Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
California lawmakers are continuing their push through hundreds of bills before the legislative session ends Friday.
Here are some of the highlights from Thursday:
A new tax and a $4 billion bond to fund affordable housing in California have passed the state Assembly. They’re two of a package of bills to address the state’s housing affordability crisis. The votes weren’t without last-minute dramatics.
Democratic lawmakers held the voting period open for an hour, as they sought the two-thirds majority required to pass a new $75 document fee on real estate transactions—other than home sales.
Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu says the bill would provide desperately-needed subsidies for affordable housing projects.
“Our children—many of them cannot afford to live in our communities,” Chiu said. “We have a chance to do something about this.”
San Diego Republican Brian Maienschein joined 53 Democrats to pass the measure.
“I wish there was something different that could be done, but I am mindful of the political realities that exist here,” Maienschein said. “And to do nothing, to me, isn’t an option.”
All other Republicans voted against the bill, which needed a two-thirds supermajority. Assemblyman Jay Obernolte said it won’t come close to solving California’s housing crisis.
A non-partisan state analysis finds California creates 90,000 fewer homes than necessary each year.
“This bill, and in a larger sense the other bills we’re considering tonight, are based on the misguided premise that we can spend our way out of this problem with government spending,” Obernolte said.
The Senate will take up the measures tomorrow—along with another half-dozen that comprise a package of housing bills agreed to by legislative Democrats and Governor Jerry Brown.
Here’s a brief look at the bills passed by the Assembly:
SB 2 – Adds a new $75 fee on real estate transaction…