August 2017 Essential Politics archives

This is Essential Politics for August 2017. Find our daily look at California political and government news over here.

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California Legislature

California lawmakers reach deal on affordable housing bond

 (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed late Monday to a $4-billion bond aimed at the 2018 ballot that would fund low-income housing developments and subsidize home loans for California veterans.

"The bond agreement we have reached provides badly needed funding to help Californians, including our veterans, find safe, affordable housing," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a statement announcing the deal.

The decision comes as the Legislature considers a package of legislation designed to address the state's spiraling housing affordability crisis. The bond measure, Senate Bill 3, is one of three key bills designed to increase state spending on low-income housing and ease local restrictions on home building.

SB 3 originally would have authorized $3 billion to support construction of new homes for low-income residents. Changes to the bill announced Monday evening added $1 billion for homeownership subsides for veterans through a program that would otherwise run out of money next year.

Monday's decision is another step toward an agreement between the governor and lawmakers on a final housing deal. Senate Bill 2, which would add a $75 fee on mortgage refinancing and other real estate transactions to fund low-income home building, has been eyed skeptically by some Democrats in the Assembly. Changes to that measure are also expected.

Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) are also negotiating a 2018 bond measure to fund improvements to water and parks infrastructure.

SB 2 and 3 and a water and parks bond all need two-thirds supermajority approval in both houses of the Legislature. The deadline for all bills to pass this year is Sept. 15.

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