UPDATE 9:36 A.M.: The California Legislature won't vote on a package of housing bills Friday after all.
The late word Friday morning from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon's office, and confirmed by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon's office, delays debate on the measures until after Labor Day weekend.
One Assembly Democrat is absent today, which leaves two cornerstones of the housing bill package one vote short of the two-thirds threshold for passage. The revenue-generating measures, a $4 billion housing bond and a document fee on real estate transactions, both require supermajority votes.
With Republicans expected to unanimously oppose those revenue bills, every Senate and Assembly Democrat must vote yes for the measures to pass.
Although it appeared as late as Thursday evening that Democratic leaders were prepared to bring most of the housing bills up this morning, it's not yet clear if the real estate fee has the votes to pass the Assembly.
There is also at least one unresolved issue: Negotiations continue over a measure that would allow cities and counties to apply their "inclusionary housing" ordinances to new rental unit construction. That's where local governments can require a certain percentage of units built to be priced affordable for low-income people.
UPDATE 9:09 A.M.: The housing bills votes are delayed at the California Capitol on Friday. The package of bills seeks to reduce the state’s soaring housing costs, with up to a dozen different bills coming up for votes. The story will be updated as information becomes available.
Speaker @Rendon63rd's office just sent out word that the housing votes are OFF for today— Ben Adler (@adlerben) September 1, 2017
Hearing the reason for the delay is there are some @AssemblyDems absences. Every Dem must vote yes for bond & real estate fee to get 2/3— Ben Adler (@adlerben) September 1, 2017
ORIGINAL: California lawmakers could take the first steps Friday towards passing a package of bills that seek to reduce the state’s soaring housing costs, with up to a dozen different bills coming up for votes.
The big question is whether there’s enough support in the Assembly to create two new pots of money to help subsidize affordable housing projects: a one-time infusion through a $4 billion housing bond, and a permanent funding source from a fee on real estate transaction documents.
Assuming all Republicans vote no, every Assembly Democrat would need to back the bills for them to reach the two-thirds supermajorities required for passage. The fate of the real estate fee, in particular, is not yet clear.
If the revenue bills do get through, several measures that seek to make it easier to build more housing units could come up for votes as well. They include efforts to streamline the development process for projects that meet zoning, prevailing wage and other requirements; and measures that would make it harder for cities and counties to evade state housing mandates.