Senate Bill 25 Passes Senate Floor Vote, Heads to Assembly

May 24, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Senator Anna Caballero today announced that SB 25 passed from the Senate, with bi-partisan support. SB 25 is a modest attempt to join forces with a federal tax credit designed to funnel an estimated $6 trillion from capital gains earnings into America’s poorest neighborhoods to create jobs and housing. SB 25 creates an incentive for green, sustainable development for critical housing statewide, and for economic development in the 879 Opportunity Zones, which includes California’s poorest census tracts. Included in the bill is the requirement that the workforce be trained and skilled, and subject to prevailing wage. The bill establishes an expedited judicial review of the approvals and environmental review granted to the proposed projects in order to meet the funding window by 2026 created by the Opportunity Zone program. Only projects that meet stringent green building and sustainable community standards like LEED Gold will benefit from this litigation streamlining.

Fixing California’s housing crisis requires a multi-faceted approach, and that includes ensuring that CEQA litigation, or the mere threat of litigation does not prevent or delay desperately needed housing from reaching the market in a timely manner. SB 25 also importantly focuses investment into our poorest communities, amplifying Governor Newsom’s commitment to end chronic poverty by creating the right market conditions for private capital to support California’s Opportunity Zones.

SB 25 offers developers the incentive to invest up front in delivering green, sustainable, energy efficient housing, in exchange for a streamlined judicial review of the challenges to projects under CEQA within a 270-day window, if feasible. Senator Caballero said, “I am hopeful that the bill will effectively end NIMBY lawsuits in California, while keeping CEQA’s environmental mitigation measures intact, for those developers that meet the bill’s green building goals.” She continued, “I am grateful to the Senators who supported SB 25, for realizing that we have a unique and important opportunity to make major private investments in our poor communities without spending limited state or local tax dollars. This investment will result in good paying jobs, create new workforce development opportunities in the green building trades, and meet the highest green building goals. This is a win-win for Californians desperately in need of housing and good jobs."

Senator Anna M. Caballero represents the 12th Senate District, composed of Merced and San Benito Counties, the Salinas Valley, and portions of Fresno, Madera, and Stanislaus Counties.