Time to move on from SB 50

Senator Brian Jones
Brian Jones is a California State Senator representing the 38th district.

For the last year and a half all Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) colleagues have watched him lobby, cajole, and try to corral votes for his Senate Bill 50.

SB 50 was an attempt to get more housing approved and built in California by, in my opinion, usurping local zoning regulations.

Senator Wiener worked hard on SB 50; there’s no denying that.  While we appreciated Senator Wiener’s efforts, a majority of the Senate did not vote for his measure.  Only three of our ten Republican Senators voted for SB 50 and only 15 of the 29 Democrat Senators voted for it.

After SB 50 failed on the Senate Floor, for the second consecutive day last week, Toni Atkins, the Senate President pro Tem, threw down the gauntlet, basically telling those of us that refused to vote for SB 50 it was time we stepped up and came up with solutions to the housing crisis.

Senator Atkins may not have been listening, but many of us – particularly in the Republican Caucus – have been putting forth other solutions to the housing crisis for months, if not years.

We’ve never claimed to have all the answers, but there are some quick and easy things we could and should do right away to jumpstart housing that include:

  • Getting Governor Gavin Newsom and his Democrat colleagues in the Senate and Assembly to immediately abandon their stale “Sacramento knows best” approach to housing.  Sacramento clearly does NOT know best on housing or many other issues.
  • Abolishing the $10,000 forced solar power mandate on every new home – if someone wants to get solar and can afford having $10K added to the price of their home, fine.  But if not, our nanny state government should not be forcing the extra cost on every California family.
  • Reducing (or eliminating) some of the many fees forced on home buyers and home builders that keep rising, which in turn keeps forcing the cost of buying a home higher and higher.
  • Reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) so that long-planned residential communities get an expedited review through the environmental and judicial process.  Democrat politicians routinely do this for billionaire sports team owners, and millionaire players, for their palaces, so why not do this for the hardworking California family looking to buy a home?

These things can all be accomplished this year if the Democrat legislators and the Governor start listening rather than just mandating more fees and regulations.

Republicans remain committed to solving California’s housing crisis and it needs to start with a new approach, far different than SB 50.

Senator Brian W. Jones is Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus and was elected to the California State Senate in 2018 representing the 38th Senate District which includes Alpine, Escondido, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, San Marcos, Lakeside, Valley Center, Rancho Santa Fe, Julian, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Bonsall, Fallbrook, Borrego Springs, and parts of the City of San Diego

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