipated, but often obscure Suspense File process in the California Legislature for the Appropriations Committees culminated this week (May 18) with some important Council-sponsored bills advancing and others being held back for reconsideration. In the Suspense File process, bills that will cost the state find out if they will advance in this first year of the two-year legislative session. Bills that do not continue this year can be reintroduced or advanced in January of 2024 if they are “two-year bills.”
Two stand-out Council-sponsored measures advanced through the process: AB 1633 (Ting) and SB 76 (Wiener). AB 1633 (Ting) – which would prevent local governments from pocket-vetoing development projects by refusing to complete required environmental reviews under CEQA – advanced out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. SB 76 which would allow local governments to establish “entertainment zone” ordinances also passed through the Senate Appropriations Suspense File on a 7-0 vote. This measure has been highlighted by Mayor London Breed of San Francisco and Mayor Matt Mahan of San Jose for the potential to revitalize downtowns and nightlife throughout the Bay Area.
However, the Council’s sponsored bill package also faced some challenges as SB 634 (Becker), an important measure addressing homelessness, and AB 1464 (Connolly), a measure to improve traffic on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, were both held in their respective Appropriations committees for the year.
Of the Council’s priority measures, SB 634 garnered significant support for an innovative approach to addressing homelessness. The bill would make it easier for “opportunity” housing, relocatable housing units, to be built on unused land which could quickly shelter thousands, giving them the support needed to rebuild their lives. Senator Becker, the Council, and our partners are committed to growing the coalition of supporters and reintroducing the legislation next year.