The couple hundred people who rallied on the Capitol steps Tuesday for renters’ rights want affordable housing.
"Housing is a right!" they chanted. "We demand our rights!"
That help used to come through local Redevelopment Agencies. But the state abolished the RDAs two years ago, and when they went away, affordable housing funds did too.
Last year, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed local governments to set affordable housing requirements for rental developments. That left supporters frustrated.
“If the governor’s saying by the demise of redevelopment that there can be no public money for affordable housing, and there won’t be any allowance for private developers to put in their contribution to affordable housing, it’s really a very difficult situation,” said state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) after Tuesday's rally.
Now, backers are pushing a measure would charge a $75 fee on real estate transactions to raise $500 million a year for affordable housing projects.
Meanwhile, the governor has called for the creation of a new funding mechanism for affordable housing in his January budget proposal.
California Democrats and progressive groups hoping that strong state budget revenues would help them make the case for new spending will likely be disappointed by April income tax collections.
Bills that would deal with pay gaps between companies' CEOs and workers, and create four-year community college degrees moved forward in the legislature Thursday, while a measure would requiring kill switches on smart phones and tablets stalled.
Nurses across the state are calling for greater protections from violent patients. Lawmakers will vote on a bill today that would require hospitals to do more to prevent violence at their facilities.
California employees owed back wages would be able to place a lien on their former employer’s property under a bill that cleared the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Wednesday.
Four candidates for California’s Secretary of State covered issues from vote by mail elections to business licenses in a debate today. And they didn’t disagree on much.